It’s been a week since I “went public” with my blog and I want to follow up on my “Why So Shy” post, where I explained how uncomfortable it felt to put this out there, but concluded with my understanding that racism was more important that my discomfort.
Well it’s funny, because I don’t feel shy anymore.
Ooooo this was a goodie! A proper page turning, couldn’t put it down, thriller!
The truth is, I wouldn’t have read anything by Rachel Edwards before I recently committed to a year of reading books written only by authors of colour. The reason is simply because I’d never heard of her. (Which is a tragedy, by the way, because she’s awesome.) It makes me think, even as an English graduate and dedicated bookworm…….how many Black, British authors do I know? How many can I name off the top of my head? How many did I study at school or university? I’m ashamed of myself for this, not least because I didn’t even notice the white centrism in my own reading.
The second read for my ‘Are You Read-Y for This’ book club, chosen by an inspirational friend and colleague, was Dominicana, by Angie Cruz. Thank goodness for book club, because I’m ashamed to say I would never have known about it otherwise.
I have never read this author before – but I suspect I would have picked it off a shelf if I’d seen it, purely because the woman on the front cover looks like me. (I’m a narcissist, clearly.)
When I started reading and learning more about racial inequalities and the issues that need to be addressed across society, I purposely started reading more novels and non-fiction books by Black authors. I committed to a Summer of authors of colour. That soon extended to a year because I’m getting so much out of it. Maybe I’ll never stop!