Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Balogun

BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY? Urban Fiction’s Impact on Black Literacy!

Recommended Posts

BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY? Urban Fiction’s Impact on Black Literacy!

review-6.jpg?w=300&h=232My introduction to Urban Fiction in literature began with Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, which I read when I was eight or nine years old. A few years after going nuts over the film version, which released in 1972 and The Godfather II, which released in 1974.

My love for The Godfather, led me to seek out gangster films and books with Black people as the heroes, thus became a lifelong (not so) secret love affair with Blaxploitation films and Urban Literature. I could quote every line from Shaft, The Mack, Coffee, and my favorite, Gordon’s War and Donald Goines’ Cry Revenge had an honored place in the trunk that held my most prized comic books.

The youth have always loved Urban Fiction. And not just tweens and teens from the inner city. Teens in rural communities also crave these gritty, action-packed stories. A recent study showed 93 percent of libraries across the country – both urban and rural – carry Urban Fiction in their collections.

review-3.jpg?w=300&h=165Librarians actively use Urban Fiction as a tool to create relationships with teens. “Street Lit” is bringing teens who normally do not read into the public library.

And it is bringing adults who normally do not read to the brick-and-mortar and online bookstores. Writers such as Teri Woods, Miasha Coleman, K’wan and Shannon Holmes not only outsell such renowned authors as Alice Walker,Toni Morrison, Richard Wright and other authors of classic literature, but even more mainstream authors, such as Dan Brown (The DaVinci Code).

And the readers of Urban Fiction are loyal customers, quick to make a purchase and insatiable in their desire for more stories.

Even with its popularity, however, Urban Literature still has its detractors – mainly African-American writers of contemporary and speculative fiction.

review-5.jpg?w=175&h=300While the authors of Urban Fiction may not possess a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, or may not have a clue what the Lumineferous Aether is, they do have a gripping story, interesting characters, a do-it-yourself attitude and extraordinary hustle and heart. And that is why Urban Fiction outsells every other genre of fiction on the shelf. So don’t hate; congratulate…and get your hustle up!

While many of us moisten at the thought of recognition from some mainstream publishing company, the authors of Urban Fiction are possessed by an entrepreneurial spirit that enables them to self-publish and sell hundreds of thousands of copies of their books at bus stops, barber shops, beauty salons and street festivals. They don’t seek out mainstream publishers; mainstream publishers seek them out.

And – more than any other genre – Urban Fiction inspires people to read and write.

“But Street Lit glorifies drug dealing, murder and misogyny,” you say. Some does. So does some science fiction; so does some horror; so does some fantasy, romance and even some of the classics.

However, there is Urban Fiction that gives the reader strong, independent and competent women, healthy, loving relationships, and characters with high moral standards.

Furthermore, reading Urban Fiction can evoke necessary discussion on issues that plague us all.

TO READ THIS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY, PLEASE VISIT: http://chroniclesofharriet.com/2012/12/06/by-any-means-necessary/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good article, Balogun -- you've posted like a pro!.

You would certainly like Guy Johnson's work. If you are not already familiar with it try his Standng at the Scratch Line first

51WR0ENJ5BL.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...