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Urban Fiction Genre A Reply to a Reader

[Opinion] Urban Fiction Genre – A Reply to a Reader

A reader left her opinion on my blog post, [OPINION+VIDEO] The Urban Fiction Genre – What It Is And What It Isn’t. She has since withdrawn her comment, however, I was able to capture it. You may read her full comment here.

Below is my reply, and I would certainly welcome your comments, so please leave them below.

Contrary to how some may feel:

  • Not ALL black women enjoy wearing a black eye after asking their boyfriend to pick up after himself.
  • Not ALL black women are trying to get as many baby daddies as birthday candles they blow out each year.
  • Not ALL black women get abortions like hair salon appointments.

In fact… I don’t know too many who would say they enjoy this (or any!).

There are so many stereotypes about black women out there in the world. But what I know to be true is:

  • ALL black women are powerful.
  • ALL black women are ethereal.
  • ALL black women are unyielding.

Do we make mistakes? Hell, yes. We are human, after all! We live and learn, sometimes repeat the same mistakes and learn again. We are liberating ourselves from the societal constraints in films like: “Girls Trip”, music by my Queen: “Lemonade” and, my favorite tool for liberation?

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African American Urban Fiction.

Writers, like me, use our creative license to give you an Urban Fiction storyline that you will enjoy but also learn from. These may not be the typically socially conscious book but they are still designed to uplift, inspire and inform as well as entertain readers as we illustrate the dangers of urban life. Think about books like “The Coldest Winter Ever”, “Moth to a Flame”, “Life” (yes, Bae’s book), “Midnight”, we can go on and on…

All of these traditional and early urban stories demonstrated the dangers and misfortunes of urban life and taught a lesson about the street life while also being entertaining. Some end happily and some don’t. It’s the same with the current wave of urban books.

There are reasons many love to read Urban Fiction. Are there parts which are distasteful? YES! But, the same can and should be said about other genres as well. The reality is that many of the different scenarios we shine a light on are actually true to real-life situations.

There are reasons many love to read Urban Fiction. Are there parts which are distasteful? YES! But, the same can and should be said about other genres as well. Click To Tweet
  • There ARE black women out there who utilise abortions as a form of birth control.
  • There ARE black women who glamorise lighter skin and denigrate women of a darker hue.
  • There ARE black women who take back guys who are abusive and cheat.

But guess what? It’s not just African American women. TRIFLING is not relegated to a specific color. Black, brown and white populations have trifling people in their demographic makeup. It’s not something that we own but it is a part of life that plagues people in the urban/hood areas.

TRIFLING is not relegated to a specific color. Black, brown and white populations have trifling people in their demographic makeup. Click To Tweet

The majority of urban books are framed as a cautionary tale. Plenty of books show how terrible outcomes come about because of the abortions, abuse, unprotected sex, etc. – AIDS, deaths and such included… People don’t just get off easy in our books. They pay the consequences for their actions.

Sure, there is a love story and the hero often may be someone who talks and acts reckless and may even be disrespectful but the character always shows growth from there as the series progresses… just like in any other genre.

Other genres have their negative repeat issues that circulate in their books. Take a minute to scroll through ‘mainstream’ romance novels and you’ll see that everybody over there has a ‘Christian Grey BDSM guy’ who sexually enslaves the timid, shy heroine, or a bad ass biker boy who shuns love for casual sex but eventually finds the one he can’t resist, or what about the billionaire romance where the bad ass mafia heir finds true love with the morally sound good girl he just can’t resist?

Image of a quote

Bleh.

And the way black women are represented? Some mainstream authors love to have a “blue-eyed blonde” or typical looking character type. All genres have a “type” but I think the urban authors I’ve read have been great with having a variety of physical make-ups in our books.

The truth is that Black women come in all shapes and sizes… and I’ve seen that variation in the books that I’ve read. I’ve seen that variation in the books I’ve written.

 


Read the reader’s comment on [OPINION+VIDEO] The Urban Fiction Genre – What It Is And What It Isn’t.


 

And where do we get this notion from that an ‘exotic look’ means the character is not entirely black? With all the different features that Black women have (high cheekbones, almond/slanted eyes, etc) ‘exotic’ is most definitely a description that pertains to a Black woman. A Black woman can look ‘exotic’ because she has a Jamaican, Nigerian, Trinidadian and American background… all ‘black’ areas. If you think ‘exotic’ equals ‘European’ or that Black women can’t have long hair or light eyes, YOU may be part of the problem.

And where do we get this notion from that an 'exotic look' means the character is not entirely black? With all the different features that Black women have 'exotic' is most definitely a description that pertains to a Black woman. Click To Tweet

And, let’s face it.

  • Readers love waiting for the scene where the man who claims to be in love ends up in a compromising situation with another woman.
  • Readers smile with glee while reading the scene where he comes crawling back and begs for her forgiveness.
  • Readers read with bated breath when, in frustration, he punches the wall next to her head and backs her up to the bed (yes, Nelly, It’s getting hot in here!).

