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While many authors and artists create stories out of their imagination, some freshly stem from their own experiences, particularly in their racial identity.

Even now, the fight for human rights isn’t over. With that in mind, authors like Marvin Blake have also turned to writing as a creative outlet for their outcries. Why by Marvin V. Blake is a novel that circulates around the 1800s, where the lives of two sisters from two opposite racial backgrounds are apparent. In the book, their skin color is the predetermining factor that dictates their future.

For any reader who is an ally or an empath who can relate to these experiences, this book is the perfect one to read. The central themes of racism and classism are clear, which shows us how far the color of one’s skin can go.

Prominent Authors in History Who Have Written About Racism

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) – A formerly enslaved person and renowned abolitionist, Douglass wrote powerful autobiographical narratives like “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” that exposed the horrors of slavery.

Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) – An African-American journalist and activist, Wells documented the lynching of black Americans and campaigned against racial discrimination through her writing.

W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) – A pioneering African-American sociologist and civil rights leader, Du Bois wrote seminal works like “The Souls of Black Folk” that analyzed the experience of being black in America.

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) – A central figure of the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes’ poetry, short stories, and essays poignantly explored racial identity and the African-American experience.

Richard Wright (1908-1960) – The author of novels like “Native Son” and “Black Boy,” Wright’s works depicted the harsh realities of racism and racial violence in the United States.

James Baldwin (1924-1987) – A celebrated essayist, novelist, and playwright, Baldwin’s writings, such as “The Fire Next Time,” provided incisive commentary on race relations and racial injustice.

Toni Morrison (1931-2019) – The Nobel Prize-winning novelist examined the impacts of racism, sexism, and discrimination in classics like “Beloved” and “Song of Solomon.”

Straight from The Heart: How Authors Derived Inspiration Themselves

Many writers who explore themes of race and racism in their writing primarily draw from their own lived experiences and identities. For instance, writers who belong to underrepresented racial or ethnic groups frequently utilize their works to express the institutional racism and discrimination they have personally experienced. Their intimate understanding of the difficulties and injustices that their communities experience can give their depictions of racial attitudes and systems a strong sense of urgency and authenticity.

On the other hand, writers who belong to dominant racial groups could take a different approach to the subject of racism. They might analyze their undeserved advantages or struggle with how their upbringing and social standing have shaped their perspectives. Though they realize the limitations of their direct personal experience with racism, their tales can offer valuable insights into the psychology of racial bias.

An author’s perspective might also be influenced by their cultural and geographic upbringing. Because of the distinct histories and power dynamics of their respective contexts, writers from different national, regional, or communal backgrounds may have different understandings of how racism appears and functions.

In the end, an author’s social identities and life experiences serve as essential lenses through which they view and understand the nuanced realities of race. Their individual experiences always impact the perspectives and narratives they decide to use to highlight the harmful effects of racism. Interacting with this range of authorial viewpoints can significantly improve our comprehension of this difficult and complex problem.

Evolving Approaches to Addressing Racism in Literature Over Time

Changes in authorial techniques and viewpoints can be historically observed with advancements in societal attitudes and comprehension of racism. Some writers may have used their works as a platform for social commentary and critique in the past by relying more heavily on overt, didactic portrayals of racist prejudice and discrimination.

Many writers adopted more nuanced, character-driven writing styles as the civil rights movement gained steam in the middle of the 20th century. They examined the psychological aspects of racism and how it affected people’s relationships and personal lives. In particular, writers from underprivileged origins utilized their stories to show the brutal reality of institutionalized oppression.

The focus on elevating the experiences and viewpoints of people of color has also increased, shifting away from the white gaze that has traditionally dominated Western literature. Many modern writers intentionally foreground disadvantaged voices and experiences, reclaim narratives, and disrupt racist tropes and stereotypes.

At the same time, the field has grown increasingly aware of the power dynamics present in the creative and publication processes. Conversations about representation, cultural appropriation, and the need for more diversity in the literary community have influenced how racism is discussed and portrayed in literature.

Final Thoughts

For a black author who has been using their power to write for years, it’s encouraging that they now have a healthy outlet to channel their experiences. Rather than expecting the entire community to rally behind them, people take the initiative to learn. Even though it’s far from over, educating ourselves on what truly matters are now easier. It is like the works of authors like Marvin Blake that help every reader understand the gravity of racism. That is why you should grab a copy of Blake’s bookWhy” today!

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