Authors New Novel Aims at Helping Teens to Identify Racism and Hate Crimes
edited: Wednesday, December 19, 2007
By Leslie Lee Sanders
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2007
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Leslie Lee Sanders introduces Bittersweet: The Diary of Brandy Morgan along with information about racism and hatecrimes.
Leslie Lee Sanders introduces Bittersweet: The Diary of Brandy Morgan, her latest novel intended to bring attention to racism in today's youth._Synopsis:Being an African American senior in high school, and a victim of racism for most of her life, Brandy turns to her beloved journal to express her thoughts.When Brandy gets a crush on Ian, the most attractive boy in school, she decides to befriend him. She then realizes that being friends with Ian isn’t as easy as it once seemed. In Ian’s eyes, being privileged is being well known, handsome, and white, all of which he is. He fears that being friends with Brandy will destroy his reputation.A math quiz starts the beginning of a series of tutoring sessions that brings the two together, but it also starts a series of assaults on Brandy and Ian that are fueled by hate.Brandy’s left to wonder if her written thoughts can help heal the pain of her past, and if fate would allow two teens to fall in love against the odds._A crime that is motivated by hate, prejudice, or intolerance of somebody’s race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation is the definition of a hate crime. The most recent available hate crimes statistics compiled by the FBI are for the year 2005. Statistical data indicates a total of 7,163 criminal incidents. These incidents involved 8,380 reported offenses reported in 2005, resulting from a bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability. Racial bias topped the list as motivation for the 2005 hate crimes at 54.7 percent. Religious bias at 17.1 percent. Sexual-orientation bias at 14.2 percent. Ethnicity/national origin bias at 13.2. Disability bias of 0.7 percent.Additional information from the data revealed that intimidations accounted for 48.9 percent of the 5,190 hate crime offenses that were classified as crimes against persons in 2005. Following this statistic, simple assaults accounted for another 30.2 percent. Aggravated assaults for 20.5 percent. Six murders. Three forcible rapes.The "Hate Crime Statistics, 2005," is published by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program. The data includes details on reported hate crimes from city, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies across the country."I pride myself on recognizing that teens experience racism and hate on a regular basis," said Leslie Lee Sanders, the author of Bittersweet. "I expect teens to gravitate toward Bittersweet for a look at real teen issues and behavior, and help themselves to recognize similar thoughts and feelings and what to do about them."Leslie Lee Sanders lived in Arizona all of her life. Being a victim of racism motivated Leslie to incorporate similar experiences into a novel for teens and adults alike as entertainment, and as a tool to combat racism in today’s adolescence.