For more than two weeks now, the United States, and much of the world, has seen daily protests and demonstrations following yet another slew of murders of unarmed Black people. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, too many others, have had their lives snuffed out by the ever-present pandemic of racial and police violence. As usual, a plethora of hashtags arose from the social media seas. Among them was #AmplifyBlackVoices, meant to highlight works by Black authors and writers.
This led to a boom in follows, subscriptions, book sales, likes, and retweets across the board. Hundreds, if not thousands of people showed up to support Black authors. At least, they showed up long enough to make a few clicks. I, like my colleagues, am grateful for the boost in visibility and sales. I’m delighted by the prospect of gaining and engaging new readers, but this moment is bittersweet. I can’t truly savor what’s happening in any real capacity, because I’m plagued by a particular question:
Where was this support before?