Minority Book Report: How Reading Grows Our Empathy

What's it like to be a minority in America? To find out, read a book written by one.

Fiction is so much more than a vehicle for entertainment. Graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang believes "own-voice" stories, told by people from within those communities, have immense power to show us the world through the eyes and mind of a different cultural group. It can also make our real-world interactions with people who are different to us so much richer, through empathy. "In my personal experience it seems like reading those stories ultimately emphasizes the common humanity that we all have," he says. "I think that’s how your empathy grows." Of course, with minority stories has come much debate surrounding how they're presented, and who is behind it. What is cultural appropriation, and do we even know what's being appropriated? Can just anyone tell a minority story? Listen to Yang dissect this topic through the lens of his own experience — and find out why he's been boycotting the blockbuster film The Last Airbender since 2010 (still going strong). Gene Luen Yang's most recent book is Paths & Portals.

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Irish Travellers Recognized as Ethnic Minority in "Historic" Step

Irish Travellers, a group facing much discrimination and inequality, is given formal ethnic status in Ireland.

An itinerant group known as "Travellers" was just given ethnic status by the Irish government. It is estimated there are around 30,000 Travellers in Ireland and up to 40,000 reside in the United States.

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