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Saturday, April 7 • 4:15pm - 5:15pm
8B: Avoiding the Common Pitfalls of Writing About Black Life
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The facts are these: 1) We are not living in a post-racial anything, and 2) The good intention of well-meaning writers isn't enough to free our stories from reasserting harmful stereotypes. This is not an indictment, but more an invitation for all of us to do better, specifically when it comes to writing stories that aim to expand our limited perspectives, grow our imaginations, and boost our collective sense of compassion.

This workshop is about identifying the common pitfalls many writers (especially white writers) meet when crafting stories featuring characters of color, and smart ways to avoid them. It will tackle how to illustrate that Black Life is vast—from ordinary to other worldly—without falling into the trope traps (Magical Negro, Sassy Black Sistuh Gurlfriend, Festishized Black Lover, etc.). And it will cover how to fold in cultural quirks and details (like dialect) without turning into caricature or, worse, falling into unintentional racist and xenophobic territory. (Because that is a hill you do not want to die on.)

avatar for Nicole Blades

Nicole Blades

Nicole Blades is a novelist, speaker, and journalist who has been putting her stories on paper since the third grade. Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, by Caribbean parents, Nicole moved to New York City and launched her journalism career working at Essence magazine. She later... Read More →

Saturday April 7, 2018 4:15pm - 5:15pm EDT
Newbury Room - 4th Floor
  Block 8, Discussion Class