I’m doing some reading of mags I like, catching up with some I’d like to submit to and I’m running into an area of discomfort.
I find myself having moments where double consciousness weighs heavy on me. I read their stories then I read mine.
Some of these magazines don’t have, a sense of diversity. The stories (presumably) are written by nice White people about other nice white people and here I am.
These moments I have a feeling of mounting anxiety. Will my story be read as something it’s not? Will I be taken to be speaking for all us poor brown people? Will this story be read and someone think, “oh that’s nice there’s a Black father in this” even if they don’t say it?
Will the editor tell me gently (yes this has happened) that the story is a beautiful wonderful thing that their readers just won’t get because it’s esoteric (read at the time as way too Afrocentric, two editors had no idea what I was talking about in the story until they googled it)?
Will I be once again put in the place of feeling uncomfortable fielding enthusiastic and ultimately exhausting Black Folks Questions?
I’m still not super comfortable talking about these things.
Given that this isn’t my first rodeo and these are questions and things I’ve been feeling for so much of my life on some level I do expect to have them. Most of the time I’m okay to roll with it, experience it and keep on stepping.
Today I’m having a little bit of a hard time remembering that while some people might expect me to say something for or on the behalf of Black Folks everywhere, the fact is there has been no Black Folks vote to make me the Dowager Empress of Black Folks and Keeper of all the words.
I’m honestly just having a hard time with it today. Talking about it helps I suppose.
I’m going to have some tea and food. Then I’m going to make two more submissions.
I’m going to remind myself that I’m only the Dowager Empress of Anything in my own little universe and that’s okay too.
Now back to work.