If you are getting tired of the shrill discussions about race that were sparked by the Shirley Sherrod firing, I suggest you check out these thoughtful pieces on race and publishing written over the last three years by black women writers:
"Writers Like Me" by Martha Southgate
"Reading Too Much Into Race" by Carleen Brice
"Black Writers in a Ghetto of the Publishing Industry's Making" by Bernice L. McFadden
"Readers, Rise Up" by Tayari Jones
Last week, author Lori L. Tharps wrote a provocative piece on the networking site SheWrites where she asked for white ambassadors to help get the word out about her new book. I think Tharps intended for the piece to be a humorous and informative essay about the challenges black writers have in marketing their books, but based on the responses to the piece, I'm not sure her intentions were clear.
People have noted that Sherrod's NAACP speech was nuanced and talked about race in a way that was not simple. I think that anytime you're aiming for the truth, and not a soundbite, what you say will be nuanced. This is why writers and literature are so important, especially today amidst our fast paced media culture. Sometimes the quieter and more reflective voices have the most to say.