Last week, writer Kiese Laymon published an essay, “You Are the Second Person,” chronicling his experience getting his novel, Long Division (which hit shelves earlier this month), published. Laymon’s thought-provoking, powerful, and inspiring work centered on exchanges between him and his former editor. Laymon’s former editor, described in the piece as a 54-year-old black man, not only suggests that Laymon isn’t a “real black writer,” but perpetually attempts to goad Laymon into writing a novel that will appeal to white readers by decentering blackness and, in turn, jettisoning black readers the editor doesn’t believe exists. The editor suggests that Laymon write a more indirect “race novel” moored in whiteness. Frankly, the essay is incredible and worth the read. Of the many intriguing elements is Laymon’s discussion of his editor calling him “bro”–long o–in several conversations, of which Laymon wonders, “what kind of black man would write the word “bro” in an email.”
Why take the pledge?
Far too many Black youth continue to be demonized, criminalized and murdered.
Enough is enough!
In response to this intensifying crisis, the Black Youth Project (BYP) has launched “The Pledge.”
With “The Pledge,” we are asking individuals and organizations to close ranks around black youth and make a commitment to take action and fight with black youth as they confront a relentless crisis. We at the BYP believe that each person can make a difference by doing something!
By taking The Pledge we not only articulate our concern about black youth, but symbolically unite our voices with others who will work to confront this crisis.
If we each take action, whether it is starting a group, signing a petition, or mentoring a young person in your neighborhood, then we all become a part of the solution.
Stand With Black Youth!
Black Youth Project on Facebook
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