On Saturday, February 18th, I participated in a book reading event. It was a very broad discussion about my book and using creative skills to advance the struggle for liberation and justice. I talked extensively about the subtle methods in which racism functions within this society and how my book tackles racism and sexism in that unconscious fashion. The point is that good literature finds a way to tackle those subjects and educate the reader on how those things function within this society and what our interaction is with those issues. For example, I've had several women who have read the book talk about how in reading about Ashley they have been forced to see the similiarities and realize the dysfunction in their own lives. They have also expressed how they also experience an understnding about how they fit within this racist/sexist society. To me, this is the absolute power of the written word and the ability to tell a story. It is also the power of fiction as opposed to non-fiction. I have written countless articles about racism and sexism and the same people read it and then it dies. WIth fiction, I'm reaching an audience far wider than my non-fiction activist audience. I'm telling the story of racism and sexism through the eyes of a young White woman and people are reading it who never read anything about racism and sexism. That's our moment to reach those people and raise their consciousness. I plan on making my voice heard for years to come and broadening my audience. Tht pen is my sword (at least one of them)!
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