I have been trying to find a good jumping point to bring the Occupy Wall Street discussion to the ringShout blog. There have been so many movements over the past weeks that have spiraled out from the initial Occupy Wall Street movement, but it is the recent group, Occupy Writers, that boasts some well known writers, poets and playwrights - Jennifer Egan, Salman Rushdie and Eve Ensler to name a few - that for obvious reasons I find pertinent to ringShout. To see the full list of writers who have signed on you can go to http://occupywriters.com/. Their statement is very simple:
We, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world." Which seeks to show their presence through solidarity and give more visibility to the movement.
Author and journalist, Jeff Sharlet, who started the group, told the Huffington Post, "There are radical writers on the list, but there are also the kind of writers who maybe Bloomberg takes their books with him on a vacation to the beach. We wanted to say 'Look you've been outflanked. The movement draws as much from the people you consider to be your base." Giving the list a cursory glance, I did not immediately find any notable black authors (at least none that I recognized). My stomach did a small flip when I read the name "ZZ" and expected it to be followed by Packer, but instead read the name Claybourne. I have not read this author nor the book that they wrote The Predation Blues, but more power to them. My eyes finally fell on Alice Walker's name, who I most respectfully regard as a type of living ancestor. I was happy to know that she stands in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, but I would like to see more black authors add their names to the list, if they do in fact support OWS in any capacity.
I feel that ringShout, in a way, is doing similar work that Occupy Wall Street is doing, providing a platform of visibility for underrepresented groups (in our case authors) in hopes of promoting discussion, trading ideas and creating a more balanced world - the book world being a smaller but equally vital sphere of society.
1 week ago