Claudia Rankine “On Whiteness and the Racial Imaginary”
“The imagination is a free space, and I have the right to imagine from the point of view of anyone I want—it is against the nature of art itself to place limits on who or what I can imagine.”
Here are my rambling thoughts:
Oh my god, I think about this ALL. THE. TIME.
I understand I have privilege. I am a white writer. Middle class. I grew up with parents who love each other and are still together. My education is paid for me.
I understand I am a minority. I am a woman. I am a first generation "American". I am a German living in America, raised in a household that didn't have the same ideals as the red, white, and blue.
I am also a writer, and a member of the "We Need Diverse Books" movement. I believe in writing from every point of view, of writing stories that are diverse because our lives are diverse and everyone deserves representation.
But then, who am I, a white woman to write from the perspective of a black man, or a gender fluid Puerto Rican? I don't know their reality, I only know mine. But, then I want to support writing about and from every perspective. They deserve their own books, we owe them that, writers everywhere. Publishers owe them that.
Instead of trying to write from different identities, I began writing characters that had none. I don't describe the looks or skin or orientation of any of my main characters anymore. You can view Orion and Ruth however you want, because my book is your book, and their identity is for you to adopt and alter.