It’s no secret that the Urban Fiction genre gets a bad rep for glamorizing and romanticizing the streets and the challenges that come with urban and inner-city living. Things such as poor editing, repetitive storylines, limited stock photography options for covers, and limited support from major publishers all play a part in casting a poor light on the genre; one that has the potential to shift the culture in a positive and healing direction.
In a society where our stories are viewed as “low-quality,” “ghetto,” and “glorifying sex, drugs, and murder,” we have to remember who we are. Many of us have come straight from the trenches, and there are even more of us doing our best to get it out the mud. It’s far from easy, and more often than not, it’s an experience that leaves many of us deeply traumatized and in need of reflection and healing.
It is through Urban Fiction that many of us are able to see our lives reflected back to us. It is where those who have no voice are spoken for. And even where we can find light when we find ourselves in a dark place.
It’s also through this genre that authors are able to invoke their own healing as they empty out the contents of their hearts, minds, and souls, leaving their essence all over the pages of their books. Thus, potentially triggering healing in their readers.
A great thing about the Urban Fiction genre is that it gives us the opportunity to discuss the “taboos” of not only society, but in Black culture as well. Many of us know what it’s like to feel unseen, misunderstood, unloved, judged and condemned for being who we are while searching for who we’re supposed to be.
Urban Fiction is such an important genre because it could be an amazing medium for change to be made in our community and for our people. Readers who are fans of the genre are some of the people who need healing the most and more than likely don’t know it.
Hence, the reason Urban Fiction will never be dead. Instead, it’s a catalyst for great change.