|August 2019 Member Spotlight|
Fighting Injustice Through Writing
Today it is increasingly difficult to turn on the news. What I hear is a multitude of stories about repression, prejudice, racism, sexism, and hatred. Reading or watching the news has me on the constant brink of tears.
We are a nation of people with many different backgrounds, races, religions, cultures, interests, thoughts, and ideas. We all come together to make this beautiful American mosaic, yet there are many who continually try to deny and shatter pieces that help make our society and country great.
The struggles we are facing today are sadly not unique in our country.
My novel, Journey of a Cotton Blossom, takes a look back in time exploring the 1940s Mississippi plantation, to the civil rights era of the ’60s, and finally, for LGBTQ equality of the ’90s and early ’00s as a family takes their journey in life while battling repression, racism, and prejudice. This family is searching for love, acceptance, and equality inwardly and outwardly in society.
Ultimately, Journey of a Cotton Blossom is about the power to sustain one’s soul throughout hardships and crude discrimination.
Robin McGehee, co-founder and former co-director of Get Equal, a grassroots organization that seeks to empower the LGBTQ community, said that, “Journey of a Cotton Blossom is a historical, culturally rich reminder of the repression faced by those who don’t share the class, race, or sexual-orientation privilege that is owned by those in power.”
Journey of a Cotton Blossom was not planned. This idea and story came to me through a multitude of dreams over the course of nine months. I believe it came to me at the perfect time as our society, again, struggles with the demons many thought to be the past.
Even though I did not set out to write about such intense topics, I have always had a strong instinct to fight injustice wherever I saw it. I can be a shy person at times, but through writing, I have found my voice to fight injustice and inequality.
I believe literature and other forms of media can help us on the path to overcome prejudices and bring healing to those most vulnerable. Literature allows us a unique opportunity to see through another’s eyes. It allows us to see ourselves in a character leading to a greater sense of sympathy and possibly even empathy.
Growing up a lesbian in a small Southern Baptist town in Mississippi, I know the struggles one can endure when someone feels totally alone and as if the world hates them. Having a character similar to oneself in a book, film, etc. people can feel like they are not alone fighting those demons instilled into them by the church and society.
Because of this, I continue to write. I believe it is increasingly important to showcase diversity and inequality. The climate of our county needs voices of equality and love now more than any point in my lifetime. Suppression doesn’t eliminate a problem. Showcasing these stories can set us as a country on a path towards recognizing the problem, correcting the problem, and, finally, healing.
This is why Journey of a Cotton Blossom is such an important story to be told and why I will continue to write fighting injustice.
Are you interested in being a featured member or featured business partner in our new Membership Spotlight section?
Each month, we will share a spotlight featuring a member or business partner within our GCLS community. This spotlight will highlight accomplishments, writing tips, reader interests, and other aspects of the wonderful world of lesbian-themed literature. It's a chance for members and business partners to share their story.