Since I haven't been able to post regularly, I have a lot to say, so excuse my stream of consciousness writing style.
For our Light Night fun fair yesterday I was supposed to be Princess Peach, BUT I wasn't feeling very princessey, I didn't feel like wearing a dress, and I was pressed for time and unsure of how I was going to turn a pink maternity dress and pink tulle into a princess dress. I felt more comfortable with being the....King of Pop; we kind of look more alike, I was in a playful mood, and I knew I had to be on my feet all evening running the Cake Walk and cleaning up.
Here's me and TrentMan as M.J. and Toad!!!!! I glued his vest together myself....as you can tell!
My wardrobe change leads me to a revelation about my future writing career. Several months ago, my little cousin wrote a post on her blog asking if you have to be able to relate to characters that you read about in books and does your life need to mirror the lives of the characters. For me, the answer is a resounding NO, because I love learning about things outside of my own realm and there are some human conditions that transcend gender, race, country of origin, and many other things. Conditions like love, hunger, war, raising a family, and much more are so much bigger than being a black female who lives in the Midwest. I believe that is a universal story. This thought process leads me to the next situation.
My son has the distinct pleasure of attending a school that goes from Preschool to Highschool, all on the same campus. About a month ago, it was Homecoming, which they allow the younger kids to participate in the week of dressing up and the Coronation Ceremony. One of the dress up days was to dress up as a book character. TrentMan and I pondered over at least a dozen characters: Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Horrible Harry, Flat Stanley, Nate the Great, and some others too. He finally settled on Phineas from Phineas and Ferb, which is not really a book character, but he was close enough. We just put an orange and white striped shirt on him and some jeans and he was good to go. We were both happy, he was able to portray one of his favorite characters and I didn't have to work too hard to make it happen. Then it hit me....out of all the characters we thought about, none of them were African American.
|TrentMan designed this character himself|
Let me set the record straight; I am not one of those "power to the people" has to be all black or I'm not down kind of people. We embrace pretty much embrace everything and everybody that is in line with our Christian values. However, I thought/think it is shameful that there was not one black book character that we could choose from. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Phineas and Ferb, and we love watching the show together; those boys are too creative and it gets TrentMan to thinking and inventing all kinds of craziness. However, I think it does our society a huge disservice not to show people of other races and cultures in the same/similar situations. Think about all the big name children's books: Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Where the Wild Things Are, Jumanji, etc. These books can have the same exact plot BUT with a main character that just happens to be African American or Latino or Asian American. So this Ah-Ha moment led me to my next thought!
I should develop a book series that primarily appeals to young boys and has a main character who is an African American boy. My thoughts haven't led me to what the series should be about, but I know I don't want it to be specific to African American culture; I just want a book about a family who just happens to be black. I have to come up with the backstory, plot, and the thing that will draw people in. I'll get to that part later though.
I know this post was all over the place, but hopefully you could keep up. I am my mother's child; what can I say??!!??
So, what do you think...are we lacking every day stories with characters that just happen to be minorities or does it really matter?