Cure for the “Magical Negro”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Green Mile cured me of an almost fanatical devotion I used to have to Stephen King. The “magical negro” trope in fiction drives me insane. It’s inconceivable that an author could create these black people with wondrous powers yet they’re never seen helping any black people. Even at a time like in The Green Mile where “strange fruit” was abundant.

Historicals are my first love, and I always wanted to write one and plan to write more. My interest in the Underground Railroad meant that my first story would probably be set in that time period. Like all resistance movements the Underground Railroad was exciting and thrilling and setting a story there seemed like a no-brainer. As did the creation of the Eshu, black shape-shifters who work to free the enslaved. I was so excited when my partner, Lisa G. Riley joined me in writing these stories. We had a lot of fun creating that nebulous “something different” readers always crave.

So, if like me you’re sick of “magical negroes” check out these two stories, I promise you won’t be disappointed. These stories didn’t sell well, and I’ve always wondered why. Is it the paranormal aspect? Or the fact that they’re historicals? I know many black people have a distaste for stories from this time period, even though none of the main characters are slaves. I guess I can see that in a way. After all we like stories with HEA and how can that be under those conditions? Of course, there were stories with HEA in those times, otherwise none of us would be here. I imagine that desperate times create deep and abiding love if for no other reason than that the characters have gone through the crucible together.

Have you read either of these, and what did you think? Are you a fan of historicals? Would you like for me to write more of them? I have more Eshu story ideas, but since these didn’t do well I’m hesitant to write more. If you didn’t read them why not? Do you dislike paranormal stories? I know that some of my fans simply don’t like the paranorm, and I so get that. I used to feel the same way.