Being a Black writer in the United States during Black Lives Matter

Black Writers Read - Nicole M. Young, Christopher J. Sparks, Opal Gayle and Fungai Tichawangana in conversation

What does living and creating during Black Lives Matter, as Black writers mean? What is the task of our words? What do we expect of and from ourselves as culture contributors and commentators?

This was the overall theme of a discussion I took part in yesterday (August 15, 2020) with other members of Valley Society, Nicole M. Young, Christopher J. Sparks, and Opal Gayle.

It was my first Facebook live event ever. I was a bit nervous before it began (nothing like the tension before the training I did for writers in July), but once everyone’s face showed up on the screen, the nerves eased a little.

This event was the first of a series of live events that we plan to run online. The series will feature Black writers reading from their work and then engaging in discussion about it and the themes that are brought up.

I’ve been a member of Valley Society for several weeks now and it’s been great getting to know the other writers in the group.

In our live discussion, we also looked at questions like; Do we write for a particular audience, or do we write and the audience finds the work? Whose job is it to understand the story?  Should the author hold the hand of the reader or should the reader seek out the story?  We explored the representation of the Diaspora within Valley Society and what it means to write “African” or “Caribbean” vs “of African descent on U.S. soil.”

Many thanks to Nicole for spearheading the series.

Below is the video:



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