Sunday, the Washington Post ran an essay I wrote about Buy a Book by a Black Author Month. I received some lovely emails in response. Those that took time to be thoughtful in their messages, I thank you. Unfortunately, the response also included some quite despicable comments. I stopped reading them at noon on Sunday. Last time I looked there were over 100. If you left a thoughtful comment and I didn't see it, I apologize. My eyes were blinded by the hatred and ignorance.
I won't try to answer every person who said they don't read black authors because blacks lie, because our culture is misogynist and homophobic, because we write poorly, because we only write about being black, because our books are dull, boring, preachy, whiny, and self-pitying, and, Lord help me, something about O.J. Oh, and the way black authors are promoted is Je$$e Jack$on's fault. (Racists are big on using $ for s's, apparently.)
But I do want to point out one common, strange assumption that most of the commenters seemed to share. They justified their reasons for avoiding black authors with reasons that also apply to books by whites and others. I mean, woman who talked about misogyny and homophobia, you do realize that there are white people who are women-haters, right? I mean, surely you've heard of Rush Limbaugh and his feminazis? And you do realize that maybe one or two or more black books don't demonstrate misogyny and homophobia, that, in fact, some black writers are actually feminists and/or gay themselves? And to the guy who said our books were dull and boring...so if you read a book or 12 by a white author that put you to sleep, you'd start avoiding Stephen King, too? Because that's the logic you're using.
I don't want to give any more energy to the negative. I'm only responding in this way so that those who have questioned why this blog is needed can see a bit of what black authors face. And to make it clear that I do not plan to STFU, as one commenter advised.
I also realize how much I'm preaching to the choir here, but sometimes the voice of the choir is what we need to hear to know that we're not alone in the world.
Merry Christmas, y'all...and thanks for reading and buying books!