Like saying someone is invisible, just because you didn’t notice them

I am sure the work that [Frank X. Walker and Irene McKinney] do would fall into the “giving voice to the voiceless” category. And frankly, that’s just condescending. The people that Frank and Irene write about are not voiceless. They may have been excluded from our so-called “history”, but it doesn’t mean that they are silent. It’s almost like saying someone is invisible, just because you didn’t notice them. When I introduced Frank, I said that rather than “giving voice to the voiceless, he offers aid to the hearing impaired.”

Writers don’t “give” anyone a voice, but ourselves. We may be able to amplify voice that has been ignored. And if we are lucky we can help that voice find a new audience, an new ear, a new heart.

Tayari Jones

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