Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Race Discussion Paradox

Do we want people to discuss the racial divide in publishing, or don't we?

Author Sara Gran blogged about the fact that there is a notable lack of well-known black authors in the general literary establishment. She went on to question that absence and ask why......why is it that she only hears about other white authors, and very little about those that are black....unless, of course, they're Toni Morrison.

Why?

Wouldn't you say this was a great opportunity to educate her, tell her why? To illustrate the fact that authors who are black are regarded and treated differently by the industry? To show her how authors who are black are only expected to write for, appeal to, and thrive among other black people? You'd think this would be such an opportunity.

But instead, Sara is being chastised and berated for her "ignorance" and her supposed failure to go "looking" for work by black authors. As if they were exotic animals or something, and she should know that a special trip must be planned to the zoo in order to see them.

This is precisely why people (white authors in particular) stay away from this issue. When they speak honestly, some black authors are inclined to focus on, and take offense to, their expressed perspective. What they don't realize is that an unaffected author's perspective can't be expected to be in the same ballpark as an affected author's.

Sara was not rude or insolent or offensive in her post. She asked a question. One that everyone in the industry should be asking and seeking the answer to. I only hope this misplaced chastisement won't discourage her from continuing to engage in the dialogue and the efforts toward a resolution.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Ancient Reader said...

Pontif:

What do you expect? Now you can see a major part of the problem why black authors as a whole, with very few exceptions, make it almost impossible for them to be accepted into the literary general market. They're bursting in the seam with racial emotions

Though many of them are good writers, they're still slavish in mentality, irrational and untamed.

The instant case in point that you've presented, exemplifies the ignorance of your peers. They still don't know what's a proper intelligent response even to an innocuous question.

9/22/2006 7:51 PM  
Blogger Bestselling Author, Pontif. said...

Ancient Reader, I certainly don't expect folks to be so narrow-minded - intelligent folks, I mean. To pick the woman to shreds for asking a question that needs to be asked...I wouldn't have expected that type of response.

I think you're right....we're still very slavish in our mentality, and the sad part is, some very intelligent black folks don't even realize it.

9/27/2006 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Ancient Reader said...

Pontif:

Obviously your post seems to have been taken as a dose of poison. They can't handle this one. Why aren't more folks jumping up and down over this subject?

You've suddenly lost your blog traffic?

This post could solve a lot of the racial problems with blacks themselves but hey, hey! There's hardly any blacks who want to face their own involvement and contribution to the on going retention of racial practice. They're, some of them in the post slavery times, more racist than many white people who had nothing to do with racial troubles of ancestors.

One of the troubling thing today is, whites in general do have some inherited racial attitudes of course. But think of it. They're are affected by their fore-parents racist legacies in much the same way as I've pointed out about how blacks are affected by their fore-parents slavish past as well. So we just can't expect either side to be free of their parental ancestral experience. We should seek rather to create some universal understanding amongst ourselves for a healthier co-existence.

Blacks, generally are apt to criticize whites of being racist while ignoring their own inter-ethnic abuses of others, and their adamant refusal moving toward conduct that will achieve equality with everyone else. Staying ignorant to this fact wont help.

They say integration with whites is not possible and claims that they've tried it. When indeed today, blacks are 95% already integrated in one way or another with whites in many social, political and spiritual life and don't seem to realize it. Just by being plain stupid, it's no wonder blacks are having such hard time getting past racial disrespect and into acceptance of life in general. Too damn dumb, I think.

Well for your peers, (authors) there're planning all kinds of group arrangements just catering to their ethnicity (the black skin/there own). Why can't they put together groups that transcends ethnicity reaching whosoever will? Them black bigots, I tell you.

Oh no, and were you to tell them that they're acting just like ancient slaves grouping together to comfort each other in misery, they'd vehemently deny it and then revolt.

Yes, Pontif. There're not many blacks who have thought themselves past the hurt, hatred and resentment of mostly acts of an ignorant past.

But this too. What if things were the other way around, where it was blacks that enslaved white people, can blacks give us examples of how they would treat whites contrasted with the way blacks are now treated? Interesting.

Still backward?

9/28/2006 10:08 AM  
Blogger Karen Scott said...

Ancient Reader, I couldn't agree more. It takes two to talk, always has, and always will.

3/18/2007 11:11 PM  

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