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Lonz Cook

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Member Since: Mar, 2010

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Here We Go Again - Race Plays A Deciding Factor
by Lonz Cook   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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Trying to get into bookstores, we're told no audience available for your novel as if only African Americans will have interest. How unnerving?

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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Reviewed by Mark Lichterman
Lonz, not standing up for anyone because I wasn't there and I do not know the store, although the Public Relation Manager could stand a number of lessons in human relations, book stores as grocery stores have so much shelf space and what they do not think will sell does not find the shelf space. Were you looking for a book reading? Did you ask for time to present your book, or did you just hope that they'd make room for your book? When you say, "Public Relations Manager" this kind of says that it's a chain of stores and, as book stores are closing left and right, the word could have come down from up high someplace to place only "sure things". As one that's been trying to get someplace with my writing for twenty-six years I do feel bad for you. But, truly, outside of the guy's choice of thoughtless words, color may not have had anything to do with it and, space-wise, he really couldn't place your book.
Mark Lichterman
Reviewed by Sandi Schraut
I pray for the day when no one has to put on an application a race designation, It would also be nice if (unless the job requires it, no gender is mentioned either. I would not mind going to a play in a theater where the actors are chosen for their ability to play the role and not their color or their 'look' is what made the choice. Now I realize you could not have a play about a cultural or racial event or idea without choosing by color, or look. It just seems to me that too many persons are prejudged by these perameters. I realize I am of the white population, however I have grandchildren that are of mixed heritage and have hope they are not prejudged, nor put into a stereotyped role.
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