Tag Archives: racism

End of the year roundups: Your Top 5

It seems like everyone is doing some type of End of the Year roundup. Whether it’s favorite movie lists, lists of favorite books. Favorite bloggers. Whatever you’re interested, then you can make a list about. I’m going to make one as well. I was curious to see what posts y’all enjoyed the most on my humble page. It’s that time of year. And guess what? As the title has told you, I ain’t no different.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been posting less often and when I do post, it’s more about the fiction and the poetry than anything else. That’s how I’m going to head into the New Year as well. I want my writing to be my focus. I have some plans for the 2015 that I’m going to share in a vlog on Thursday (and subsequently on here). Stay tuned for that.

In the meantime…

Under the guidance of Kelly from one of my blogging groups, I figured out how to find which posts y’all clicked on the most. So, if you hate these, it’s your own fault. I had nothing to do with it. I mean, I wrote them…most of them. You know what I mean. I picked these categories: Poetry, Short Story, Guest Post, On Writing, and Video. These are the things that I’ve written about the most this year.

Here’s the Top 5 posts that you liked the most this year. Top 5

Short Story

RushThe Short Story you guys came back to the most was “New Life, Old Friend.” This story told a tale of Dee, who’s trying to stay clean. It’s a struggle for her, but she’s trying valiantly to keep herself together. Then her friend from the old days comes into the picture. Let me know if you guys would like to see what happens to Dee following this vignette in the comments below.

Poetry

The poem you came back to the most was, “A Desperate Freedom.” This one is about a child lost to violence. It was written in February before Tamir Rice became headline news. I sometimes wonder if he wouldn’t have been roasted in our media as a “thug” if he’d been six instead of 12. I guess 12 is the new adult. Or so it would seem on some news outlets.

          On Writing

http://penpaperpad.comThe post about writing you read the most was, “Being a Black Writer in a Post-Racism Society.” This basically me asking some questions out loud. Trying to figure out where I stand in this writing world and what I want to say. What should I talk about? And will I be judged for my words? I received some very interesting comments on  my blog and on G+ for this one.

   Video

starr vidThe video that you clicked on the most was, “Meeting an Online Friend IRL” where I met my bloggy bestie Starr from The Insomniac’s Dream for the first time. It’s just weird to me how it didn’t feel weird. I felt like I was visiting a friend, whom I hadn’t seen in years. Not someone I hadn’t actually met face to face.

 

 

 

 

            Guest Post

http://penpaperpad.comThe guest post you guys absolutely loved, was Theodore Webb’s post about dialog called: 5 Things I Learned About Dialog on the Way to the Theater. He’s a writer of poetry and dystopian fiction. And I suggest if you’d like to learn a bit more about writing dialog, check that post out.

That’s it! You’re Top 5 posts of the year. Were you surprised? I definitely was. Let me know down in the comments what you think. And do you want to hear more of Dee’s story? Maybe I’ll do this again next year. Who knows?

Aloha y’all! 

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Playing the race card

http://penpaperpad.com.Where is this alleged race card that people accuse minorities of playing? Is it hidden up my sleeve? Is it in a special deck that only people of color receive in the mail? Do we carry it around in our wallets to flash when we falsely accuse all the kind and benevolent people around us of discriminating against us? Why is it called “a race card” if someone points out discrimination? Why is it in this “post racism” society that pointing out when things have gone awry, the victim is the one who gets the brunt of the scrutiny still? Be ashamed for standing up for yourself, for recognizing when you’ve been wronged. By all means, be still. Be quiet. Don’t make someone else uncomfortable, and your feelings are unimportant. You do not matter. Just. Take. It. 

I’ve just heard of this card so many times, too numerous to count. If someone could send me one, that would be great. The next time I’m in a store and an employee is following me from aisle to aisle-not to offer assistance, just to watch me, I’ll be sure to pull the card. Or when someone makes a racist joke around me, and say that it’s ok because “You’re not really black,” I’ll pull out the card. The next time I’m walking down the sidewalk and I hear a line of cars locking their doors, I’ll pull out this card. The next time someone questions my being a work-ready individual because of the texture of my hair, I’ll pull out this damn card. I wonder how this phrase was invented. As though racism and discrimination is a joke. As though the struggle for equality is amusing.

I’m not laughing.

Aloha y’all

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Being a Black Writer in a Post-Racism Society

I honestly believe racism is not inherent. A person can chose to not be racist. Saying they were raised that way is not an excuse.

I honestly believe racism is not inherent. A person can chose to not be racist. Saying they were raised that way is not an excuse.

First I’d like to clarify, that I truly do not believe we live in a post-racial society. I don’t think that such a thing exists in our time. Maybe a few more generations, but not yet. The Civil Rights movement may seem like it was just a page in history of long ago, but my Mom still remembers being in a segregated school. Which means the people who wanted those schools to remain segregated are still alive, probably had kids and tried to teach them their ways. Isn’t that how racism is passed on?

Remember the quick scrambles to try to change the voting laws for all of these different places to stem the democratic Black vote? Also, I’ve noticed a subtle shift in racism in my general dealings since Obama has been in office. It seems that people are more overt. There’s more hate filled glares than ever before. As though I alone with my nappy hair and cocoa skin elected an official, who looks like me to run this country. Even online I notice more people being comfortable saying very negative things about Blacks, but it’s disguised as discourse against our president. But I digress, and will probably come back to this idea in a future blog.

To give you some background, read this New York Times essay: The Good, Racist People and check out this Youtube video:

These with the addition of other things I’ve been reading, had me thinking about being a Black writer in America. As I was writing the poetry for my collection, “The Shaping of an ‘Angry’ Black Woman,” it took me a while to decide to write about race. I sometimes feel like it’s my obligation as an “intellectual” woman of color to try to educate my readers, friends, etc on being black. As if I somehow have the power to write a guidebook on being an African-American. You know how people are said to be a triple threat: being a singer, dancer and actor? I remember being told I was a triple loser: being Black, a woman and fat. There are no Tony Awards for this and no one thinks this a boon for their career.  So I had to think about these questions as a writer, because being a writer of color is never just as simple as “do your own thing.”

  • How do I deal with race issues?
  • How do I discuss my disgust with the racism and the trappings/ bearings it comes in?
  • If I write fiction, do I always have to write about Black people?
  • Can I write about White people too, or is that less authentic? Though I’m from West Virginia, so only knew so many Black people growing up.
  • If I write about Black issues, race relationships, stories about Black people will my readership go down?
  • Will I be seen as a “typical Black writer?”
  • Do I become a stereotype?
  • However, if I don’t discuss race relations, am I denying a part of myself, my family, my past, my culture? Is that my true authentic self?

The video above talks about issues that were going through my head as I was giving my book its title. I felt a general disgust in always being considered an “angry” black woman. I am more than just that paradigm, even if that’s how an African-American woman of my size and stature is usually shown in media. (Oh yes, and the Aunt Jamima, who loves to cook and always has some gems of wisdom.)  I need to write about anger, sadness, betrayal, happiness, intrigue, etc. I wanted to show that I am a many-faceted woman. Just focusing in on my anger, denies me my humanity. What kind of person is angry ALL the time? Yet I, like anyone else, am justified to feel anger. It doesn’t have to be the only side I show.

Are these issues that writers of other races face? How do you deal with race issues in your writing? Do you avoid them? Tell me more in the comments. 

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