.....was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the current cover of Publisher's Weekly. The photograph brought on a Don Imus brain freeze.
Maybe a decade ago I might have been able to appreciate the cover for what it is: ART - but these are sensitive times for Af-Am authors; marginalization is claiming an Af-Am author almost as frequently as cancer claims a chain-smoker.
Instead placing a photo on the cover that wages war on SEG-BOOK-GATION, a photo that portrays the brilliance, beauty and diversity of Af-Am writers, PW took another route (one that we have become quite accustomed to ) and chose to use a photo that stripped away forty odd years of achievements and hurdled us back to a time and a place where few Af-Am writers were being published/and or read.
They chose to use a photo that screams "Black Power" - a slogan that has always made white folk uncomfortable.
I understand that the cover was supposed to be a "tongue-in-cheek" sort of thing - but with the onslaught of criticism pouring in from the public - "tongue-in-cheek" has turned into "foot-in-mouth"
Good job PW (she said sarcastically) this will most certainly lure our paler brothers and sisters into the segregated section of the bookstore!
The article makes a number of points some valid some not so valid.
Side Rant: The claim that "readers are out there but are hard to find" - is baffling to me. You can't get blood from a stone - stop looking in the same place - we black folk reproduce - but not as quickly as the racist media lets on.
We (black folk) only make up 7% of the population - look across the color line - you'll find those "so called" hard to find readers over there. Remember them? They voted for Obama, so I'm sure they won't object to reading a book written by someone who looks like him. [end rant]
I find it very interesting that we - the descendants of a people who established the Al Karaouine University - the very first university known to man - a university that produced a number of great scholars (you think some of those scholars wrote books?) Now find ourselves on the outskirts, crawling through the badlands of the literary landscape with Big Publishing scratching their chins trying (not really) to figure out just how they can effectively market the descendants of the "original" purveyors of literature to the rest of the world.
Causes Bernice McFadden Supports
Hurston Wright Foundation
Girls Write Now
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)