Black Writers in a Post-Obama America
The celebrated African American writer John O. Killens believed that black writers have a responsibility to their community and exhorted them to write fiction that exposed the racist treatment of black people in America. The women in Brown Girl, Brownstones, the groundbreaking novel by McArthur Genius awardee Paule Marshall, speak of using their voices as weapons against racial injustice. Should black writers in these times, post-Obama, heed the urgings of Killens and the women in Marshall’s novel? Pointing to the pervasiveness of systemic racism in America, Ta Nehisi Coates also argues that a reckoning is required.