Author concerned book signing was not approvedPublished 3:39pm Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Contrary to my natural inclinations, I am not writing this letter to the editor impulsively and it is not fueled by anger or an attitude of “sour grapes.”
I have, in fact, deliberately delayed expressing a public grievance on the matter of which I am about to speak in order to cool off and achieve a state of calm, rational thinking. The premise of my complaint is that an injustice to Lloyd Albritton today (which may be of little consequence or interest to many of you), represents the threat of a similar injustice to you tomorrow.
As many of you know, I recently published a novel titled “Baby Blue,” a fictional story set geographically in the Atmore area during the early part of the 1900s.
My book represents my best effort to tell an entertaining and compelling story. That’s it. In writing the book, it was not my objective to convert anyone to my church or political views, to strengthen anyone’s Christian faith, or to destroy or diminish anyone’s Christian faith. I do not hold myself out to be a “Christian writer” (though I am a Christian), a moralist, or an advocate for any cause. My desire is to be nothing more or less than a good storyteller.
In telling my story, I have used language in some passages which a few people have found offensive. For example, I have used the “N” word a couple of times. I have also used the “F”word. I have used the “GD” word and the “S_ _ t” word. And, well, that’s about it. The fact is
, I have used these few profane words as sparingly as I could (in my own opinion) to facilitate an authentic, contextual telling of my story. My book is not racist or profane, as anyone who has actually read it will certainly attest.
Many people have read Baby Blue and I have received countless accolades praising it. In fact, I recently donated two additional copies of the book to our library when I learned that their single copy was “always checked out.” And yet, immediately after receiving my gifts with smiles and thanks, Mayor Staff informed me that the Atmore Library Board declines to approve a scheduled signing event for me because they believe my book to be “racist.”
Will the library keep the books I have donated? Yes, of course they will. Will they continue to check them out to their patrons? Yes, of course. Will the library honor one its own citizens with a promotional book signing event, as it has for countless other local authors? Nope, ‘fraid not. Go figure.