For this assignment, I was told to write what I know. I tried hard, at first, to come up with characters and settings that matched the people and places I grew up around, issues that reflected the realities of being black, with all its intersections, in America. This is what I thought I knew, what I was supposed to know. But I realized that I don’t know these things well at all, that I am still in the process of learning them. So instead, I wrote about the things I did know intimately that I thought had nothing to do with race: school, coffee, late nights, dreams, boys who could not love you back and the feeling of becoming a ghost. In the end, I think these things say more about my experience with blackness than writing a story explicitly about race ever would have.
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