It seems there was a special announcement about Black History Month on nearly every website I visited, every magazine I read, and every radio show I listened to during the month of February. In each, I was asked to celebrate, to honor, and to recognize black individuals who made a significant contribution to society.
Except here, at Literary Mama. Did you notice?
As one of Literary Mama’s blog editors for the past three years, I’ve made a conscious decision to NOT write a specific post about any ethnic-related celebratory months. (Here’s a short list.) Instead, I offered writing prompts for mama writers to record stories of family history and to journal about parenting experiences as shaped by their culture.
Our section editors operate with a similar mindset. They evaluate submissions on the depth of the message, the clarity of the writing, and the vividness of the imagery; the emphasis is on craft. Sometimes, the writer’s color of skin is the lens through which she writes—and her thoughts result in a personal essay about skin color or finding daycare or a piece of fiction about a woman and her mother—but that lens can just as easily be her surroundings, employment, health, or marital status.
In other words, we celebrate, honor, and recognize motherhood through as many lenses as our mamas write -- every month of every year.
On the other hand, explicitly acknowledging months that celebrate a particular ethnic group might encourage a wider diversity of writers to submit to LM and broaden our discussion on important parenting issues.
So consider this an invitation from the Literary Mama staff: Tell us how you celebrate, honor, and recognize ethnicity in the parenting issues you face. What role do celebratory months like Black History Month play in your writing and your parenting? How can we best encourage a diversity of writers to submit work to Literary Mama?
We want to hear from you. Leave a comment below. Join the discussion on our Facebook page. Better yet: write about it and submit an essay, poem, or story for possible publication on our pages.