Toni Morrison died last summer. I was heartbroken. I even panicked. Who would be left from our literary history? I looked around and didn't see a Literary Journal that preserved that legacy. Yet, I found the author Mary Monroe. I happily discovered Sonia Sanchez (again) in Ms. Morrison's own documentary, All The Pieces That I Am and my love affair with the life and work of Alice Walker continues.
Since Phyllis Wheatley, we have a strong legacy of female voices that I have been able to give a nod to and gain strength from. Yet hardly would I like to see their life stories distorted and changed for popular historical consumption or their canons lost to younger writers who will undoubtedly follow. While I cannot name every author in this blog - forgive me Terri McMillan, for it is her work that helped me find the ability to write, according to style, my novel Ring Envy.
I've found hope that a few African American Literary Journals are cropping up. I'm thrilled that Midnight & Indigo is offering a platform for our voices. Kudos! May there be many more. We can never give up our voice - especially in printed form - for it is the blueprint of our past and a light for the future.
As I write this, I am well aware of a shift in consciousness within our industry (entertainment) because of the death and murder of George Floyd. Never had I seen tweets about the importance of our writers - we have a whole genre of YA! Never have i seen the public stand of streaming and cable networks that Black Lives Matter and Together We Stand with our black employees - thank you Netflix for being the first. I almost cried, because personally I know the significance.
I hope that no other lives are needlessly taken away from our world. Yet, I know that King Solomon's words hold true. 'Man dominates man to his injury.' Yet man was made to be free to pursue life and to do so without the fear of evil.
I still choose to use my pen and document our times, interview our greats and preserve their legacies by doing so. In doing this, I stand with my brothers and sisters around the globe who know that the essence of life is more than mere existence but how our lives touch eachother. Our female writers and our male counterparts must never be forgotten. The everyday men and women who live their lives in anonymity and are taken for granted as dispensable can never be forgotten. We use our voice to give them life still. We remember.