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Lonz Cook

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Here We Go Again - Race Plays A Deciding Factor
By Lonz Cook
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rated "G" by the Author.

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When calling to a regional store for a book signing event, the CRM shares the idea there are no people of color except one group who reads African American stories. As if, people of color has no way of writing for the masses.

Just when you think you've arrived, there is always a set back of some sort. Race matters and reminders are prevelant nearly everywhere in the United States. Though we've made head ways in race relations in recent history, there are still those stereo typical views of how one ethnic group should be, and who should pay attention.

When it comes to  general consumer  products, we'd say all are acceptible. Take Music for instance, a product made by all nationalities and ethnicities. Songs are embraced by those who like it  and the sound hits home.  Usually people make a quick decision of like or dislike, and  often it's the rhythm, lyric, or voice feeding the decision. Hardly is there a like or dislike based on race or ethnicity of the singer/musician.  I tend to use this product example as it pertains to books. My belief is a good story is just that, a good story or fantastic read, for everyone. Unfortunately,  my perception and belief doesn't apply when it comes to books. We  tend to prejudge based on the category  of the book and  the ethnicity of it's writer. 

Today, for example, when pressing  to reach a regional audince, and expose the story to readers, the book's category jumped off the page and immediately the Public Relation Manager stated, "There is no audience for such book at this location." Really? No audience means,  not one ethnic patron matches the "African American"  category who walks thru a mall store in a large city where demographics are 44.2% Black, 30% White, 12.5% Hispanic, 5.4 % Asian, 4.7% Other Races,  2% Native American, and .05% Pacific Islander. So, is this to say, no one will take notice of your book because it's in a "white" area and others don't shop at that specific mall?  Really? Here we go again.

Based on perception, let's not present a story any reader may find interesting, or exciting, but let's limit exposure to what's  presumed "acceptable"  and stay specific to the race of the patrons. Play it safe  and say let me the CRM decide reader  interest or what main stream should like. Let's not read  authors of multiple ethnicities, but instead presume that no one of color can  tell a  generic story based on common social behavior and non specific to race or ethnicity.What I find funny in this comment is, when it comes to a non person of color, that conversation never arise. When the likes of Nicholas Sparks, James Patterson, or E.L. James, reaches an ethinc book store, CRM's or owners  don't reply we haven't the audience for their books. 

When will equality be alive in our country? I'm praying it happens within my lifetime, especially as a writer.  

       Web Site: Open Salon

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