You would think I haven’t had much to say. And you would be wrong. The problem is moreso that there hasn’t been a brain-to-blog plug-in yet that works. Get on that, nerds.
Okay, but I’m not gonna try to remember all the things I thought to tell you over the past month so we’ll just do the most important stuff. Starting here:
First ribs of the season. If we facebook, you’ve already seen this but I mean… can you ever see this picture too much? Montreal does this thing where she waits until you’re pretty sure you cannot handle cold any more and then she keeps it cold for about three months longer and then when it lifts, you have never loved a city so much. She’s a cunning little minx.
And then Mother’s Day happened, which was awesome and I’ll post a picture at the end because there’s this one other thing that got in my craw (assuming that’s how you spell that) and I want to end on a high note.
So, pre-picture honest time: the worst thing you can do during a campaign about needing diversity in literature is be the guy/gal who – blinded by the privilege of having a voice (see Orange Is The New Black for more examples) – is completely ignorant to the fact that a problem which involves an overrepresentation of white writers is not also going to be solved by white writers writing about diverse people.
Like…why would that be your go-to plan A?
Don’t be the person who has to interrupt to say diversity isn’t just what I’m writing about either. (Have you noticed this??) The “what about ___” response? To which I always answer: one story isn’t enough. MY story isn’t enough. Why would it be expected that ALL the diversity need be in one place? The imperialism is staggering. We this way, you that way = stop it. There’s room in here, guys. You just might have to give up some of yours.
And where I could link to the individuals who have tweeted something that made me shake my head, I’m just gonna say: it happens or I wouldn’t be mentioning it. Instead of trying to justify or explain or point out that you don’t do that – as though I’m incapable of appreciating that not all people of a demographic are the same (hold for indignant snort at all the ironies) – maybe go further out of your way to not just tweet the real solution, but to also support diverse authors. Support presses dedicated to supporting diversity. And if you’re in doubt, listen to what #diversityisnot. Ask questions. Just make sure you respect the reality enough to not make your questions about you. Don’t ask immediately whether you should write diversity, don’t ask how you should go about it, don’t interrupt to tell us that you did. You are not being called upon to save the day. The whole point of this is every story isn’t yours. It’s true of everyone else and we survive. You’ll be fine.
Now this is not a link round-up because we all have fingers and search engines and book stores and seriously, feed yourself or you’ll starve. Here instead is a place to start supporting.
And you know what, understand diversity isn’t the same as multiculturalism. I think I may have mentioned this before. My story is not safely segregated from the mainstream and it won’t make you feel enlightened and worldly to read it. It’s not about the past (not the one you’re thinking of anyway) or some far away place of my own developing world. It’s about a black girl, right now, in the same space who has the right to lead the story.