Before Chimamanda and Zadie, they were there, like Rosa Guy, and Mildred T Taylor and Connie Briscoe, telling stories that moved me, that felt like home.
But Walker, Morrison and Blackman also did various things to make me want to write.
Alice Walker said, I read somewhere, and I’m massively paraphrasing here, that writers write because they have something stuck inside that sits uncomfortably until they get it out. They write because they have to. Sounds like me.
Toni Morrison showed me that writing is an art form, and there are geniuses, and people that somehow manage to pay the bills and that was no bad thing, but I should be able to tell the difference. But then she also said if I can’t find the stories I want to read, I should write them myself. Sounds like me.
When my mum came home with Hacker by Malorie Blackman, when I was a kid in the 90s and computers were still something to be awed by – on those occasions you were able to get near one – I connected instantly. Her heroine, a black girl from London who uses computers to prove her dad’s innocence, was an ordinary black girl turned superhero, and was from London, like me.
Summer’s officially over and I’ve not travelled abroad, but have seen another side to Martinique. I also wasn’t ‘home’ much, so I reckon I can crank out at least one short note based on the adventure. 5 Reasons To Make Your Caribbean Accomodation A Hospital is coming soon.
Til then 🙂