I am really cranky right now because some dudebro trying to holler at me on my way home ruined my alone/reading time.
I told a grown ass man to google no like a big boy.
That said, my reading right now is actually pretty fine.
I”m reading two books, one horror one noir. I like having a buffet of things to be reading at any one time.
Being that it is a new year I have seen lots of best of and must read book lists around.
I must confess that being that 95% of these lists are made by White people, I kind of cringe/sigh/what have you when I see the usual Black authors. Lots of pain porn by people of color and really I wonder how/why those are the only stories by and about POC (Junot Diaz not withstanding right now) that White audiences seem to ever hold up as good or will say they enjoy.
I’m not doing anybody’s research for them, but come on. There is more to being a person of color than slave narratives and rip your guts out stories of pain.
On a superficial level it is plain lazy reading. It’s very easy to glance at the few authors of color generally taught and agree that X book is of course among the best.
On a deep deep painful level, I do wonder if the people who never seem to find or see any of the more joyful or other plethora of experiences can believe even in a fictional narrative that people of color are complex diverse actual human beings and not just a collection of sassy sayings and teachable moments.
Being that MLK day has just passed and Black history month (or as I lovingly call it The Most Racist Time of the year, sung to the tune of that Christmas song the most wonderful time of the year, try it) is about to start I’m half trying to gird my loins and half trying to work through the thoughts that plague me when Whiteness as a thing is crushing my poor brain.
I do wonder though.
I wonder if outside of a hood/ghetto narrative, can people accept a story?
If the fans of popular fiction and sometimes the authors of popular fiction are to be believed no.
I hate thinking about these things sometimes.
Now I will invoke Mr. Diaz because this quote of his honestly expresses all of it in such a simple and beautiful way because it is just so fucking true:
“Motherfuckers will read a book that’s one third elvish, but put two sentences in spanish and they [white people] think we’re taking over.”
That is everything.
I don’t know what else I was going to say.
Instead, let me say that as shit pants cranky as I get about these things, once I get it off my chest I feel better. Well not better exactly but it doesn’t hurt as much. I feel a little less congested I guess. Sometimes as much as I may want to let the cumulative colorblind racism roll off my back, I just can’t.
However I am not reading anymore of those lists.
I will continue giving major side eye to people who say/write things I find questionable.
I will read more good things.
I will try to take a deep breath and remind myself that sometimes shit is just gonna be fucked up and it’s okay for me to feel fucked up about it and talk about it.
Now I have logged my first rejection of the year. I’m going to get ready to get that story back out into the world. I did something with the tense that could be a problem for folks who are sticklers about how that is supposed to work. I will laugh at myself because the story is kind of a little bit of a pain porn Black folks story, but about something that doesn’t get talked about enough in Black folks circles.
According to my spreadsheet that was #60 and that means just 40 more before I post the whole list.
OH I entered my first contest (credible one) in forever. Just a flash thing.
I made an optometrist appointment and I am so excited. I have very very bad vision that is getting worse as I get older and I look forward to being able to work without a headache.
Tomorrow I’m going to try and remember to review J. Bradley. And I want to talk about my issues getting my edited by my friend Sarah essays reworked.
Okay I”m calm now. I’m going to go lay my fat ass in the tub, think about the body image (WITH bonus terrifying pictures of my fatness) essay and what I want to do with it and read.