January 31, 2020 - #CelebrateBlackWriters

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Hi Wattpadders –

Here at Wattpad, we believe in the power of stories. Stories have the ability to entertain us, to comfort us, challenge us, and most of all, to connect us with one another and the world around us. Through stories, we're able to learn about those that are different from us, and even more so, to understand the similarities that unite us.

Despite the many forms of storytelling available to us in this day and age, it's often clear that not all stories are shared equally and not all voices get a chance to be heard. As we continue our work on upholding the importance of diversity at all levels of Wattpad – both at our HQ and throughout the Wattpad community – we want to continue seeking opportunities to reflect diversity in meaningful and tangible ways.

That's why in the month of February, we're taking another step in our diversity journey by celebrating Black History Month.

What is Black History Month?
Black History Month originated in the United States in 1926 as a week long celebration meant to highlight and showcase pivotal events and figures in black history. In 1976, it became a month-long celebration set during the month of February in North America and in October in the UK. We continue to celebrate Black History Month as a way to not only reflect on the past and the wrongs committed throughout history but also to celebrate present successes, triumphs against the odds, and a bright future that we continue to work towards.

Why are we celebrating it on Wattpad?
On a platform that was created to encourage storytelling and sharing of stories from all people, we have to be mindful that sometimes despite our best efforts, not all voices are equally shared or represented – both on and off Wattpad. As such, we want to play our part in showcasing the rich and diverse voices, cultures, and stories that are present on Wattpad. We think that's something worth celebrating during Black History Month and year round.

With that said, here's some of what you can look forward to in the month ahead:

Creative new images to celebrate Black History Month on Wattpad

Great new reads from black authors across genres

Special weekly content featuring our authors discussing their writing, representation in writing, and more!

Here's week one to get us started:

Week two: All about the importance of representation:

Week three: Authors share challenges faced in publishing

Week four (and our final video!): Authors share the power of authentic storytelling 

Want to follow along with us? Use #CelebrateBlackWriters

Don't think we're leaving all the fun to you, Wattpadders; we'll be celebrating alongside you here at HQ with a number of plans including:

Read of the Week – where we highlight one story a week and share it across the company

Company-wide deep dive on black authors and their stories across different genres

A book club discussion on one of the stories featured throughout the month

We look forward to a month of wonderful stories, new voices, and great insights. With a community as rich as ours is, we're excited for you all to join us in this journey to celebrate the continued creation of a space where all voices can be heard.

– Your friends at Wattpad HQ

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