..finding opportunity to speak, and write fulsomely in this time of pandemic and seismic transformation.. I still have to navigate the full compass of what it is I do; everything skews against 'what is expected of a black writer'..
And so, finding this article in The Guardian, UK, today, I am feeling.. heard in even framing the words of the question.. and that alone is a wonderful feeling!
...a pertinnent bit of the article on Margaret Busby:
The risk is what Adichie, in a 2009 Ted Talk, called the power of the single story – where only one thing is known about another culture and all stories are expected to conform. It is a problem only heightened when it comes to Africa, which is often treated as a country rather than a continent containing 54 countries. “If you have a book by an African writer who wants to write about computers, and doesn’t mention villages, or tribalism – can you call them an African writer? Probably not, if you’re an English editor. It’s not African enough.”
The same applies to black people being required to discuss race. So if, for instance, Reni Eddo-Lodge – whose Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race became the first book by a black British author to top the bestseller charts – wanted to follow it up with a biography of Churchill? “That’s a good question. And also, if I were an editor thinking of taking on Eddo-Lodge on Churchill – would I be allowed to? What is expected of a black writer?”
..indeed, it's the question; "what is expected of a black writer".. is a challenge in itself.. and a long journey to freely step up to.