Search on SLJ.com ....
Subscribe to SLJ
Bowllan's Blog
Inside Bowllan's Blog

Writers Against Racism: Shane Evans

 pr2 Writers Against Racism: Shane Evans

his world travels with his art to influence creative expression in others.  Shane has received much acclaim within the children’s literary field for his work on children’s books such as "Osceola," "The Way The Door Closes," "Shaq and the Beanstalk" and "Take It To The Hoop Magic Johnson."

Briefly describe the impact racism had on you as a young person. 

This is a TOUGH question… I am not sure that when I was young that I knew that it existed. Perhaps there were times when something "odd" happened to me, or someone said something "odd" or when we learned about it
in social studies it didn’t click, like "oh this could or has happened to me." It is like if you ever heard the comment "we were POOR but didn’t know it…" that is typically because your family created an environment that was RICH… that was the case for me. As I grew up in a multi-cultural home, mother of Italian decent father African American decent, I didn’t see the divide as clearly, although a part of me knew it was there. I think that I might have to "start" from college which is where intellectually it clicked. Seeing the groups stay with groups seeing conflicts on campus and hearing them called racially motivated etc. Perhaps it was at that point where I looked back on my childhood and started to "re-label" things that I recall feeling funny about, to "perhaps that was racism". So to summarize… the IMPACT is having to even QUESTION being subject to racism.
Has your personal experience of racism impacted your professional work as a writer?

Most artists and writers are observers of the world and often they share their experiences through their works even if it is fictional work, I would say your life comes into play. So for me to say NO, would not be all around
true. But I look at the things that I experienced as reasons to create stories that help teach more than highlight the presence of racism which in my mind is fear based – you typically do not fear what you understand. Therefore,
I look to create simply good stories that create bridges for understanding.

OluDreamJKTmech1C Writers Against Racism: Shane Evans

In what way can literature be used to combat the effects of racism and promote tolerance? 
It can do what most stories do… simply, teach. They can help the person reading better understand someone else’s story. If you cannot "see" someone else through the eyes of your experience, as a human you tend to be disconnected, and that leaves the opening for fear. Knowledge can close that gap.

~~~~~
Firmly believing in education and creative development for all people, Evans has produced a unique presentation designed to share his gift with all ages, cultures, ethnic groups and backgrounds. For more, visit http://www.shaneevans.com/

Shane W. Evans is a multi-talented artist and visionary who combines