Earlier this week, I saw this tweet
To which I responded
Which led to the creation of this video.
I said in the video that I have more to say, and I do. Also, I’ve found my glasses since then.
Here are some thoughts I had about this executive’s comment.
- This executive must think that Black people do not possess the economic capital to buy books, therefore they don’t read books. Okay, so buying and reading are not synonymous. I don’t buy a lot of books anymore, but I still read a ton of books. There’s an assumption about both whether or not Black people have money and about how we spend our money. Ah, generalizations.
- Stories about Black people aren’t worth telling because everyone only wants to read about White people. I mean, everyone knows that characters in books are automatically visualized as white unless otherwise stated anyway.
- I’m sorry, my guy, but White girls are not the center of the universe. Other people read YA too. I understand that there are systemic structures in place that make folx think that White girls are the end-all-bees-knees and such, but that system was created by White men as a means to maintain power. So, no true.
- Speaking of systems created by White men to maintain power, can we talk about history for a second? It might be that this statement has some basis in the Negro Act of 1740 in South Carolina or any of the other codes from Missouri, Georgia, Virginia, or Alabama that prohibited Black slaves (or in some cases, freed men) to read and/or write. Because if they can’t read, then White men maintain their power as the Black slave is dependent upon their master. So – don’t publish stories about Black people so Black people will continue not to read and he’ll be able to maintain his position of power. We could also get into Carter G. Woodson and The Mis-education of the Negro here, and talk about indoctrination in schooling, which is related, but I won’t.
I can’t even imagine the mental gymnastics and internalized White supremacy it took for that person to fix their mouth to make such a statement.
I’ve been fantasizing of pulling together a cadre of Black readers, storming this unnamed person’s office and going, “So, you were saying…?”
I’ve been in meetings all day (yes, on a Saturday), so that’s all I’ve got. What else does this statement bring up for you?