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The idea for the Murmur Library came from an inability to find the books I wanted to read by authors of colour. My local library and bookshop were always filled with an extensive collection of white authors, but so few books by Indigenous, Black, Asian or Latinx authors.

 
I love reading fiction, but it feels like an unexpected bonus when I can see myself in the story. Where my experience is represented, and I can relate. The majority of books available other my experience as a black woman, at best fetishizing my exoticism or stealing the parts that appeal and morphing them in order to highlight their proximity to whiteness or “normality”.

 

I was sick of reading stories that claimed to be the human experience but looked nothing like mine or other BIPOC* people I knew. As if these stories were the ultimate, and any nuance indicated something foreign and therefore undesired.

 

If I’m honest… I was really tired of the only way someone picking up a book by an author of colour that I recommended was if someone white told them it was cool to read it.

I was sick of books by black authors only becoming available in my local library if Reese Witherspoon put it on her book club list.

I was sick of podcast run by white women telling me that a book by a black author was a really important must read.

I was sick of not being able to find bookshops run by people who weren’t white, and who weren’t curating a selection of majority white authors.

 

SO. I carved out a small space for books and authors and stories to exist outside of the white gaze. The books you’ll find in this library are by First Nation authors, Black authors, Brown authors, Asian authors, Latinx authors, authors who are refugees and asylum seekers, trans authors, queer authors, authors with disabilities… authors whose experience exist outside of majority.

I built the library for myself because I couldn’t find a place like it, and it exists now so hopefully a community of people will feel they have space to share their experiences and as a space to learn about other people and hear their stories.

 

*here BIPOC is a term used to represent Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. 

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