Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop is a trailblazer, not only in the call for more diverse literature but authentic multicultural voices as well. She was one of the first in her field to put forth academic research based criticisms of multicultural representation in literature, especially Black children’s books. Bishop is a Professor Emerita in the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University. Her distinguished career in education began as an elementary school teacher. She then went on to teach at several universities before arriving at Ohio State in 1986; there she taught children’s literature courses before retiring in 2002.
Bishop has received countless awards and honors, including three from the National Council of Teachers of English: the James R. Squire Award (2013), Outstanding Elementary Language Arts Educator (2007), and the Distinguished Service Award (2000). Authors and organizations frequently use passages from her essay, Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors to champion change in the children’s book publishing industry. To read more about Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, see the sources below.
Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.
Presenting Walter Dean Myers (1990)