Stop Generalizing Black Authors. Stop Racial Profiling

Pre pay book pic

So I woke up smiling to an email with this screenshot of someone who pre-ordered my novel “The Man Curse.” THE PROBLEM is when I scroll down and see the “Recommended Books.” “Urban Fiction.” Aggravates me because there’s nothing technically urban about my protagonist. She’s from the suburbs. The only thing “Urban” by “Mainstream marketing” standards is the color of my lead character’s skin. Although thanks to gentrification that’s not necessarily the case in “Urban” areas these days. Right? She is not beat down on her luck. She speaks proper English. She’s an intelligent, college educated, girl who deals with the same issues women of ALL colors deal with in love. And she actually works through them. To be clear: She finds her shine.  And to be even more clear, just because you’re from the hood doesn’t mean you’re not smart or can’t speak proper English or are always on welfare with criminal issues. But that is the media narrative. The corporate company narrative of black folks. And I am sick of it. My lead character, Meena,  JUST happens to be black. Outside of racism, black women go through the same ups and downs those of other races go through when it comes to love.

And yet because of skin color, I have already been racially “profiled” and boxed into the “Urban” category next to books like “Creepin'” or “A Jersey Hood Love story.” No disrespect to any author of hood classics. I’ve read a couple I like. But that is NOT “The Man Curse”. And I am not feeling the generalization based on skin color.  #Offended ‪#‎SidewaysLook‬ ‪#‎StopIt‬. Shout to Karen Hunter. I know this is not your doing.

Raqiyah Mays is an author, journalist, radio personality, and activist. Her debut fiction novel “The Man Curse” will be released by Simon & Schuster on November 16, 2015.

PS: I got this meme below from Lisa Rinna, by the way. She is not black and feels the same way. GASP!

Dont generalize pic

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