We took 17 students to Governor’s Academy to hear renowned speaker Rosetta Lee discuss the importance of racial diversity, and why affinity groups further both cultural and racial understanding on our campuses. Faculty and students from other prep schools joined Brooks students in a complex discussion regarding the promotion of diversity and affinity groups. Our diverse students were excellent.
This is still very rough, but I am still mapping this out.
Isaiah Jackson, my protagonist, lives in a world in which the duality of race and class is ubiquitous. His anger towards blacks furthers his metamorphoses and sense of self as he ponders the epics of religion, and the realization that God exists in a binary fashion. His tension and disdain regarding the intersection of race, class, and religion are reflected in his emotional ambiguity. Religious imagery, social realism, and Marxist tone carry my protagonist from his urban despair and black anger to a world of whiteness and distrust. Isaiah’s epic mission is a quest. The intersection of race, class, and religion challenges his worldview and brings about new hostilities as he confronts a white God masked under the guise of privilege.
It is 3 AM and I cannot sleep. So, I am working on my writing. This week I am practicing parallel structure, dialogue, and time shifts as I further my use of Marxism in fiction. Here is a scene called Religious Duality. This is a far more complex scene, but for now, this will do. Isaiah is perplexed. Due to his black enclave, he honestly believes there are two Gods, though he struggles in his belief. This is pronounced in that this religious duality represents the racial and class dichotomy which he lives.
Isaiah Jackson entered a white church for the first time with the white man; an image of white Christ appeared as he observed nothing but white faces in the room. “Your Jesus looks like the black Jesus my mother keeps at home…” he said, as his memory traced back to never seeing Jesus’ help as his mother worked two jobs to afford their small subsidized housing unit. “Does it matter if Jesus is black or white?” said the white man. Isaiah searched carefully before saying, “no…I guess not,” though thinking white folks’ God took better care of them than black folks’ God. He heard talks about white mothers spending hours each day at this church. Not a big deal. Their big fancy homes awaited them. Funny ,with a slight grin, his mother worked all day every day just to spend her one-day off each week at that Negro church with a bunch of hypocrites, he thought.
I am convinced with practice I can use my anger towards complacent black folks, distrust of privileged whites, and social critique of religion to write something great. I am practicing as I merge the styles of Ellison, Wright, and Faulkner on paper; I aim to converge social realism and Marxism into modern fiction. I can do this. I can.
As I continue to get feedback on my fictional writing, I am asking my protagonist to deal with a world where the constructs of race, class, and religion intersect to allow complex imagery.Thanks to Janette Carson who helped me find my black protagonist. It is Arjay Smith who is centered below. I am looking at lots of images of Arjay in shaping my protagonist’s world. Here is a scene I have drafted in my notes; Arjay is the character I am seeing being behind the closed doors..
I am here with one of my heroes. I was honored to hear and spend time with her this past spring. If you do not know Ms. Nash, give this a read.
I like my non-fictional writing. Better yet, I find it easy and enjoyable. But I have not fully challenged myself to date. Hence, me flirting with fictional writing. While sitting around last night, I wanted to shape a scene in which my fictional character had to deal with tension. As you will read, I have yet to really assign names, though Helen will be the female. This scene is one that takes place later in the story. Here is what is taking place in his mind:
Helen is forcing his state of thought while he grapples with his anger towards her. He sees her God and whiteness shine as though he is in the dark needing her light. His bitterness is unclear, as he watches her move uncomfortably throughout the room; she thinks he is a simpleton, being black that is. The light of her skin forces him to ponder his race and place as a dark stranger behind her closed door. His mind frequents the room in thought while his eyes move from her window frame to the red carpet stain. His body feels a sense of submergence in his state of melancholy. Dark thoughts unfold to resist her light…. What is this light? His mind moves about the room while her blue eyes betray his body. Is it her indictment of his race? His eyes left her eyes as they moved back toward the red stain. He looked up at her wall to find a cross stained of mahogany with beveled edges; it channeled him into a hall of crosses once observed in a church. While looking at the cross, he could still hear her voice as he elapsed into a deeper sense of melancholy. Curious about the nail that held the cross to the wall, he thought about God as her voice echoed from afar. She is ten feet aside but felt ten miles away. He listened to her while eyeing the paralyzed cross on her wall. His anger morphed as she spoke of nothing…. Helen’s voice represents a pain that he pondered, wondering if he is being crucified by anger as emotions enslave him the way her white God once enslaved his kind.