Open letter to the Critics of Urban Fiction.
(ThyBlackMan.com) Dear critics, I know that you dislike this genre and say that it’s not “legitimate” enough to be considered an actual genre of literature. I also know that some of you hate the fact that a young black man like me is going to be successful one day despite all of the odds stacked against me.
Also it’s sad to say this but I know there are a few black people that don’t want to see this so called “Ghetto lit” or “Urban smut” in the palms of their children that actually wish to live a life outside of a bubble. Also they don’t want to see other people of color profit from this genre because it reflects the part of society that they rather sweep under the rug. My mother always told me that you can’t please everyone and it’s true but sometimes when the pressure is coming from people that look just like you it makes it that much more difficult to maneuver pass the obstacles put in front of me.
I know this is crazy but I know how Carmelo Anthony feels when the pressure is on. The same way that everyone’s expecting him to lead the Knicks to a championship is the same way people are expecting me to be the next big thing in black literature and also carry the torch for young men of color. But much like him I welcome the challenge and I say bring it on.
I already know that even if I write material that could bring Donald Goines, Langston Hughes and James Baldwin back to life some of you would still find something negative to say about my writing. Oh he’s too young, in-experienced, he’s under-developed, it’s ghetto literature or the most famous it’s “too realistic”. But guess what God’s given me a gift like so many others so he’s the only one that can judge my true worth.
So I say to all you critics I understand that you have a job and that job is to critique my work and my job is to take your suggestions and use them to my advantage and come back with something even stronger. I also know that some of you dislike the genre or the name Urban Fiction but it is what it is and I say that with pride and will embrace the challenge to bring a breath of fresh air to not only Urban literature but to black literature in general.
Staff Writer; Shawn Hudson
( This talented young man is author of By Any Means Necessary. Meet him in person Saturday, July 21 at The Harlem Book Fair. )