Thursday, November 06, 2008

Will a Black President help me - the black writer?

I am overjoyed for Obama, his family and this country. The election of the first black president was a long time coming and arrived right on time.

A few weeks before the election I began posing the question: How will a black president effect me, the black writer?

I'd like to hear your feedback on that question, and here are my hopes and thoughts:

Obama is representative of the Black american we seldom see in literature. Meaning, he is not a whore-monger, drug-dealer, drug user or absent baby-daddy. He is not a slave to designer labels and he does not wear bling. We have not seen him ducking into a bodega to buy a forty, he does not congregate on street corners, and no source has come forward to reveal that he smoked a blunt before his debates with John McCain. If he wears a "wife-beater" it's hidden beneath his shirt, excatly where it's supposed to be. He does not wear his pants down around his knees, nor does he throw up gang signs at the end of his wildly televised speeches. If he likes to smack that ass (meaning Michelle's) and grab her hair and ask, Whose pussy is this? - well that's fine 'cause what goes on in their bedroom should stay in their bedroom.

OK so after nearly a decade of the market being deluged with books focusing on the aforementioned stereotypes what happens now?

Will publishers change gears and begin publishing works written by African American that speak to a multitude of people? Or will they remain stagnet and committed to a shattered belief system?

In this country where white people out number black people by a staggering percentage - a black man was elected president.

Hello Mr. Publisher! If people of all colors, religions and cultures could come together and do something as monumental as putting a black man in office - why would you continue to believe that those very same people would have no interest in reading what a black author has to say?

The people have spoken, are you listening?

Mr. Publisher will you please catch up with the rest of America and step over the color line? I assure you that the grass is greener over there.

  • Bernice L. McFadden

    Carleen Brice said...

    I jokingly noted on Twitter the other night that now A Americans would now get higher advances and better promotion budgets. But I do hope that Obama helps publishers see the world differently. Of course, that's a lot to put on one family, but something tells me the Obamas are up to it.

    Lafreya said...

    I don’t know about this. After receiving one more condescending rejection letter about my novel and its subject. l am beginning to think that President Obama and family may just be viewed as an exception to the rule.

    Carleen Brice said...

    Check it out!

    -GRC said...

    Thank you! What a relief to read that I'm not the only one thinking we can do better. I'm also very tired of picking up books with high hopes only to be confronted with mediocrity (and sometimes it's not even good enough to be called that) and stereotypes.

    I had not made the connection with the election, but your post has me hoping things will change.

    Melody said...

    I just saw a link to this post on another blog. I'm agreeing with Lafreya. The Obamas maybe be seen as the exception to the rule. The election was a step in the right direction but things aren't going to change overnight.

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