When We First Become Other

White is not the default. Our characters should reflect the true diversity in the world. This makes our writing so much richer and more real.

Sumiko Saulson

When We First Become Other

By Sumiko Saulson

Winner, Fall 2017 Berkeley City College / BCC Voice Essay Contest, “Reframing the Other”

It is the very nature of human self-awareness which creates Othering. From birth, we see the world from a personal vantage point. We first take in sounds, smells and images of our personal tribe: parents, siblings, neighbors and grandparents. They are the village to which Self belongs. This is true even for those of us mainstream America views as Other. So how does one first become Othered? This occurs through contact with multicultural groups, and with mainstream media. Once we view ourselves through the lens of mass media, it becomes possible to reframe Self as Other.

In late 1970s, watching a television show called The Jeffersons. I noticed their neighbors, the Willises, an interracial couple, had one white actor and one black actress playing their mixed race…

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Should You Make That Comment or Not?

I often hesitate to speak. I love that the author has clear guidelines for appropriate commenting. Maybe there would be a lot more real communication if people followed then.

A Writer's Path

[Note from Ryan: While this post isn’t directly about writing much, I think much of what is discussed can be applied to writing. For example, book reviews for other authors and interacting with readers. I enjoyed Stephanie’s article and I think you all will to. Enjoy!]

by Stephanie O’Brien

I recently had an interesting experience on DeviantArt, and it reminded me of an important principle that applies to both your creative career and your life in general.

I was reading one of Zarla’s “Momplates” comics, and I thought about making a comment. I typed something I thought was fitting and funny… and then paused.

I found myself asking, Should I post this? Does it add enough to the conversation, or is it just more internet noise? She already gets a lot of comments on her art.

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