I think when people say they just want to read a good story, they’re really saying they just want to read a book by someone like themselves and they don’t think a PoC can craft a good story. I’ve read books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Khaled Hosseini. They showed me a part of life that I may (nay, most definitely will) never experience. Does that negate my own experience? I don’t think so. This world is a kaleidoscope of colors: brown, yellow, white, red, black. Ok, I know those color designations could be offensive. I don’t mean to be really. It’s a known fact that reading about someone else’s experiences creates empathy for others. A reader is more empathetic of someone than a non-reader.
So how does one read more diversely? By reading more diverse books, on purpose. This means (for me, too) seeking out those books that are different from our own experiences. Seeking out books that might make us uncomfortable. Really, it’s when we start to become uncomfortable that we stretch our imaginations to the point that we can step into someone else’s moccasins, as the saying goes, and see through another’s eyes. I want to travel the world, but I just don’t have the funds, so until the day comes when I can set out to conquer the world, books can open those doors for me right here and right now.