This is a fascinating read that I believe many authors need to keep in mind as we begin to explore what diversity is, how it is defined differently by others and what it means to have diversity in writing. I don’t speak in AAVE. I have natural hair, but I adorn it with soft things that make me less “militant looking” as I’ve been told natural hair is. I have an advanced degree. I have an accomplished history however small it may bel and young I am. By being me I meet every standard of respectability. My black characters often, but not always do the same…and yet even then in workshops things get hairy. I have to explain who isn’t white. I have to explain that not every person of color talks in AAVE, whil writers like the one who wrote this article are told to drop it. We are told to be the perfectly digestible portion of blackness for mainstream, read white America. It is crushing. It is tiring. But I will never stop challenging it. You may say these things don’t matter. That all of us writers and black folk exaggerate, but we’re telling you what we go through. We’re telling you the truth. If you assume we are liars for disagreeing, for being tense, for reacting…then you are most likely part of the problem.
I spotted thisarticle “You can’t do that! Stories have to be about on tumblr a week or so ago and have been ruminating about it. No seriously go read it. ”
I also highly recommend watching the attached video but you can do that when you’re done here.
Now let me tell you a story about being an early and immediately voracious reader.
As a very young kid I went from reading Dick and Jane to reading novels. Almost as soon as I grasped the how of reading I was off to the races. The first novel I read was Charlotte’s Web. I read it first at home in the summer before Kindergarten and then once the school found out I could really read I spent my lunches that year reading the book out loud to my principal. Who, as I…
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