The act of telling our own stories is a radical act.
I continue to stand humbled by the power of creativity and its ability to heal us and change the world we live in. It’s with a sense of urgency that creativity flows through me these days. Sometimes it feels like the only realness in a mad, mad world. I know for myself going through my own personal challenges, creativity has been the anchor, the teacher, the expression I needed to heal and further myself on the path of life. I have said for many years that I sit at the feet of the creative force, a devotee open to learn. Unleashing the creative force within myself and allowing it to flow with greater and greater power is one of my primary goals in life. From this all else flows.
In that flow, I just spent the last 3 weeks writing my first novella. It was unexpected, and overwhelming at times. As I step away and begin final reads and edits, I find I am more committed to the power of voice as a revolution to heal us, to reclaim our history, to change the vision we hold of ourselves… I could go on forever! Instead I’ll land on this.
WE NEED YOUR VOICE. WE NEED YOUR STORIES. The weight of silence is very real. It has affected our hearts and our minds. The world has changed without our voices in it. We must find a way to step forward and reclaim storytelling.
For over 20 years I have been citing CCBC’s statistics to portray the sobering vision of silence for POC and Indigenous people. But the last few years I began focusing on what else those statistics are telling us. When we look at them from a creator’s perspective, we see how many more books we need to make to step forward into our voice in the world. We see the power that is ours to rise into, the spaces where our voices are needed.
Look at the graphics below. See where your community stands. I follow the BLUE statistics to see where Latinx like me stand. Our numbers are stunning. Looking at the enormous silence and invisibility we live with as a community. I can literally feel the courage it has taken me to step into voice. It’s been a deep and healing challenge, a 40 year journey, ever since I was 13 when I first decided I would write.
Statistics from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC).
Where we stand as of 2016 in U.S. Children’s Book Industry:
Where we should be if POC&Indigenous authors were telling our own stories:
How the last 11 years (& beyond) has impacted us:
What can we do about it now?
Voice is a revolution. For you. For me. For all of us. We need your voice. We need your story. Now more than ever.
There is an urgency to step forward and a knowing now that we must do it for ourselves.
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