For a site that started out with—and still has—a strong music focus, you may be wondering why we’re increasing our focus on books.
Honestly, I’m around books and authors a lot, thanks to my wife who, in addition to teaching journalism and creative writing, is a published author (check out her debut novel, Shifting Through Neutral, when you get a chance). And you’ll recall that she’s a founding member of ringShout, a group dedicated to supporting black literary excellence . What I’ve discovered is that there’s a wide world of great black authors out there. Unfortunately, I’ve not even scratched the surface: Not just in terms of coverage, but also in my own reading!
Nothing exists in a vacuum. As with all of our creative endeavors, there’s so much overlap. The academics would call it “intersectionality”. What it means is that the connections, influences and inspirations from one group of artists impact another. Look at the way a visual artist like Sanford Biggers works with musicians. Or ask Vernon Reid what he’s reading and you’re in for a 30-minute conversation about some book that he’s utterly fascinated by. And those are just two examples. You get where I’m going with this.
Books, of course, are great platforms for ideas and opportunities to peer into other worlds and lives. Right now, there are so many great stories coming from writers from around the global diaspora, that is feels like they should be a part of this cultural conversation we’re having here.
I’ve long said that we’ve been in the midst of a cultural shift. I’d go even further to say that it’s one that is not only impacting the outward landscape, but is a direct outgrowth of our expanding and evolving consciousness. I feel strongly that a case can be made that it’s been writers who have been quietly (relative to the musicians, for example) influencing that shift. It’s time, I think, to give them a bit more prominence in this discussion.
Stay tuned to the Books category via the top menu as this space develops.
Lastly, I’ll be adding writers to better cover this space. There’s a lot of new content planned, such as reviews, Q&A’s with authors, and relevant publishing industry news. More to come, surely, but that should get us started.
Many hands make for light work, so if you’d like to help cover this area, feel free to drop a note to us here .