Jesmyn Ward: ‘Black Girls Are Silenced, Misunderstood And Underestimated’


Jesmyn Ward, a 2020 Phil Lind Initiative speaker and author of award-winning novels Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied Sing, captures universal human stories with poetic grace. In an interview with The Guardian, the two-time National Book Award winner shares her innermost motivations behind her writing, as well as how her lived experiences as a Black-American in a White-dominated landscape have shaped her narrative: “They keep insisting that racism does not exist, that there’s a level playing field. That we are all born with the same opportunities. If people are writing about slavery, I think it is because we want to push back against that narrative. The narrative serves them. It makes it seem like we chose our poverty, or we deserve our poverty; we deserve our ill-equipped, dangerous playgrounds, and we deserve our horrible educations and we deserve to be hungry.”

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