This post is dedicated to the only bell that will keep ringing, bell hooks (1952-2021)
Note to every Black writer whom will come across this space:
Whether you blog, vlog, write essays, op-eds, poetry, books, fiction or non-fiction, you matter. You are needed, necessary, and valuable.
I have been a writer since I was 8. I know this now, and embrace that. With that part, with this power, I have been determined to mine out the fullness of this talent. Everyday I work this talent, to silence the tape of my own father whom told his oldest daughter: You can’t eat with an English degree. You don’t need to go to school to be a writer.”
Oh, how little did he know!
In the 24 summers that I have been without him, what he failed to realize and affirm is that I am doing the very thing that had my gotten my ancestors murdered: reading and writing. I do both well, by the way. It was last year when the gravity of being a Black woman writer (Black, woman, writer–3 identities houses in one person!) became real to me.
I am doing the very thing that got my people lynched. Had schools burned and teachers murdered. I mean the patron saint of the space is as Black woman whom was a teacher turned journalist! I have accepted the weight that comes along with being this three-fold being. Too many people think that being a writer is this slick, sexy, clean thing to be–oh, it can be! Trust me!
However, there is a gravity that comes being a Black writer. Now, Mother Morrison said that she didn’t want to be seen just as a Black writer. I agree with her! Don’t just label me as a ‘Black writer’. I am writer who happens to be Black! Now, with that said, there is still a weight that comes with this level of examination.
For the sake of a culture: I am needed.
For the sake of storytelling: I am necessary.
For wisdom and its pursuit: I am looked to.
For the protection of a generation: I am to record.
For preservation of freedom: I am to write to.