The best thing about reading is that even if you are inundated with data from all corners of the earth, you will never cease to learn something new. I came across the word sensitivity reader when I was browsing through a couple of reader opportunities. So who is a sensitivity reader? Lila Shapiro talks about this in What the Job of a Sensitivity Reader Is Really Like.
It all started with a little girl in school who was embarrassed by how black characters were portrayed in literature. Dhonielle Clayton is now one of the chief executives of We Need Diverse Books, a nonprofit that support writers from marginalized groups. The idea of sensitivity reading helps authors who portray diversity to be more accurate about what they’ve written.
The way she sees it, the job of a sensitivity reader is first and foremost to improve the literary quality of a book by steering the author away from one-dimensional portraits and clichés.
This is especially tricky as a kind of blanket censorship could ensue. The interview in the essay throws light on how authors can really get the plot wrong because of lack of research or plain taking for granted. Sensitivity reading seems to be a good trend that will benefit more societies and encourage a healthy diversity in fiction and non-fiction.