I’m writing a book. A kind of ambitious one,
that many will say I shouldn’t.
Come along with me as I journal this process…researching the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike, exploring the social justice and
civil rights issues of the time, and wrestling with the controversiality (and difficulty!) of writing outside my race.
I am white. All my life I’ve been white and so have lived my life seeing the world and learning about its history and how things work – how society works – in a mostly white environment, through the lenses of my blue eyes. While I have always considered myself to be open-minded and anti-racist, I’ve recently begun to discover just how much of my worldview has been naturally limited and sheltered (manipulated, even) by my environment and life experiences. My blue eyes are beginning to see more clearly.
And it started with the seed of an idea for a story: when their grandmother and sole caretaker dies, two young black Mississippi boys must travel to Memphis to find the father who abandoned them years before. I haven’t been able to shake this idea for a few years now, so I have begun the process of researching the historic and painful real-life events that form the backdrop of my story: the 1968 sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis, which culminated in the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
How do I do this? Can I? Should I?
I’m writing this blog to work through my struggles to answer these questions, offer commentary on what I learn along the way, and journal the process of writing my first novel.
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