Monday Musings: Reading Reviews of Black Narratives by Non-Black Readers Send Me Into a Tailspin

Hey, fam! I’m still not ready to get back to my regularly scheduled blogging, but I had to pop in and just vent for a paragraph. Or two…

I realized that in this monumental push for “diversity” and “inclusion”, which is great, don’t get me wrong, authors also expose themselves to the ugly side of that, which is opening the portal to troll-ish and/or ignorant reviews and commentary. I can’t decipher between the two at this point because they both now look the same to me. Reading some of these reviews raise my blood pressure to literally dizzying heights, and my woo saaaa lever does nothing to counter it.

Whenever I see “Black” anything in the title of the review, specifically “black” being used condescendingly, my Spidey senses go into overdrive. Then when I start actually reading the review, I go into a Hulk-like transformation. Certain cultural nuances aside, WTF does the character being being black have to do with your enjoyment or being able to “relate”? I’ve been reading “non-black” fiction since I learned to read, and not once did I walk away thinking, “I don’t get it…” Again, cultural nuances aside…

Whenever I see a work of fiction by a black author or other AOC (author of color), for that matter, gain some national attention, I automatically flock to the reviews and check out the two- and one-stars. Yep… as I suspected, the color of the characters is littered throughout. “I couldn’t relate or understand” is mentioned ad nauseum. And my question is always, “Well, did you try to gain some understanding before you let your fragile feelings get the best of you?” I thought reading for understanding was just as important as reading for pleasure or necessity. And to my fellow poc, I’m talking to you too because the sword cuts both ways.

I’ma stop here because I could go on, but then I’d be repeating myself. I’ll holla at y’all, hopefully, next week when my craziness has reached a manageable pace. Peaceeeeeeeeeee…

Advertisements