OPINION: Black Writers Forced To Live In "Ghetto" Of Publishing Industry

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black-booksFrom The Washington Post

Walk through your local chain bookstore and you will not see sections tagged British Literature, White American Literature, Korean Literature, Pakistani Literature and so on. None of these ethnicities are singled out or objectified the way African American writers are.

And while, yes, a vast majority of all writers, regardless of skin color, are struggling to stay afloat, and there are more African American writers being published today than at any other time in history, one must still take note of exactly what is being published.

Mainstream publishing houses contort themselves to acquire books that glorify wanton sex, drugs and crime. This fiction, known as street-lit or hip-hop fiction, most often reinforces the stereotypical trademarks African Americans have fought hard to overcome. And while we are all the descendants of those great literary pioneers who first gave a voice to the African American experience, and one certainly could not exist without the other, somewhere down the line the balance was thrown off and the scales tipped in favor of a genre that glorifies street life and denigrates a cultural institution that took hundreds of years to construct.

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