Let me explain why I believe this is an example of institutionalized racism, in the case that it is not obvious to all our readers (which, taking into account the harsh comments posted on the video's page, it may not be). Institutionalized racism refers to racism that is not personal in nature but instead weaved into the very foundations of an institution--like a society or facet of a society. In the case of this book, the people involved in making it most likely were not sitting around cackling with glee as they decided to omit an illustration of black child. Furthermore, the fact that anyone could read this book and not notice the omission (as Angela herself says she didn't at first) is a perfect example of how institutionalized racism works so effectively and insidiously. It becomes such an elemental part of the fabric of our existence that unless you are affected by it, or taught to recognize it, you most likely won't. I won't go into lengthy explanations of why the omission itself was a problem, I will just say that for black children to not see themselves represented sends a message that they are not valuable and (possibly in this case) that they are not real people. For non-black readers, it sends the same message: black people are not valuable and unimportant. The danger in such messages is apparent.
Anyone who furthers institutionalized racism needs to be held responsible, including book publishers. As Angela pleas at the end of her video, the creators of this book need to know that they are furthering institutionalized racism and that we, as readers and potential customers, want to see them take responsibility for their decisions and rectify the situation. This will not happen, though, unless we talk about racism (uncomfortable and troubling as it may be), learn to spot it, and demand equality with our voices and our spending.
Do you agree with Angela and our observations? Disagree? Please share your thoughts in the comments!