Black Writers Have Almost No Literary Support Groups (Podcast)

Whether you are a writer who’s already on your 3rd or 4th novel or a novice who’s still getting their feet wet in the big wide world of literature, it’s vital to your overall growth and evolution as a writer, on both the artistic and business side of literary composition, to find and interact with supportive groups consisting of other like-talented individuals.
In my early writing years, I had the chance to be a part of several writing groups, and I noticed there were a lack of black writers in attendance at most of their meetings.  Not only that, I learned there was a correlation, in regards to subject matter and writing style, regarding how many black writers were or weren’t in attendance.
When I attended slam poetry and spoken word get-together-s, though, there were droves of black literary artists but very few in others, like the ones the YA writing group I was in would host.
Long story short, I begin to wonder if black writers felt their work wouldn’t be respected and honored if they wrote a certain way and about certain topics, outside of the stereotypical fashion of subject matter and techniques of how black writers are supposed to write and what they’re supposed to write about (https://goo.gl/QMo6bt), and I begin to wonder if that is why they weren’t in attendance.
I also began to wonder if they weren’t being invited, because the leaders of these groups didn’t feel that what these black wordsmiths in our community were writing about was considered “real” literary art to them.  I noticed that the type of writing crowd I saw at the spoken word events was not the type to attend other types of groups I was a part of, and vice versa.
So, I started my own writing group to give writers of every kind, whatever their style or preference of subject matter was, an environment to facilitate their own unique growth in the artistry.
But, my main focus with this group is to provide black writers with a supportive writing family–one that encourages them to further explore the different styles and techniques of expression of the literary universe, which they, as an individual artist, feel the natural urge and preference to express.
In addition, the focus of W.R.T. is to promote our black literary forefathers and foremothers, which were/are largely not mentioned or taught about in the school system, and to remind black writers that we are the thinkers, the philosophers, the intellectuals, the documenters, and the brilliant wordsmiths of America history, too.  Because, at the meetings in the groups I was formerly a part of, this was the type of praise and validation I heard white people extending to each other.
But, rarely are black writers told we are at the same level of sophistication, in regards to the quality of our English composition, when such a notion couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Thank you to the wonderfully talented Nai Brown (https://goo.gl/YZy7VU) for having this much-needed discussion with me.
THIS AUDIO WAS RECORDED AT A “WORDSMITHS & READERS OF TARRANT” MEETING–A LOCAL WRITING GROUP THAT I LEAD. 
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All Entries, All Things Literary, Pieces of Me, Poethnic Justice

3 Comments

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  1. This sorely needs to change

    Like

    • It is really sad. I know of a few black writing groups that are on social media and everything, but, locally, it’s incredibly difficult to find a group that isn’t slam poetry, spoken word, or competition based. Shoot, I had to start my own just to get some type of literary support group. Hopefully, we black people writers can start a trend like that, nationally, where we encourage more black people to start book clubs and writing groups. We’ve got to get more people in the black community reading, writing, and critically thinking. mos def.

      One of the things I like about your style of poetry is that you speak extensively on nature. I don’t see too many black writers touch on the topic very often.

      I appreciate your feedback, writing fam.

      One Love,
      The Stormy Poet

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes it is brother, we must do better and your right about slam poetry and spoken word being the only ones really out there if any at all. Starting your own was a good idea, I may have to give that some thought myself especially locally. Our community isn’t known for reading, writing, and critical thinking, and this has to change asap. Appreciate that, nature is highly important and its all around us all the time.

        One love,
        Writings By MCM

        Liked by 1 person

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