Fourth in my “Wokepedia” series of case studies of consciousness-raising Wikipedia edits.
This week’s entry, the “Justice Trilogy,” is a little more involved, because it included not only creating a brand-new page but also defending its notability. As I wrote about here previously, this trilogy of middle-grade science fiction novels was significant for me as a child because it was the only science-fiction series I ever encountered that was both for kids and had a black author and protagonists.
Having discovered there was no entry for it on Wikipedia, I added one. A week later, it was tagged as possibly not notable enough to be retained. The fact that this happened was not surprising, but it speaks to the necessity of the Wokepedia project in the first place. Wikipedia has made amazing strides towards legitimacy and substantive value but it suffers from the unconscious biases of the masses. Minor trivia in excruciating detail about cult-classic television shows easily passes muster as being of general interest, but a groundbreaking work of science fiction by a black female author must be defended. However, it’s important to note this doesn’t represent a crisis situation, but rather a hurdle to be passed.
My next step was to view the guidelines for “Notability” for books. Here they are:
The book has been the subject of two or more non-trivial published works appearing in sources that are independent of the book itself. This includes published works in all forms, such as newspaper articles, other books, television documentaries, bestseller lists, and reviews. This excludes media re-prints of press releases, flap copy, or other publications where the author, its publisher, agent, or other self-interested parties advertise or speak about the book.
The book has won a major literary award.
The book has been considered by reliable sources to have made a significant contribution to a notable or significant motion picture, or other art form, or event or political or religious movement.
The book’s author is so historically significant that any of the author’s written works may be considered notable. This does not simply mean that the book’s author is notable by Wikipedia’s thestandards; rather, the book’s author is of exceptional significance and the author’s life and body of written work would be a common subject of academic study.
The easiest one for this book is that it was written by Virginia Hamilton, the most honored American writer of children’s literature. Having won nearly every major children’s literature award during her lifetime, any book of hers qualifies by number 5 for notability. However, in case that wasn’t enough, I also added citations showing the series had been discussed in reputable academic works. I described my reasoning in the edit summary, and on the talk page, and then removed the notability warning.
OUTCOME: The page survives