Want Real Curriculum? Brandon Taylor Dramatizes Untold Stories

The systems in America were built to help Straight White Men succeed. Politics, economics, judiciary, education, all these branches of the United States were designed without the well-being of minorities in mind, and while much has been done to try and create equality, we need equity. Brandon Taylor addresses the effect this has on the Black Psyche, specifically the Black Gay Male psyche. The protagonist, Wallace, faces constant prejudice and bias from white people. Constant racist and homophobic remarks that slowly dig away at the accomplished and smart man he is. He begins to doubt, to hate what he once loved. These microaggressions are a real story, though the novel is a fictional work. In other words, it is a reflection of the experiences Taylor had in his life. Taylor is very vocal about the reception of this novel; it was not written for the white gaze, it was written to introduce nuances of the black experience into the contemporary literary world. Through reading many articles and listening to many podcasts about Taylor himself, I can now clearly see the story he was trying to convey, and the life he was trying to reflect. This was real life for Brandon Taylor, real life for Wallace, and it is the real life for many minorities. This novel’s emotional landscape reflects real experiences that create the joint “Black Experience” or the “Queer Experience.”  Far too often in literature, especially with the White Authors schools love to read, white is assumed to be the default, Black is the other, Black features are noticed and talked about. While many argue this is merely description, it highlights race and creates a world where Black is the “other.” In this novel, however, white is pointed out and described. White skin and speech patterns have attention called to them. To a white reader, this is different and uncomfortable. But it should be uncomfortable. Black people and other POC have to experience this every day, in their classrooms or when they read for leisure. Brandon Taylor’s Real Life is what we need to see for the future of American Literature, it tells stories that need to be told and shares a point of view that is far too often undermined in American dialogue.  

This entry was posted in Literature Circles aka #litcircles and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Want Real Curriculum? Brandon Taylor Dramatizes Untold Stories

  1. 21kbros says:

    Great insights Max! I think that your thoughts are perfectly reflected in in your powerful image choice!

  2. 21wschmitz says:

    I really like the image you chose to incorporate into the blogpost. It visually represents your thoughts perfectly.

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