I Used To Be a Purist, but I’ve Seen the Light

Today in Black History, I want to give thanks for Audible.

I sit here typing this, listening to Jenifer Lewis’ memoire The Mother of Black Hollywood on Audible wondering why I hadn’t adopted Audible earlier.

I was one of those kids who was hated on for reading and didn’t really talk much. And because I was black, that just took it way too far.

“That’s so white.”

*wy prsn*: You never heard [insert popular hip hop/rap song]. I’m more black than you are.”

“You such an oreo.”

So, this is an ode to Audible. I stanned down for shit like Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl and the like. (I just never saw it for Lord of the Rings. sorrynotsorry.) And though I remember trying to imagine some of the characters as people of color, later movie adaptations later showed me that I was clearly wrong. lol.

Now, as of late, it’s really been a gaggle of undoubtedly and unapologetically black people writing books, and I’ve been lit for them, but since I’ve been in college, I haven’t had time to read them.

Over time, I’ve rationalized my double consciousness by associating a sense of pride with my reading because… embracing your insecurities and all that. And I really felt like if I couldn’t sit down and read a book, I was lacking in some way, which then contributed to feelings of anxiety and depression and blah blah blah.

Eventually I realized I had to get off of my high horse. And yeah, it was a high horse that I had mounted to distance myself from the illiterates.

But today in Black History, I’ve come to my senses.

When Issa Rae came on the radar with her memoire, Awkward Black Girl, I made plans to buy the book. However, I was deep into my major at the time and had to buy a lot of other books for class readings. So, I never got around to buying it. And I was still team fuck audio books.

But growing up, getting older, and trying to live out here has made me realize that, no one with two part time occupations just trying to pay rent (i.e. a regular bitch) has time to sit down and read. One thing I’m realizing is that time is truly a luxury – and an expensive one, at that.

I hear a lot of parallels in the aspirations of Mother Lewis and myself. Her move to the big city from a small town. Her drive to hit the ground running and storming the cabaret and Broadway theater scene like she had always dreamed.

And to think I could’ve robbed myself of all this inspiration and revelation.

There’s an influx of black women, and black people, in general, writing and I live for it. Jenifer Lewis, Issa Rae, Shonda Rhimes, Tiffany Haddish. These are the stories I needed as a youth.

But better late than never, I suppose.

 

 

 

 

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