Tuesday, August 27, 2013

About being a writer. About being.

Speaking to a fellow writer online got this reply from me (this version you read is longer and elaborate) and also to think on another NEW post.

One of the questions, and this comes up in many media-related questions, is why we don't seem to know people of color and/or women in varying industries? My reply to this, both off and online, is by what I and others have experienced. I am a girl, therefore, I don't read comics, much less, the superhero variety. I was bullied by other girls for this and shunned by the boys, who thought I was a mutant! [Extra points to those that got the analogy and reference here]

There are also not enough diversity in the media, and before I go into one HUGE rant on this and waste my time and yours, the question followed that poets of color are not often acknowledged, or even known by the general populace (both majority and minorities).

I make it a point to write down people featured on documentaries: this is how I learned which books of theirs to get, what films they created, or what modern works they influenced. 

Do you know, or, have heard of Rita Dove and/or Natasha Trethewey? No?

I gave Ms. Trethewey's poetry collection to friends and family in the U.S. and Jamaica as Christmas gifts! My older sister was especially thrilled as she tries to keep up with the poet laureates.

I think that in my experience (did read Nikki Giovanni and Ruby Dee's poetry anthology "Glowchild" as a child, and in my preteens, the Harlem Ren men and women), I do love poetry, and, because of culture, was spoon-fed it. Yet, as years went by, I began to shy away from the genre in its modernity because it grew incensed, enraged, as well as contrary to my own experiences and those close to me.

I'm glad that poetry is becoming diverse in tone again, and not just in one shade, or by one emotional dial.

I am a writer and I happen to be Black (unfortunately, I don't agree with this one-size-fits-all race stuff, and especially not on registrations forms, but it's all we have for now, so I must use it), but I too have been asked why I write what I write (furry, spec fic, fables, myth).

My prose has been called into question. Especially in high school when an English teacher accused me of plagiarism (that was a single incident, other English teachers, to their credit, were aware of my writing skills before I was).
There was another teacher that asked why I knew so much (something I noticed she didn't say to 'lighter' classmates). This same teacher also made many racially-charged statements throughout the term.
So many, in fact, that I and a classmate went to the principal to report her! I won't get you started on the Math teacher. That is for another post.

Sad, sad indeed that we have come such a long way, yet not long enough.

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