Day 5 of 5, 10/11 June 2020
I have finally come to the end of the Frame Ambition Writing Challenge. Thank you Julie for putting this together. I really enjoyed it!
The task: Is there a story you never get tired of telling? One you’ve never told anyone? Something you don’t think is being told enough or something you yourself would like to read?
Poor people’s stories.
Any under-privileged* community does not have enough of its stories being told.
My experience is that of a black, African woman. I can tell you all about my racist experiences while travelling, or having to speak over men in meetings to get my voice in, or sexist microaggressions by (mostly very mediocre) men. Or having to jump through hoops to visit new countries, including other African countries, because I hold an African passport.
I have several privileges too. I am young (is that a privilege?), able-bodied, cis-het, and socioeconomically privileged. As I grow older, the realities of life and social injustices become more and more apparent. And there are just not enough stories being told.
So what are we going to do about it?
For starters, we can tell our own stories. I, for example, have learned so much about the blind community by watching some of my favourite YouTubers that are blind. Because mainstream media won’t cover some of their issues, the people themselves have to tell them. They won’t always be well-received, and people with power and privilege often discredit these stories, but we must be relentless.
We should also aim to find and consume these stories. I try to read books by, for and/or about Africans/ Black people as much as possible. I couldn’t care less about Jane Austen’s books. I just can’t relate, and they weren’t written with me in mind.
Lastly, donate towards these stories. Donate monetarily to your favourite creator on Patreon, or your local museum. Give your time as a volunteer on the set of a local short film. Add your signature to that petition.
Chimamanda’s Ted Talk “The Danger of a Single Story” addresses some of the themes around story-telling. Are you reading books, watching films, listening to music, buying art by, for and about underprivileged communities? You should.
Share other practical things on how to promote inclusivity in story-telling in the comments!
*underprivileged for lack of a better word