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Writing While Black

Exploring Perceptions of African American Writing in the 21st Century

The purpose of this dissertation was to explore perceptions and attitudes that may shape acceptance of African American writing among readers and writers in all areas of writing, including entertainment, academia and business. The study did not intend to solve any problems with regard to perceptions nor prove that problems existed because of perceptions, but to raise awareness of how important perceptions are to acceptance and efficacy of African American writing and to ignite more scholarly research into the subject of race and African American writing in the 21st century and beyond. The study used a mixed method of qualitative and quantitative analyses of measurable responses and authentic, reflective responses from survey participants and interviewees. Findings indicated that more scholarly research into the efficacy, relevance and the impact of racial stereotypes, biases and discrimination in Academia, entertainment and business in America facing African Americans is necessary.

White Supremacy and the Post Racial Colorblind Era

Exploring Visible and Invisible Whiteness in the United States

An Unbleached Unbook Look

My goal in writing this Unbook is to reveal how events during the period referenced gave rise to the Post Racial Color Blind era; that time when Whiteness literally disappeared, and the individual, skin-based privilege of “normal” people began. It will hopefully spark enough interest into this time in history and bring crystal clarity to the confusion among both Black and white people over exactly what color blindness actually meant to a nation so fixated on the color of skin, meritocracy and the superiority inherent in exceptionalism. I will explore how white and Black people pretended to ignore Race as Color and popularized Race as Character; both of which did a great deal of damage. Further, I hope to illustrate how Race as Character was used as a way to camouflage racial bigotry, and how white people used Race as Character to switch the paradigm of systemic Racism in order to assign their own racial bigotry to Black people. This is intended to be a deeply thought-provoking look at the probable result of generations being born and raised within an era when Whiteness was substituted for normal, neutral, natural, and mainstream, as Blackness became engulfed in a virtually invisible war, where the positive character of Black people built during the civil rights movements became the collateral damage of the 21st century.

The Gatekeeper

When you put together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle it's supposed to fit together with no spaces in between, forming a clear picture of what it represents. But when the pieces are shaken causing them to fall apart, you have what happened to our main character in The Gatekeeper: fragmented, disassembled pieces of a puzzled mind without a clear picture of what it is supposed to represent. The story explores her decision to go into therapy, unlocking the truth of her past; discovering secrets her mind chooses to forget, secrets which shaped her vast and conflicting personalities. The novel is an insightful and sometimes humorous journey of self-preservation and actualization, where readers are drawn closer to the truth in their own lives by gaining a better understanding of how their own experiences can be catalysts for their behavior. Our protagonist's complex personalities take the reader through a literary odyssey to emerge with greater clarity and understanding of their own lives.

Chris Collins, Till Stewart, Maynard Hill, Alfred Beucey, and the twins, Beryl and Cheryl Ricks, along with Roberta Henson, are members of the makeshift family of children created by Roberta, known as “The Fosters.”
Chris Collins and Till Stewart refused to let go of the hope they kept hidden as children for a better future. When Chris reconnects with Till during college, after graduation, they partner to form an extremely successful and award-winning magazine.
Still struggling to find fulfillment in her life, along with the desire to write a book on their experiences, Chris allows her curiosity to discover what became of the family to consume her. She decides to take a couple of years off from the magazine to write about her friends at the Haven of Hope Adoption Facility. What she discovers about their lives and her own will be more than her curiosity could ever have imagined.

The Fosters

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Copyright 2021 Cynthia Alease Smith, Ed.D.