Not gonna lie, we as Americans can have a very fleeting attention span. As one cause comes to the forefront, some of us raise our voices and picket signs in protest. There’s a few minutes of shine and then some other injustice takes center stage. Is it more out fault as a people? Or is it the media?
I haven’t a clue.
Here’s the deal folks. Racism is here to stay. It never left, and I hate it when people act like we were all one people at some indeterminate point in the past. When did that happen? And I missed it? Someone give me the date and time. As a black woman, I’m not just talking about my race either. I’m talking all POC.
Black people don’t corner the market ya’ll.
A hefty part of racism is the institutionalized bullshit that happens. For example, all the little behind the scenes groups that popped up to keep Black Panther down. Well, I don’t know if that’s a good example but I’m gonna use it. Anyway, but damn, the movie went on to be one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. I still read comments that all the good reviews paved the way and only black people have seen it. Get real even if it was praised by critics viewers would have used word of mouth to lambaste BP if it was awful. The sales would have gone down dramatically. So this movie just like others in the past disprove the notion that movies starring black stars don’t put asses in the seats.
The same goes for the publishing world. I’m concentrating on the lesfic publishing world for this particular blog. Let me show you something that many of us have already seen. If not check it out here The Ripped Bodice on Racial Diversity
Study it and study it good. It’s a goddamn travesty. Riptide was a clusterfuck of its own making so I’m not going to even get into that. But, I have to say that this study and Riptide’s mess spawned some interesting stuff. This blog right here POC Authors of Queer Romance is why I’m writing this. There are ideas similar in the publishing world that black, and various shades of brown on the cover, in the pages, and behind them doesn’t sell.
I’m black. I write mostly what I know. I have black main characters in interracial romances and I am in one too. That’s what I know. I have black women on the cover which Ylva has never balked at. Within the lesfic world, I am a best selling author. I’m no Black Panther for sure, but I know I’m not the only one. I can’t be.
As a writer who is actively writing, I’m still a member of many online groups on FB and such for marketing purposes, for fun, etc. It’s not all that often that authors of color are mentioned. Pay attention right here I SAID NOT OFTEN not NEVER. I think the POC Queer Romance Authors are on to something. There should active reading lists added to or started. There should be monthly showcases with authors of color to put us in the spotlight that seems to shine our way inconsistently. Writers help promote other writers, right? Or rather they should.
Now stop before you mouth off about preferential treatment. There has to be equal treatment to make it preferential, and as we all know we’re not anywhere near equal. Let’s face facts. To add to that, I got in a twitter war when the Ripped Bodice study first came out. There were people trying for lack of a better word, whitesplain, away the dismal numbers from Bold Stroke Books and the like by stating that maybe there were no quality manuscripts submitted. I find that hard to believe. It’s almost like saying that POC can’t write up to publishing standards or maybe they don’t write stories that publishers think will appeal to the masses.
I don’t think this is something that we can move on from and feel satisfied with because some people said a few strong words that were backed up by many. Talk is talk ya’ll. Don’t just blow smoke about how things need to change when the issue pops up. Don’t just say you agree. Get up off your ass and do something about it. I wanna do my part. I would be more than happy to offer my blog to promote others. Hell, take it over for a day…a week if that helps. I’d be happy to RT the shit out of a new release and just to bring awareness. I’d be happy to repost on FB. I’d be happy to do a review or two when ever I get the chance to actually read. So feel free to Tweet, FB, email, or whatever me.
What are you gonna do?