Home Behind The Pen A Lie As Old As Time

A Lie As Old As Time

by dimensionaltales

“What they are hoping that you believe is the oldest, most racist stories in our country. Emmett Till, Scottsboro Boys, Central Park Five…These false accusations all started with the same lie — that [all] black men are wired to attack white women.”

Annalise Keating, How To Get Away With Murder, 5×07 “I Got Played

The duality around racism and the darkness behind it all.

Being an African American means that I’m aware that racism is a really big problem in my country. I know that it’s something that has ruined the lives, self-esteem, and the very foundation of so many people. And, yet, people still do it without a second thought and with twisted justification and ratification for their behavior. But I don’t know what’s worse: a closeted racist or an open one. Both of them are horrid but I find that the worst type – for me, anyway – are the ones who know how to weaponize it. This is actually how I came up with the idea for In Our Darkest Hour.

As I have stated before, I’m one of the African Americans that has not been confronted with heaps amount of racism in my earlier life. Colorism was the bane of my existence – still is. I always had to deal with people thinking that I had an easier time because of my light skintone and thus devalue my accomplishment. However, I have seen enough racism in my life where I can understand and empathize with them all.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why racism is the go-to for people who can’t get their way, whether it’s personal, professional, or political. Or, as I’ve been noticed as of late, to make themselves feel good about themselves. This has become abundantly clear after seeing how my former President has use racism to further his plan for chaos among his followers. So, this made writing the story so easy for me to write because I had so many experiences to draw from. But that also made it a little bit of a problem for me because I didn’t want the story to be another “racism story”; I wanted a sci-fi twist to it all.

This is where The Twilight Zone came to rescue as I remembered its fifth season’s episode “I Am the Night – Color Me Black”. I wanted to emphasize the darkness that was plaguing the town due to the citizen’s racism but really zero in on the cause of it all. The darkness is meant to be a product of it all but not the focus – like the episode. Instead, I wanted to focus on the cause thus why I created the antagonist as deplorable as I did. I wanted the reader to see how fast and strong hatred can spread and how dangerous it can really be in the hands of a consciously villainous being in a position of power.

Now, like all my twists, I always wanted to make add very small hints throughout the story. This time around, I made it a tad bit obvious for the Christians reading this story. Especially if you’re a Christian who’s also POC (person of color), one would be able to see where I’m going with this and will probably be able to figure out what the twist will be before it occurs. That way, I make the twist more satisfying than surprising. It also helps with stating my case on what happens to a racist; they will become trapped in their own darkness.

I told my older brother, who’s a minister, that was going to use his likeness and personality for this story and I got my expected response – and an unexpected one. He was happy to hear that and asked for my permission to use it for a future sermon of his after its release. How can I say “No” to that? 

It’s also worth noting that this was the first time that Markus Carter, one of the closest friends, has done a design for a book cover. He has always been a fan of the minimalist approach towards illustration and wanted to give it a shoot for my Short Story Project. We agreed that this approach could be decisive for people as book covers nowadays are flashy and intricate. I think it looks quite nice.

You can buy the book on Amazon. The link is here.

You can also learn about it on Goodreads. The link for it is here.

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