It has been a very unsettling few weeks for all of us. It seems that some sort of disaster has occurred in our country (including the island of Porto Rico) every couple of days. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires, and even a mass shooting. It is becoming difficult to even watch the evening news. So much devastation is heart breaking. My heart and prayers go out to all the people who have suffered through injury and loss.
Our Racist History
I am sometimes asked why I choose to write about our (African American’s) racist history. Many African Americans don’t want to be reminded of that history. Some people have actually told me that they just don’t want to read about slaves. However, in light of the most recent racial tensions in our society, I’ve been asking myself the same question.
Let me start with the fact that it is the history of my ancestors and I am more baffled by the questions than the answers. No one ask an author of Jewish heritage why they choose to write stories about the holocaust or the injustices they faced after coming to these United States. In fact, every immigrant coming to American shores has suffered injustice and their history has created a wealth literature and cinema. A Native American author may choose to write about broken treaties of displaced tribal lands.
History, with all our human flaws and no matter how uncomfortable it may make some people feel, it is fascinating and cannot be undone. Most of my characters are fictional but the settings are historical, presenting dilemmas and solutions consistent with the historical period. I am always hoping that my readers will come away with a better understanding of the period and the plight of the people who had to live, love, and survive through some of the most dangerous and tumultuous circumstances. To put it simply, I love reading and writing historical fiction.
Lillian’s Diary – Entry #5
The day that I thought would never come has come and gone and left me feeling as if a part of me has died. Massa David has married the white woman that he brought home months ago. For weeks, we all worked very hard getting the house ready for the wedding and the hard work has go on even since that awful day. Bell asked me if I was sad. Of course I’m sad, but I’m not going to let anyone know, least of all, Bell. I couldn’t bear to see that smug look on her face that said, I told you so. It isn’t just the wedding that has made me sad. After all, I knew he would marry Miss Beth. We all knew that's why he brought her here. What I didn’t know is that he would try to stay away from me for so long. It has been weeks since we’ve been together and he is acting like he’s forgotten who I am and what we have met to each other. Nan says that he has even tried to stop drinking. I know he isn't doing all of this for me. This is for his new wife, and I am beginning to feel as if I’ve lost him forever.