I am so excited to start this feature of the blog. If you’re on Litsy, you may have joined the Litsy Feminist Bookclub which is reading its way through the Lemonade Syllabus. Inspired by Beyonce’s project, the Syllabus was compiled by Candice Benbow and many other scholars to celebrate black womanhood in fiction, non-fiction, and other forms of media.
Our first book comes from the top of the fiction list, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. As it happens, today, Sept. 15, is Adichie’s birthday, so it seems like destiny to start the discussion today! We’ll be reading this book through Oct. 15 and then discussing it on our litsy page.
It’s no spoiler to say that the main character in Americanah runs a popular blog. In this blog, she highlights the intersection of race and gender on the internet. Because of this, we wanted to highlight some black female bloggers to follow and get their take on how the medium works for them.
I am more than thrilled that Justina Ireland takes the first spot in this series of interviews. Ireland is a young adult author (Vengeance Bound, Promise of Shadows) and is a vocal critic of race in the media and publishing in her blog and Twitter posts.
I started blogging for a local newspaper back in 2006. At the time I was feeling like the only liberal in in my very conservative area. I stopped after having a kid and then picked it back up on a private site when I was looking for a literary agent. At the time all of the advice I read urged writers to have a “platform” online prior to querying an agent (this is terrible advice don’t worry about that). So here I was writing all of these vapid blog entries that I hated in pursuit of some esoteric idea of a platform. Once I was agented my agent told me that was silly and not to worry about it, so I didn’t. And then once my first book was published I kept hearing about all of these “rules” about things authors could and couldn’t blog about. It killed my desire to write anything.
And then, after my second book came out and my publisher passed on my option I felt freed to do whatever the fuck I wanted. So I started blogging again about the diversity discussions I saw happening around me, and that’s the blog on my website to this day.
4.Who are your favorite blogs to follow?
6.Best book you’ve read this year?