Black History Month: Today We Celebrate….
Black History month.
A month we are all supposed to be celebrating black people and black history. A memorial of sorts in my opinion, because it’s predominantly about a look at the past. Not a celebration of today. Well I would like to change that for the next 30–45 seconds if I could.
You see a while back I met a guy…no scratch that I met a gentleman by the name of Kern Carter. I was overwhelmed with pride when I saw how well this brother was doing.
A full time writer, a notable Medium force, and a proud (and public) father. While I’m sure he’ll humbly oblige to his notoriety, I’ll be one to give him his well deserved roses on this side of the grave.
You see this message is not endorsed nor has it been requested. I’m also not here to venerate a person simply on the basis of obtaining some sort of popularity status. No, in fact, I’m here to recognize an individual who is making impact on the world.
Specifically as a black person.
You see Kern is raising up a voice and a counter-narrative to the black male experience. He’s doing it in a way that is both true to himself and true to art form of writing.
We often celebrate literary artists of the past like Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes, but if asked who are the black writers of today we often draw a blank.
I know I did.
When I stumbled across Kern’s Medium page I was inspired to look for more full time black writers. Sadly, even my efforts at an intense Google search left me searching for the shoulder shrug emoji.
Despite my failed search attempts, I have to believe there are more black full time writers living and breathing today. So I hope that if this message reaches you and you know of them, that you would leave their name in the comment section so that we can all celebrate and support them together.
In the meantime, today we celebrate Kern Carter the founder of C.R.Y. blog and Medium publication Thoughts of a Fractured Soul. Full time writer, father and dare I say men’s health (emotional and mental) advocate.
In recognition of him, I asked Kern (a while back — not knowing I would use his answers in formulating this type of article) a few questions.
Here are his answers:
What are your special interests?
Writing, curating content, attending live music events, reading local writers.
What do you wish you would have known before pursuing writing as a career?
What I wish I would’ve known before is to not wait on anyone to give me a chance. We live in a time where if I want to create something and put it out into the world, nothing is stopping me.
There’s this supposed validation we’re all seeking as creators, but if I focus on building my readership and not worry about anything else, then none of that other validation matters.
How you would like to see the writing scene change?
I’d like to see the writing industry change in a few ways. First, I wish authors who write novels got more promotion. Often, it’s the title that gets all the notoriety. We need to promote authors the same way the music industry promotes musicians.
There should be more opportunities for partnerships and sponsorships for authors. I would also like to see more black people become agents. Agents right now are the de facto gatekeepers. They’re the ones who the majority of publishers look to for new titles.
But from my experiences, most agents are not black.
I will say that there are a lot of female agents so that’s a positive, but unless the diversity becomes far more nuanced, then the stories that truly represent black culture will continue to be bypassed for more typical representations of black culture that only focuses on the trauma of our existence.
And there you have it folks.
Today we are thanking Kern for his tireless efforts to educate others on the writing community, for his writing contributions on changing the narrative of black male experience and most importantly for being an involved black father to a black daughter.
Hats off to you today sir.