Being the change and all that jazz…

I’ve thought long and hard over the years about how I would change those elements of the world that most distressed me. I always come back to the same conclusion – teaching and writing, my two loves. I think that both of these sectors breed activism – or at least they have a history of engendering activist thought. Many of the Black women who have influenced me have done so via the written word or their position at the forefront of classes I have taken. I think about all of the Black women professors I have had that have encouraged me to think more critically about the world I live in, and to engage the history that has created it. I think about authors like LA Banks who, before she was taken too soon, created fantasy lands in her novels which made it possible for Black women to be seen as heroines and saviors. This last bit is especially important to me because I think that there should be and needs to be a greater POC presence in literature as a whole. As an avid and voracious reader, I spend a lot of time reading novels that present narratives that cater to White audiences. And whether this is unconscious or conscious is irrelevant because the end result is the same. Literature is one of the few spaces where we can realistically create worlds where people can literally do anything – yet somehow POC always seem to disappear. I believe it was Toni Morrison who once said that she writes the books that she wanted to read. I want to do the same. And I hope that one day, as a writer or as a professor, I can encourage other young Black men and women to not only see the problems that lie before them as Black people and as gendered beings, but forcibly change those problems. Rather than complain about the fact that there aren’t enough POC in the books that I like to read, I need to take the time to create books that cater to that need. While I’m doing that, I plan to spend my time exposing readers to stories of that sort which already exist. 

We’ll see how it goes. 


~ by Kristen on April 20, 2013.

3 Responses to “Being the change and all that jazz…”

  1. I am also a voracious reader and an avid fan of POC-oriented literature, yet it’s true there are so few books out there and publishers who will publish them! I really admire and encourage your dreams posted here and your motivations for engaging them, sometimes it’s just so easy to complain about a problem and yet not do anything to change it.

    I really wish you the best of luck !

    Plus, if you ever become well-known, I could say I once knew you 🙂

  2. Btw, I realized I never asked and I hope this isn’t a really weird question or anything, but I really liked what you had to say during this semester here and on the class forums. Do you happen to have a tumblr or blog?

    • I used to, but I was spending way too much time on tumblr. I had to deactivate it. It started off great, and it exposed me to a lot of things – but it ate up too much time, and it became a really unfriendly environment really quickly. And my blog…wow. I haven’t written on that thing in well over a years. I keep meaning to go back to it, but school just takes up so much time. Feel free to shoot me an email and we can exchange numbers or something if you’d like to keep in touch 🙂

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