And readers also love to see the characters work through the dysfunction. They love to see the victorious moment or the lesson that is learned at the end. And that’s why we are here.

What do you think? Did you read the reader’s comment on Urban Fiction? Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

19 Comments

  • Gina says:

    I love your response. You made some really good points and I totally agree. I have only been reading urban fiction for a few years and I like how it is so raw and uncut. I don’t always want to read stuff where Jeff and Sue go skipping along the hillside in the sunshine of their love…lol. Don’t get me wrong, I do read those kinds of books too, but like I said, at times I enjoy the raw and uncut version too and I never think negatively about the author or think they have any ulterior motive for what they write. I believe that for some authors, the things they write about are their very own TRUTH. I read all kinds of books and believe me there are some seriously savage things that go on in other genres, but I digress. Great response!

    • Porscha says:

      You had me laughing:

      I don’t always want to read stuff where Jeff and Sue go skipping along the hillside in the sunshine of their love

      And yes! I mean seriously, some of the books I’ve read makes me want to write more urban fiction! lol Thanks for your support! 😍

  • marcus dagreat says:

    I ‘ve always heard from some of the most renown authors to write the book you want to read, not the book you think people want to read. so when i hear so much negativity about a genre thats so authentic and real to the feeling for urban americans, (notice i said urban americans and not people from the uk, or anywhere else, because its only our reality here in the land of oppression, freedom, and capitalism. )i can’t understand how a person who hasnt experience this life style try to disect a genre of content. we authors write about the reflections of our communities in which mass incarceration, drug abuse, and low moral runs through every house hold in some form or fashion, because of certain circumstances we had and still have no control over. Being a pariah touches every lineage in african American communities and this is no fault in our stars, but rather a mental disability that went undiagnosed in this strange land of ours. So knowing and living the life that we authors write about gives me enough confidence to know that no one and i mean no one can judge, speak bad, try to relate, or give their idea of why couldn’t we be more, it’s their opinions looking from the outside in! lastly, I’ve lived through mass incarceration and we(young black ninjas) love to read urban ficition and thats a blessing that were even reading while living in a place of separation. so i say to my authors, my brothers and sisters, keep writing those stories that you love to read and feel proud doing it, because it’s our truth and no ones else. love!

    • Stacy Boyland says:

      I must say I’ve been reading your books since 2015. Big fan it’s my escape from my reality. So all I have to say is keep writing and educating and I’ll keep reading. I haven’t read a book I did not like or receive something from. Fan for life. And congrats on the wedding and new baby.

    • Porscha says:

      Amen, Marcus. Amen! ❤

  • Diamond says:

    Thank you for the invite into your Queendom

  • Falecia says:

    I love to read period. But it’s something about urban books that give me that fix that I need. I can relate to a lot of the urban books I’ve read.

  • Jackie says:

    So I said the sexual preference thing because some of these books are helping people. It makes them think about what they are going through in their lives so don’t look at everything negatively. Happy to see all of these Black Authors doing their thing. Keep up the good work!

  • Jackie says:

    So let me begin with this “I LOVE YOUR WORK!” I am a woman of a certain age and I read for enjoyment. A lot of what is in these books are what is happening in the world now with young people. When I was in high school, we weren’t doing the things that young people are doing today. Let’s be clear! I have nothing against anyone’s sexual preference, but when I was young being anything but straight was considered a no-no. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but that is just your opinion not everyone feels the same way. Porscha keep writing and I’m going to keep reading what you’re writing!

    XOXO

    • Porscha says:

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words. And you’re right, we are writing about what is happening. It’s fiction, but…

  • Sharene Price says:

    I read all types of books from various authors. But something about Urbsn books draws me in. Reality is written in those types of book. She is from the U.K. maybe her life has never had a guy who was a thug, drug dealer, cheater etc. But for her to make it as though urban books are leading women to believe it’s okay to get an abortion or have sex unprotected without getting tested. This shit happens on the daily not just with black women all women. But urban books can relate to a person’s past, future and present. In order to feel a book you have to be able to somewhat relate to the book and obviously she can’t relate. If it poses so much concern for her why continue to read? Pick up a pen and pad and write what you want to read.. problem solved.

    • Porscha says:

      You’re right! As if black women are the only women to have abortions! Love your line:

      urban books can relate to a person’s past, future and present

      😍

  • Jessica Mason says:

    That’s all I read it Urban books. I feel that I can related to the story’s. I love the drama and excitement that goes on in the story. Sometimes a story can seem to much when all the authors talk about the same thing instead of going outside the box.

  • Kiesha Allen says:

    This individual said she was in the U.K. maybe she doesn’t live this life, like we do in U.S. These stories reflect a LOT of what is going on in our urban communities. I read African American and Caucasian authors, the Caucasian authors do not always say the couple is using condoms. I love your response to her Ms. Sterling, maybe it’s just a difference between countries.

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