APOLOGY FOR A DEADLY EDUCATION

I am so sorry. Several people checked in with me yesterday about a passage on hair in A Deadly Education, and I realized—much too late—that I’d screwed up: I evoked a racist stereotype about locs (which I incorrectly referred to as dreadlocks) and hurt my readers, especially my Black readers. And I made this edit late in the publishing process, after the sensitivity read, so a lot of reviewers and outside partners got the earlier manuscript.

I’m going to try and fix this as best I can.

First, for this book, I will revise the passage and get it read over properly. I’m working with my publishers to update the ebook files, and get a correction in for future reprints and editions.

Second, I’m going to make sure that in the future, my books don’t go out to reviewers and publishing partners until my revisions are fully complete and a final sensitivity read has happened.

I apologize again to all the people who read the manuscript and were so kind as to give generous blurbs and to review it and share this book with their communities and then were hurt by this edit after the fact. I won’t let that happen again.

Third, I am going to keep trying to do better myself. To learn more, to understand more, to empathize more. That’s my job, and I fell down on that job this time, and I sincerely apologize.

Finally, I also want to acknowledge that people have raised other issues with the work. I’m sorry for all the other flaws and mistakes as well as this particular one. I hope that the book as a whole has value despite them, but I respect your right to say it doesn’t or to refuse to give it a try, on those or any other grounds. And either way, I will still try to do better next time.

Naomi