For one award-winning Black L.A. author, light skin was no refuge.
“We have to be open to change,” says the author, who requested to be identified only by her first name, Patricia. “In all the award programs, there’s a lot of stuff that’s really racist. A lot of the things that happen in terms of race, it’s like, wait a minute, ‘what about race?’”
She believes all races have been oppressed, and says she’s seen how people could be taught to look a certain way, but no one should be taught to treat another as a race. “We are all, and we will always be, multiracial,” she says. “We are all different. We are all different, and we are all human beings.”
A new book that explores the intersection of race, class and gender in post-Black renaissance Los Angeles is one she hopes will help the conversation open up.
“I’m trying to take it to a new place,” she says. “I’m asking questions in a way that no one’s asking before, and it’s hard for people to ask because, you know, they think race is something that people should be silent about, that people should be ashamed of.”
That’s what makes her writing interesting: At a time when people are talking about race in America, she says, her work is about how we can create a space to talk about what’s important to everyone, about what’s real.
It’s a book that looks into an environment that hasn’t been studied in research terms before, Patricia says. The research, she says, is there, but it’s not really been done in detail. That’s why it’s so important to get the right research done.
There’s research on race and poverty, but there’s very little on the issues of class and gender, she says. “That’s the part of our lives that needs to be written about. People are asking for more Black women in the book,” she says, adding, “They’re not asking me to write