Saturday, October 10, 2015

Why not me?

Been off line for a while pondering many things.  One ponder was asking myself, 'What right do I have to write about Irish history?'  I've yet to travel to Ireland.  I am only somewhat confident that I even have Irish DNA in my bones.  Am I an intruder?  Will I come across as the proverbial 'Ugly American' assuming entitlement to having my work accepted by Irish and Choctaw peoples? Will they be offended by my invasion into the privacy of their culture?  

My research has occupied more time than my writing and what I've learned has only added fuel my passions for my topic.  Reading history, I accept that most of it was written by people who weren't there about things which may or may not have happened.  And my work is characterized as 'historical fiction'.  So, 'Why Not Me?'  I have been disciplined enough to understand misappropriation and have worked hard not to fall into that trap.  Some historical fiction can can be misconstrued as 'accurate' and perpetuate dishonoring certain cultures through clumsy writing by uncaring authors.

As I cluttered my creativity with these ponderings, once again, my muse of serendipity came to my rescue.  Random searching with the TV controller landed me on a PBS 'American Masters' presentation already in progress.  The focus was on an American playwright, August Wilson.  With biracial parents, i.e., only 'half black', he went on to pen a series of plays that have been called the 'capturing of the African American experience'.  His plays have become world famous and been awarded the highest honors in theater.  With only half of him considered African American, he has been accepted as the spokesperson for the total experience of the black race in our country.  Some of his early works were scorned by the critics, but scholars later recognized his brilliant understanding of that segment of American culture.

Wilson had the passion to understand and the talent to articulate the high and low points of the black experience, and earned the respect of all races.  So, why not me?

Yeah, why not?