I need your opinion. From the tragic shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri (2014) to the deaths of five Dallas, Texas police officers (2016), racial tension remains mainstream discussion at every coffee shop, office watercooler, and news media outlet. But how many of us express a vested interest in how racial tension affects our daily lives?

We snuggle up in gated communities replete with private education, ample budget for police officer presence, and neighborhood watch programs. How many care enough to educate ourselves and our social circles about racial tension, profiling, and the prejudices that stain the soul like a blight on the face of human decency?

As a writer, I am intrigued by the human condition. We strive to improve life by filling the coffers with such important necessities as financial security, enlightened charitableness, and love for our fellow man. But the desire to live a charitable life changes as readily as a 6:00 p.m. weather forecast. Town council meetings are packed with opposition for proposed juvenile facilities, missions, and affordable housing projects. How do we reconcile the tumultuous dichotomy of these inherent tensions? Some preach that education is enough to counteract the explosion of burgeoning racial division. Yet others are content with burying their heads in the proverbial sand pit.

Equity vs Equality

The argument between equality (same) versus equity (fair)  rages ever-forward. Are opportunities the same or are they fair? Rosa Parks’ brave historic bus ride championed this elusive difference. She recognized the equality of riding public transportation in the back of the bus was not the same as the equity of choosing a seat in the front. I believe this conversation continues to smolder at the crux of racial tension. My heart screams to write a novel addressing this issue. Next week, return to Sherrie’s Always Write to weigh in on the potential book blurb searing through my brain.

If you would like to read other fictional accounts that address the issue of racial tension, below is a list of must reads:

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Sycamore Row by John Grisham
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Please leave your opinion on whether or not you would read a fictional book that addresses today’s racial tension issues.


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