I haven't felt so alone in my life. I feel like I want to give up. I just can't win.
People been giving me all sorts of hell about the All About Marilyn cover. I design this cover so I wouldn't have to deal with the racial nonsenseI got about the Cassandra Cookbook cover, having to deal with that lightskin/darkskin crap and accusations of being colorstruck. Now they accuse me of being "worldy about making an artistic statement and refuse to support me.
I hate the fact that my intentions in both cases about these covers I designed were twisted and distorted by the public. In Cassandra's case I never expressed any preference about skin color regarding the character; I designed what I saw in my imaginaton.
In Marilyn's case I never meant anything sexual or worldly about the art. My intention was to make a statement about black beauty; the red lips were supposed to draw the viewer to Marilyn's face where the story was told. It was an abstract picture. Marilyn's face is incomplete; there was more to her story than what is presented between the minimal lines of detail.
I understand that Black people come in numerous shades of brown and that art is supposed to make us think and expand our understanding of the world and the people in it. This is something missing from the narrow-minded perspectives of inner city life.
On my last two book projects I feel that my mission of trying to bring positive stories about the African-American experience is failing. My goal of inspiring others and broadening African-Americans understanding of self is being lost by the public. It hurts me to know that the knowledge I wanted to share about the entertainment industry in All About Marilyn isn't going to be heard because most people are going to judge the book by the cover. Worse, because so many will judge the book by the cover they'll never get an understanding about the basics of screenwriting, or learn more about an industry where there are so few people of color.