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Writers Against Racism: Shane W. Evans

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

pr2 Writers Against Racism: Shane W. 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.

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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.

 

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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/

Comments

  1. B Herrera says:

    I love your comment about your family “creating an environment that was RICH” because that seems to be one reason so many authors in this series was able to be successful. We all have faced prejudices. It seems that those without strong family support have a harder time coping with these prejudices and are more likely to adopt such disruptive behavior themselves. Perhaps we need to work on creating that family support system within our communities in order to cut down on hatred and misunderstanding. And it’s a good point about the labels starting as we get older. As children we just know whether we like someone or not. As we add labels it’s easier to disconnect emotionally and treat others badly. And I love that you use your books to teach. They look interesting and full of wonderful experiences.

  2. George Edward Stanley says:

    Shane, I really enjoyed reading your W.A.R. story. I think those of us who had full family support growing up didn’t realize at the time how fortunate we were. We probably thought all young people had the same support. To me, this “support” came through in every sentence of your story. For me, that “support” was what I think got me through some really tough times. Thanks again!

  3. Kelly says:

    Shane,

    You know how much I value your work. I’m so glad you shared your story in the WAR series. I loved this line in your interview: “I look to create simply good stories that create bridges for understanding.” We need more understanding and hope in this world. Thanks for helping to foster that through literature. Great interview!

  4. Jo Ann Hernandez says:

    Yeah your RSS feed is back up. Now I can catch up with all the good articles. Thank you Shane for sharing. Loud and proud we will be heard. Finally.
    Jo Ann Hernandez
    BronzeWord Latino Authors
    //authorslatino.com/wordpress

  5. Amy Bowllan says:

    Thanks, Jo Ann, for staying on top of the feed! I had NO idea, so I appreciate the heads up. :)

  6. tanita says:

    (I’m grateful your feed works now!)

    “But I look at the things that I experienced as reasons to create stories that help teach” — I believe that says it all.