Barnes and Noble canceled its plan to put black characters on classic novels written by white authors featuring white characters

Barnes & Noble thought it would be a good idea to celebrate Black History Month by reissuing classic novels (including Moby Dick, Emma, Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, Treasure Island, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Three Musketeers) with new covers depicting the lead characters as black, reports CNN. After many people on social media pointed out the problems with this campaign, the bookseller scrapped it.

From CNN:

Alexandre Dumas, who wrote "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "The Three Musketeers," is the only black author on the list.

The new covers were called "literary blackface" by African American writer Rod Faulkner in an essay on Medium, and others have said the energy spent making the "Diverse Editions" would have been better spent promoting books written by people of color.

"What?!? No! Is it really this hard? People sat down & had meetings & put a lot of energy & money into creating covers f/black people on books w/ the same old stories INSTEAD of promoting books written by black authors & featuring black characters?WTF?!," author Tracey Livesay tweeted.

Image: TBWA Chiat Day