Truth is Stranger than Fiction

When I started this blog and chose “truth is stranger than fiction,” as the tagline, it was puzzling to people. Someone even reached out to correct, me, saying, “don’t you mean the truth is stronger than fiction?”

No. Stranger is the word I meant.

What it seeks to communicate is that nothing we can create can be as unusual as what we find in actual life, and speaks metaphorically of the unsettling realness of truth—the “strangeness” of reality. You think something is weird until you find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes. You think my blog name and the tagline is strange until you understand what it means.

Everything that is happening right now, I could quickly put in a novel. Except, there is no story I can conjure up that would be equivalent to the real-life terror that blacks face and have faced every day in this country.

As someone who writes Black Historical Fiction, there is a strangeness about what’s going on because what happened in the 60s is still happening. And as I place my fictional characters amid events that actually happened, I realize that I am a character in the present world, a world that mirrors the one passed. Our children and their children will read about what happened this year, and they will ask the question, “what was it like living in a world with civil unrest because of the mistreatment of blacks during a pandemic?”

The first five months of 2020 have been brutal on every level, and we are living in what will one day be part of America’s history, and it must not be lost to us that we are part of that history.

If America were a house, racism would be the foundation on which this house sits. People don’t want to hear that many of the founding fathers were slave-owners. They don’t want to hear about the Slave Patrols turned southern police departments. People don’t want to hear that dismantling systemic racism means to dismantle that system. And people certainly do not want to hear about the spiritual connections between the afflictions blacks have endured, their real identity and heritage, and their place in America.

But there is no one way of looking at everything that’s going on, but this is also what makes writing a powerful tool for shedding light on these truths, exposing prejudices, and breaking down barriers, and eventually whole systems.

Everyone can’t be on the ground. I won’t say “on the front lines,” because I don’t believe there is one way to be on the front lines. The term comes from the military line or part of an army that is closest to the enemy. To be on the “front line” means to be closeted to the enemy, which is usually depicted as physically facing him. But there are other ways to face the enemy, and one way is to write with accuracy.

Write the truth. Write it as raw and as bloody as it is in real life. Pass down stories to the next generation that will teach them the truth about who they are. Take Toni Morrison, for example, who in the 60s and 70s chose to publish the books of black writers telling the truth and exposing lies. Books play a significant role in educating a people, and miseducation has a lot to do with what is and is not, written in books.

Writers are, therefore, also on the front lines and in a powerful way. In the words of Nina Simone, “you can’t help it. As far as I’m concerned, an artist’s duty is to reflect the times.” 

As devastating as things are right now, what black writers write today, be it a poem or blog post or scholarly article, can make a difference in the next world.

In this 99th year of the destruction of Black Wall Street, I am thinking about ways to improve my fiction, poetry, and other writings to provide a better historical context and learning experience for the next generation.

I hope I can adequately contextualize it in a way that clearly communicates what today’s world was like for those who lived it.


Be Sure to Pick Up Your Copy of my Black Historical Fiction Series, The Stella Trilogy and to leave a review on Amazon. Click Here.

Published by

Yecheilyah

I write Black Historical Fiction, Poetry, and Inspirational Non-Fiction for the Freedom of all People. Visit me on the web at yecheilyahysrayl.com/

7 thoughts on “Truth is Stranger than Fiction”

  1. Strangely, or perhaps not in the current climate, this morning I was thinking along the lines you mention in your post.
    The US is a land founded on racism. Slavery has, until modern times, been ubiquitous. The Ancient Greeks and Romans has slaves. The Celts had slaves, the Vikings had slaves. There were slaves in Europe throughout history. The feudal system in Europe was basically slavery.
    So what is the difference? Well, the slaves of the Europeans weren’t of a different race, by and large. They were often people taken in battle, or as in the case of serfs, the poorest in the community.
    Slaves were thought of as little better than animals, and were treated as such( in many cases worse.)
    The idea that black people are inferior has, shockingly continued up to today. It appals and puzzles me how this can be so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The enslavement of African Americans is unique to all other forms of servitude. No other people on the face of the Earth have experienced what blacks have experienced to the levels we have experienced it. Slavery was unique not only in its brutality but also in the financial success and prosperity it afforded, not only the US but every nation who enslaved us, as we did not just come into America.

      But I believe what makes the enslavement of African Americans different is that our situation is also spiritual. What I mean is, we, the so-called Black/African American, are the real descendants of the ancient Israelites of the bible. We are the Hebrews. And I do not mean this from a religious point of view. I say this from a genetic/ethnic/nationality point of view. We are those people spoken about from Genesis to Revelations. What this means for our enslavement is this:

      We are chosen as Yah’s nation of priests. Our job was to take his laws and commandments to the world. We made a promise to Yah that we will be his people, the teachers of the world. But part of that commitment we made also said that if we didn’t honor what we said we would do, then a lot of tribulations would befall us, such as: going into slavery in ships (Deut. 28:68), locked up in prison houses (Isa 42:22), a disease-stricken people (Duet. 28:22), not known by our actual name but by bywords, proverbs, and mockeries ( Duet. 28:37 i.e. nigga/nigger, Black, African American, Negro, Colored), and ultimately we would lose knowledge of who we are (Isa 1:13), and serve our enemies in a strange land (Duet. 28: 48-50).

      To make a very long story short, the creator never created races, but nations. I believe the creators of this concept of race and, thus, racism, designed a system intended to suppress the knowledge of the identity of the real children of Israel to stop the truth of Yah from being spread to the four corners of the Earth. Crafty counsel has been taken against us to hide who we truly are. (Psa. 83:3-5).

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      1. Interesting, Yecheilyah. Some time ago, I saw something to the effect that there is a group of people in Africa who claim to be descendants of one of the priestly classes in Judaism (My knowledge of that religion is limited, so I don’t know what they are called.) Anyway, they did some DNA tests on them and the results showed that they were right, even though people had disbelieved it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yep. Some of the African tribes who have been known to have elements of Hebrewism and could trace their lineage back are those of the Congo, Yoruba, Ashanti, Igbo, Nigerians, Senegal, and Akin tribes among many others.

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