Race and Publishing!

“Race and Publishing”

True Story: Two months ago, I submitted a book proposal and a few sample chapters to a publisher, which I will leave unnamed; I also attached my c.v., as required.

The (Senior) acquisitions editor emailed me to acknowledge the receipt of the proposal. A week after, he followed up with me with a phone call. In the conversation, he began to articulate felicitous words towards me about my prolific writing and academic credentials.

To paraphrase him, he said to me, “As I was browsing through your numerous publications, I have noticed that you are not an “angry black man” like other “African American male writers.”

I was utterly shocked and couldn’t find the appropriate words to frame my feeling at the moment. (Those of you who know me know that I am not a confrontational person; I express myself better in writing…)

Two weeks after that “racially-insensitive conversation” occurred, I received the book contract in the mail from the publisher. I decided not to publish my work with this particular publisher and collaborate with this particular acquisitions editor.
I will not let anyone degrade me or undermine my human dignity for the sake of publishing and academic influence or reputation.

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