Barnes & Noble attempted to celebrate Black History Month with their "Diverse Editions" program. They took classic book covers like Romeo and Juliet, The Wizard of Oz and Frankenstein and replaced the images with Black faces.
After backlash on social media, especially for not choosing books by Black authors, and accusations of blackface, Barnes & Noble cancelled the series. They released the following statement, "We acknowledge the voices who have expressed concerns about the Diverse Editions project at our Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue store and have decided to suspend the initiative."
Writer Rod T. Faulkner slammed the book covers in a piece for Medium, writing, "You need to course correct and atone for this deeply offensive act of literary blackface. Seek out the plethora of exemplary novels about the Black experience written by Black authors — and shower your support on them."
See some of the book covers below:
(Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)