As a student of history, as an African-American male, as a counselor at law, and now, as a writer, I’ve come to understand that nothing moves people, changes minds, and inspires action quite like art. My varied experiences have also taught me that change is never handed over freely; it is taken by folks who decide to reclaim what was theirs all along: justice. Change is messy, change is disruptive, change is expensive, and change requires determination. That determination springs from the righteousness of the cause, and that righteousness flows from the free exchange, and critique, of ideas.
It is my hope that my work may help stir young people—the perpetual authors and auditors of change, and the standard bearers of true progressivism—to be the change they seek rather than waiting for members of the establishment to do what they’ve consistently refused to do, those folks cloaked only in the shiny accoutrements of progressivism. Ultimately, I aim to use fiction to help engineer more equitable socioeconomic outcomes across race, gender, and sexual orientation by galvanizing critical analysis of government, politicians, policy, power, the status quo, and the American institutions that conspire to both resist substantive societal transformation and preserve the unjust systems of preference regulating access to opportunity.
America’s founding documents do not promise us wealth, or even happiness, but they do promise us the opportunity to use our talents, without discrimination on the basis of the arbitrary circumstances of our birth, to inscribe our marks on the world. When will we hold our leaders, and ourselves, accountable to the truths we all profess to hold?
One thought on “Fiction for Action and Transformation—The Reasons Why I Write”
I enjoy your poignant commentary. Your life experiences and unique perspective make your writing edgy and provocative. I look forward to reading more about Al Carpenter.
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