Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Writing While Marginalized - Pt. 7
I asked some smart, writerly, social justice-minded folks to weigh in. Today, this series ends with Nadra Kareem Nittle.
NADRA KAREEM NITTLE
I write for a number of different websites and definitely feel hesitant to broach the topic of race in some instances. While race is not a taboo subject for any site I write for, I do have to address the topic differently depending on my audience.
On one site, I spend a lot of time educating readers about race and related terms such as colorism, othering and marginalization. Some of my readers don’t have the vocabulary to engage in an in-depth discussion about race. Other readers are simply hostile to the idea that institutionalized racism remains a problem for people of color in the 21st century. For these readers, I write pieces akin to a persuasive essay in a college composition class. I have to back up every point I make, lest someone accuse me of exaggerating the racial predicament marginalized groups find themselves in today. Given the extreme resistance I’ve encountered trying to complicate conversations of race on some sites, I firmly believe that it may not be appropriate to broach sensitive topics on sites where readership consists mostly of people who’ve read little about race and view racism as a thing of the past.
Similarly, some sites do not feel like safe spaces to share my personal experiences with race and racism. I feel more comfortable discussing how race has shaped my life in particular on sites where readers have demonstrated their investment in eradicating racism and its effects.
Pt. 1 Latoya Peterson of Racialicious
Pt. 2 Sparky of Spark in Darkness
Pt. 3 New Black Woman
Pt. 4 Prof. Christopher MacDonald Dennis
Pt. 5 Jennifer or Mixed Race America
Pt. 6 Andrea Plaid of Racialicious