Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. While I'm enjoying the day off from work, I always take a moment to give thanks for all the doors his efforts opened for me.
MLK was only 26 years old when he led the Montgomery bus boycott. It seems absolutely remarkable that someone so young could have made such an incredible impact on society. I often wonder how much further along African-Americans would be if MLK were still around to provide his inspirational leadership to the world.
As writers in a genre where African-American characters are rarely depicted, each of the Crime Sistahs has a chance to change how the world perceives African-Americans. I began writing legal fiction because I never saw African-American or women lawyers in the novels I read. I think my fellow authors would agree that it's been quite a challenge to get "our" stories out there to the world because of the views held by the publishing industry. We are hampered by the perception that our audience is limited because "blacks don't read." We all know that isn't true. That's why we continue to write what we love in the face of what often seems like an uphill battle.
So as long as there are readers out there who want to read entertaining mysteries that center around engaging African-American characters, we'll keep writing.
Monday, January 21, 2008