I'm white. Male. In my 30s. College Educated. From Iowa. I also teach African American Literature at a public high school in Los Angeles. Telling that to people I have just met usually gets a second look.
Ship of Souls combines urban fantasy with African American history; set in Prospect Park, the story features three unlikely friends who are pursued by ghosts from the Revolutionary War as they attempt to release the restless souls from the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan.
I've been there, I see a rainbow everywhere. Is it because the media giants want to white wash out the experiences of black and brown women? Or is it because they think white women will not watch the show or read the book if the central character is a black woman?
It appears that shame -- black and white -- can shrink us. In literature we've been historically reduced to a slither of a people. Writers like me self-censor for fear of offending, for fear of not finding an audience. We don't tell our stories in the context of this nation.