📖: Just read a great essay on the burden of representation by Shawn Taylor of www.thenerdsofcolor.org. Taylor asks important questions about the extent to which Black artists possess the freedom to create art that is not just about being black: "If you’re white and straight and male, you get to tell stories. Since society has already set you up for success in multiple ways and consistently reaffirms your existence at every level, you get to write about heroic men doing heroic things. But as POC, or as women, or as Queer folks, there is another filter through which we have to push our art. But the question remains, do we have to? Should we have to?"
I'm of the opinion that if you are Black and you write something—no matter what it's about—it is Black literature. I think it's something inherent. I think this top-down perspective allows us to be free and flexible because it assures that we don't have to fit into a neat (usually stereotypical) box. Read the wonderfully thought-provoking essay in full here.