Read the comments of fellow author Brandon Massey in the 12/6 Wall Street Journal on the travails of being a black writer when book stores "segregate" any and everything--cookbooks, "street lit" crap, etc--alongside classics from Hughes, Hurston, Wedeman and Angelou--in the "black" section.
Yours truly is in Brandon's Dark Dreams III, coming in April 07; you can check out our stories in DD I and II (Voices from the Other Side) in any bookstore (actually, not in the black section) or on amazon.com.
I think there are a lot of ghetto writers and ghetto readers who are grateful for African American sections and this type of segregation. If it wasn't for that segregation these writers would not have an audience. I do not think that's a positive thing.
The article covers book stores and not the publishing industry in general. The industry is the problem, not necessarily the retail stores or websites.
Why does the tone of these comments strike me as terribly elitist?
It is a very interesting article. My brother in law actually had the paper version.
For me a "black" section makes it easier to find what I want. However, I think you can separate out classics and other genres and leave the black section to "Street Fiction and religious themes" and send the other genres like yours, horror, science fiction and non fiction to those particular sections.
There's nothing wrong with meeting a niche market, but at the same time perhaps the last comment is right and certain genres should be found in general genre listing. You don't put filet in the hamburger section!
I read different genres (including science fiction/Octavia Butler, and Mr. Massey's books) and I don't need anyone to guide me to do anything to find them. I think you should treat readers as adults. OK that also means you shouldn't put all of the African American books in one place, so I hope I didn't sound too harsh in my comments when I said the other comments sound elitist.
Christopher, I just saw this post, and wondered about the reference to a Black author with the last name "Wedeman." Is or was there such a person? I know of John Edgar Wideman, but I have never heard of a "Wedeman" before. Could you clarify, please?
Hey, just want to say hi. I'm new here.
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