author – activist – faculty – mom
When I read about the San Francisco PD racist texting scandal, it brought to mind the landmark police abuse case in Richmond, CA that my mother had worked on in the 1980s. I interviewed my mom and was able to connect the dots between my memories, her memories and online research to show how the current racism in Bay Area police departments is directly connected to white attitudes in the pre-Civil Rights era Deep South. Now, I’ve written for a lot of online outlets, but this was the first time I was writing for a news outlet. And it nearly killed me. The level of research and fact checking was so overwhelming that I was relieved to go back to the relatively cushy job of writing fiction.
In fact, on Twitter on Monday I declared it #SaluteWomenJournalists Day. I sent shoutouts to my favorite feminists in the journalism field. Wow. I never realized just how hard their work is. And I was working with the editor Latoya Peterson, founder of Racialicious, a totally sympathetic African American woman. I have no idea how women journalists do it.
So I was really deep in my fiction and forgot to promote when the story came out on Monday. So here it is. My first (and probably last) foray into real news journalism. Enjoy!