Black Writers in the Ghetto of the Publishing Industry's Making
Now, I knew exactly what I was opening myself up to as Author Carleen Brice had pioneered this particular frontier with her December 2008 essay Reading Too Much Into Race
I remember sitting here at my computer reading the numerous, nasty, racist comments that readers left in response to Carleen's essay - and and I felt as if I had been transported back to a time and place where someone of my color could not sit at a lunch counter or ride in the front of a city bus. It was frightening. Yesterday, I relived that moment.
While these readers felt their comments would disgrace and discredit my claims - they actually justified them:
"While I'm not familiar with Bernice's work, I can tell you why I don't read novels by most black authors. The fact is that many and probably most are not written in standard English. (I'm not talking about dialog from characters sprinkling in vernacular, I'm talking about the whole darn thing."
"What I would love to find, sometime, is a novel written by a black person which succeeds on character, plot and writing quality alone, and is not somewhat polemic-based. Maybe I have read such a book and just didn't know it - in which case, great! But as long as most black writers are depending on their race as a primary determinant for "success," however they choose to define that, they are competing on an uneven playing field of their own making."
"It is certainly racist, immoral and irresponsible to blame all of your troubles on someone else. Why is profiling bad when it's applied to blacks, but profiling is just fine and dandy when applied to whites as the imaginary source of problems for all troubles in the black community? Maybe more time spent in school and less time having children out of wedlock would fix a few of your issues. Maybe less time "celebrating diversity" and more time adhering to the rules of civilized society would fix a few of your problems. Maybe less time looking for scapegoats and more time being responsible members of civilized society would fix a few of your problems."
"What a bunch of slef serving pity me crap. Write books of universal interest and they will sell universally. Write ethnic tripe in a vernacular that is repulsive and filled with obscenity and it won't sell, at least not to me."
There were a number of comments that accused me of not being able to string a sentence together or being a racist, bitter and whiney ---- (shrugs shoulders) Someone even felt the need to remind me that Africans sold their bretheren off to European Slave Traders - what in the world does that have to do with the essay?
And this comment tickled me to no end:
"Perhaps she should consider joining the American writers section. Self segregation stimulates a segregated response. How about just being an American author rather than an African American author?"
I thought that's what I was trying to do???? LOL
In other news, Knitting and Sundries is giving away 3 copies of SUGAR!!!
Onward and Upward!