Off the Beaten Shelf started out as a book blog, which it still is, but after Election Day 2016 I realized there were things that needed to be said that didn't have anything to do with books. Thus, Politically Literate was born.
We're in a time of national tragedy in the US and the world is watching.
Our country already has a diversity problem in that, while representation is getting better, there are still a LOT of people with marginalized identities who want and need to tell their stories on a local, regional, and national scale, but are not invited to do so as often as they should be.
I refuse to remain silent about important issues, but I don't want to take up time or space in a mainstream publication that a disenfranchised person could fill. Editors have historically been gatekeepers that have kept these important voices out of their publications, and that's wrong. Now that the doors are opening a crack, I'm not going to stick my foot in.
I'm a writer and I'll always be a writer. I think it's important for EVERYONE to speak out against injustice, but I want to do that in a way that does not push talented marginalized people aside.
I built my blog myself from scratch and I think it's only right that I use it to speak out. I'm not going to be silent when I know that silence only hurts those who are already hurting. I'm not going to be quiet when I need to show support, but I don't want to make it all about me and my allyship.
Furthermore, there are marginalized people who are sharing their stories and doing a beautiful job of it, but there are also bigoted people who refuse to listen to them. If bigoted white people are more likely to listen to me because I'm white and I can convince them that being a Retrumplican is wrong, then I think I'm doing my job as an ally.
Being from Alabama, I know what it's like to grow up in a homogenous, insular community with mostly white people and feel isolated from the problems marginalized people face on a daily basis. If I can help make other white people more socially aware then it's my job as an ally to do that.
A handful of people will be contributing to this blog as well. Some of them are white. Some of them are not. All of us are kind, caring, educated, and strive to be the change we want to see in the world. All of us are dedicated to amplifying the voices and issues that we should all be fighting for.
With this comes accountability. If you have feedback or questions you'd like to see covered in a post, please send them via our contact page.
Lastly, I've been writing about political issues within the context of books for awhile. If you're a longtime fan of Off the Beaten Shelf, I think you'll really like Politically Literate, too. But I'll be real with you--if you don't like Politically Literate you're not going to like the books posts on Off the Beaten Shelf either. There are places for you online, but this isn't it. No hard feelings.