The site is live.
My feelings are mixed.
Thrilled, and nauseous, and excited, and nervous, and pumped, and scared.
Will people actually go? Will they like it? Are the colors okay? Is it loading okay? Will people get what we’re trying to do here, and why we’re trying to do it? Will people be… offended?
I may have to take a shot or two to smooth the edges of my nerves.
We’ve worked hard. Our awesome contributors have worked hard. And that work has been with the purpose of building something that has nothing to do with excluding anyone or making anyone angry. It has everything to do with wanting to create a place that feels like home, with content that is for and by us, because those spaces are so few are far between.
I’ve said before that in the diversity in publishing conservation, IN MY OPINION, black writers writing black characters get lost. I often feel there’s no place for us, or we’re the “only”, or one of very few, and that’s… sad to me. And frustrating. And… inspiring.
It’s not about us vs them. It’s about us, even when they don’t want to recognize us. It’s about us, even when they can’t relate. It’s about us, because goddammnit, we read and write too. It’s about us, because despite the shared trials and tribulations that are uniquely BLACK, despite the narrative that we are only angry and miserable and unworthy, we are living, and loving, and telling our stories because they matter.
We fucking matter.
And that’s what this is about. Showing US that WE matter. Reading books where WE matter. Erotica where we matter. Historicals where we matter. Literary fiction where we matter. Romance where we matter.
I’m looking at what I just wrote, like “really Christina? That’s super lofty. Go to sleep, write this in the morning.” But I won’t. I’ll do it now, with tears in my eyes, passion or exhaustion, I don’t know, but here we are.
There’s no negativity here. Only love. Love for black women, black men, black love, black words, black creativity, and I’m just tryna spread it around. I’m just trying to do my part, and this is all I have to give. Words and images that uplift and show the black experience in a positive light. That’s my contribution to showing the world that black lives matter. I live it, breathe it, and feel myself about to go full-on Kanye right now, so I’m gonna let (you finish. LMBO. Kidding!) this go.
But yeah. Girl, Have You Read… is live. And I hope you enjoy it. I hope you receive it.