When I write, I don’t factor in for narrator skew. I generally don’t like stories that hinge upon an unreliable narrator. Yes, okay, ‘The Usual Suspects’ is one of my favourite movies and ‘Fallen‘ is also superb.
Denizens of the U. of S. of A have long looked down their noses at the rest of the world. “We have real freedom of speech. Freedom of the press.” Over the last few years, many citizens of the U.S. have come, sometimes grudgingly, to admit something that their expatriate kindred have known all along: Free press isn’t necessarily unbiased press.
It’s hard to illuminate suppressed events. Many of the details surrounding them have been buried, ignored by omission or edited out by commission. Besides, I write speculative fiction. Not much room there to shine a spotlight on the past, right?
Wrong. Watchmen did it. We all can.
What I can, and do strive for, is detailed, accurate, unbiased research. The incorporation of important themes, lessons. If I model future stories based on real word events past or present? So much the better. The more something is written about, talked about, the harder it is to make it disappear.
It angers me that it took, among other things, art to illuminate history. To raise awareness of an event our history books failed to capture. It should anger us all.
And then I calm down, because that is, among other things, one of the beautiful roles of art.
Sometimes it just takes people. Determined people. Inspirational people. People like Miss Opal Lee.
Almost Ninety, she set out to have Juneteenth recognized as a National Holiday. Walking, talking, rallying support, by 2017 she had a million and a half signatures. It wasn’t enough. But she didn’t quit.
Her 2½-mile walk this year will be like no other. In her NPR interview, Ms. Lee said she would be praying and giving thanks with each step. “I’ll be thinking of my ancestors. I’ll be thinking about my great-great-grandchildren and my grandchildren and my children.”
A lot of our grandchildren, their children, and their children’s children will be thinking of you one day, Opal Lee. Thanking you.
To Truth. And the tellers of same.