I’ve written two pieces about this already a while back on the my old WordPress blog.
Members of the Black blogging community talk about colorism in the media, tokenism, race bending, racism all over the place in fiction, and how we don’t see enough Black people. Y’all go absolutely crazy about Twilight and crazy about Harry Potter, crazy about Lord of the Rings, crazy about Once Upon a Time, crazy about Charmed. Crazy about everything that has white people in it.
Because of how I grew up, I wrote for myself. I crafted worlds and characters, to fill the hole I felt inside, as a Black child and an introvert . I always wondered why Black people couldn’t have more their own adventures, supernatural, magic, and other worlds and all. I wanted to understand why Black writers were always situated in urban lit and non-fiction. I was a hopeless little dreamer.
Saying that “Oh Black people wouldn’t end up in that kind of situation” is part of the problem. Of course, a part of me agrees with some of the memes I see floating around about horror movies, but its a deeper issue than not being the white girl who trips in the slasher movie.
Because part of the problem is that we don’t see ourselves there. Its another way that we refuse to see ourselves as human, or are indoctrinated into believing our stories don’t matter. We refuse to see ourselves having great adventures in fictional lands or situations, or we’ve been taught that it’s not possible or desirable. A lot of us keep sitting back and waiting for white people to include us, or have had the imagination and innocence beaten out of us. That frustrates me as a Black fiction writer because I make it no secret that I want other Black people to read my work.
In my writing, I try to take it to a level where almost no one is sitting there talm’bout “I knew that was gone happen”, “So and so shoulda never done this or that”. And even if they do, they still want to come out on the other side of the story, read to the end.
Its very disheartening for me to listen to Black people act like they have no kind of imagination and help white people marginalize us. I guess I just have to keep writing for myself and put that dream away.