My work is an exploration into the complexities of memory in relation to racial identity formation and story creation. Our stories are as much a record of what we've forgotten as what we remember. They are a sort of creative transcript of the constant negotiation and attempts at reconciling our multiple identities. Stories are a means to make sense of the world by making sense of ourselves. As a citizen of Black America I recognize that my racial identity and my experience as a raced individual is forged through stories that I didn't write.
My writing, then, is to be read as a reminder to the American body politic, which is prone to disremembering - white and nonwhite. Specifically, White America’s “Great Forgetting” is its cultural amnesia regarding the recent and historical treatment of black folks and other people of color. White America has forgotten whose blood, sweat, and tears laid the foundation for the greatest country in the annals of history. Leela Fernades calls this the “politics of forgetting” and defines it as the “political-discursive process in which specific marginalised social groups are rendered invisible within the dominant national political culture.”
The purpose of literary art is to remind the hearts of what ought not to be forgotten. It is a revolutionary act in circumstances when remembering constitutes defiance. The pen, then, is at once dangerous and necessary. When used revolutionarily it reverberates truths across the world. Early Muslim scholar, Ibn Abbas, describes this original purpose of writing:
May our pens echo unheard voices from the past, in the present, for the future.