The problem with white writers writing black stories • EBONY

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There has been an influx of white writers writing black characters. The trend being that agents and publishers are no longer interested in writing that does not reflect the cultural diversity of our society; thus, white writers slap black names on white characters without doing their due diligence, as well as appropriating and monetizing black culture just to stay relevant.

I listened to a British author’s rant for 15 minutes about who was advising her not to write black characters. “It’s infuriating,” she said. When I told her black writers should write The crown, she said, “Oh no, you can’t do that. Blacks cannot write about the queen.

Whites have been writing black characters for years:

American gangster, Amistad, 42, black panther, bird, cool races, Juwanna Mann (a.k.a Black Tootsie), The Help, Straight Outta Compton, Ray, The Blind Side, Get On Up, Hidden Figures (screenwriters), Ali, The Hurricane, The People vs. OJ, The Jacksons, Soul, Basquiat, Shaka Zulu, Judas & The Black Messiah.

We haven’t finished:

Green Book, Bad Boys 1, 2 and 3, Nina, Akeelah & the Bee, Glory, Coming To America, The Butler, Bessie, Space Jam 1 & 2, Malcolm & Marie, Watchman, Cry Freedom, The Color Purple (screenwriters), Hotel Rwanda, Hattie McDaniel biopic.

Do black actors like white writers to put words in their mouths? Isn’t that a puppet? Or are black audiences, actors, and producers simply conditioned to have their stories told by white counterparts, like Pavlov’s dog? This is how you get a story about Steven Biko, with Kevin Kline. To date, there hasn’t been a Disney movie written by someone black. What does this teach our children?

Why do the guards systematically prevent black writers from telling their stories? For too long books and movies have told black people to face injustice with love and forgiveness (Help, Green Book, Mandela). Yet when white people face the same injustice, books and movies tell them to stand up and fight (Brave Heart, Gladiator, The revenge of a blonde). What are the real messages Hollywood is sending?

Television is no different. Of The Jeffersons To The Cosby Show To The prince of Bel-Air To Thread To Lovecraft Country—all were written and created by white writers. How authentic can that be? HBO Lovecraft Country goes so far as to try to hide the fact that they are basing the TV show on a white man’s (Matt Ruff) vision of another racist white man’s novel (HP Lovecraft) – but if they slap a female director black, it will all disappear, with oppressive literature disguised as science fiction.

I was adamantly disgusted by the Eurocentric portrayal of blacks in futuristic sagas and fantasy books. Yes Blacks are portrayed at all, they have no arcs, and only serve as comic elements or glorified props to help advance the white hero’s journey. Where is the nuanced complexity of the black characters?

Blacks finally wake up and say, “Enough! And white writers are outraged. How dare you tell us that we can no longer write black characters. We’ve been writing black people for centuries. If white writers can write about slavery, we can write about the holocaust, right? Yet you don’t see black people writing the Holocaust, Star Wars, The Queen, the war sagas, the period plays, the Elvis biopic or anything based on a true story by a white author. . Why are black people systematically prevented from writing these stories?

Name a predominantly Caucasian movie written by a black person. I’ll wait. While you google, let’s take a look at the disproportionate language used to describe slave-related Holocaust narratives.

See also

Slaves = Hostages Mistresses = Rape victims

Slave owners = human traffickers Supervisors = Torturers

Plantations = death camps Middle Passage = Genocide

American dirt is a book that takes advantage of this same controversy. A Mexican immigration novel written by an author who claimed to be white in 2015 but has since changed her mind (claiming she now has a Puerto Rican grandmother) to sell books. And Oprah promotes and endorses the book by saying, “It woke me up, and I think anyone who reads this book is actually going to be immersed in the experience of what it means to be a migrant on the run for freedom. . ” This view was widely viewed as being overbearing, simplistic, and misinformed.

Now, there is nothing wrong with non-Mexicans or non-Blacks writing about the plight of Blacks or Mexicans. What’s wrong is erasing genuine voices to sell inaccurate cultural appropriation to millions of people.

An account is happening. Blacks speak out. And yes, surprisingly, this article was written by a black author.


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