“As an English major, I’ve never expected much when it comes to classes focused on the most notable literary contributions to society. I’ve sat through classes featuring dead white men upon dead white men, wondering why a PoC was so rarely between the pages. This semester, I thought my prayers had finally been answered. The course I enrolled in would be focusing on American Autobiography with a clear section devoted solely to African-American autobiography. Oh, happy days!
It wasn’t until we started having class discussions about African-American autobiography that I’d realized I’d been praying to Satan. I’d gotten what I’d wanted, but in a way that was so mind boggling and distorted I wanted to close my textbook and leave on a regular basis. What could possibly be so terrible about studying African-American autobiography? What could be so wrong with analyzing Washington, Du Bois, and Douglass alongside the likes of Franklin, Thoreau and Whitman?
Literary colorblindness. Literary colorblindness is best described as evaluating someone’s writings based solely on their words, meaning you may not fully consider the author’s race as the backdrop. Sounds awesome, right? Sounds like a good old fashioned we-are-the-world type throwback?