The African-American Writer’s Inferiority Complex

I spend a lot of time feeling like I cant. I think it’s an issue that plagues most African-American writers. Honestly, writing a New York Times #1 bestselling novel seems out of reach. Some days, I attribute this lack of confidence to the political nature of race in this country: To get to number one on the NYT list, I have to sell to everyone, not just black readers. But, the cards are just simply stacked against me. It’s challenging enough to sell a book to a publisher, and get them to market if for you.  If you get that far, you’ll realize that publishers and bookstores prefer to sell books by black authors that depict the “stereotypical” black experience of thug life and promiscuity; you know, the books with sluts on the covers.  And those books don’t sell to everyone.

Other days, I attribute this inferiority complex to a post-slavery era mentality that’s been imposed upon me by the collective subconscious.  I feel that my only option is get a good education, go to college/grad-school, graduate and get a job. It doesn’t matter if my degree is in a creative field. I can’t have success on my own. submitting writing to literary journals isn’t for my kind. Nope. How could I possibly be talented enough for that?

Is it just me? Or do other African-American writers (or artists of any kind) feel this way too?

I want so much for myself.  I’m bursting at the seams with ideas.  I’m going to keep moving forward, regardless of how I’m feeling. I’m going to keep blogging, writing, thinking, planning and moving. I’ll never make it if I don’t try, right?

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