Maybe I’ll just make this my blog from now on. I’m pulling out quotes here but, y’all, read the whole damn shebangs if you can because the whole things are excellent and important.
I fell in love with books, and fantasy was one of my favorite genres. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized I had never seen a character who looked like me in any of the fantasy novels I had read. That’s why I wrote Silver Phoenix.
It was incredibly disheartening to be told by the first professional editor I’d met as a budding writer: Don’t bother. No one wants this.
“On The Visibly Marginalized” by Justina Ireland
I had two panels at AWP. After each one people of color came up to me and said “I’m so glad you’re on this panel. I didn’t know if I could actually get published. Now I know I can do it. Thanks.” And…I died a little inside. Because these folks hadn’t read my books. They have no idea how good or bad of a writer I am.
But my skin color, that was validating.
I’ve been thinking about racial representation. A lot. A lotta lot. Because we talk about diversity and we talk about the importance of those hidden marginalizations also being talked about (and Yes! They are important) but at the same time it takes the focus off of what is happening in the diversity discussion to some degree.
Namely: people would rather talk about ANYTHING but race and what race and racism means in the context of publishing.
“Letters to Best American Poetry” by Craig Santos Perez
Dear Sherman Alexie,
I am disappointed in you. You spent so much time creating inane editorial rules that you forgot the most important rule of being an editor of color:
Do Not Allow Acts of Literary Racism to Occur on Your Watch.
“The Occidental Other” by Benjanun Sriduankaew
I don’t like to be referred to as ‘the Other’. I dislike it intensely, with a real passion. I know the function this term serves – ‘writing the Other’ urges the privileged to take some care when writing those of color, those queer or non-binary or trans, those disabled or neurodiverse – but though it’s a convenient shorthand, it also centralizes the assumed default: white, cis, het, western.