While checking Twitter the other day, I noticed that the number 2 trending topic was “things black girls do.” I don't know how to begin to describe the shock and disgust at some of the things people had to say about how they perceived black girls. It was as if every negative stereotype I've ever heard was resurrected and re-tweeted.
My first reaction was to try to counteract the negativity with positive tweets of my own. But let's face it: there's no way that one person could out tweet millions. So I've decided to dedicate this blog post to celebrating something positive that black writers do.
In my endless quest to find encouragement through literature, I recently stumbled upon a book called I'm Every Woman: Remixed Stories of Marriage, Motherhood, and Work byLonnae O'neal Parker. By sharing personal stories and lessons she learned as a mother, a black woman and a writer, Parker's words left me feeling as if she really is every woman and that I could be too. In a society where women often assume many different roles, it can be very overwhelming. Kudos to Parker for using her words to give inspiration.
Founded in 2007 by a group of writers, editors and booksellers,
ringShout: A Place for Black Literature
is dedicated to recognizing, reclaiming and celebrating
excellence in contemporary literary fiction and nonfiction
by black writers in the United States.
Why the name ringShout?
One of the first dances created by
Africans brought to America as slaves
in the 1700s, the ring shout was a
sacred circle dance of salvation that enabled
a community to find perserverance,
provided solace and rejuvenation,
and sheltered many early nuances of
Africanist culture and practice. (Adapted from Thea Nerissa Barnes,
The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora Dictionary 2005-2006)
We hope that our ringShout can be the same for serious, skilled black writers creating ambitious fiction. We also want to assert our centrality to all facets of the American experience, literary and otherwise.