Storytelling is a huge part of Black Southern Culture. From front porch gossiping to church picnics, the importance of storytelling is a part of our lifestyle. I have fond memories of visiting HBCUs with my family and shopping at the bookstores as well as picking up art and books at Black owned art galleries. We recently hosted our first BSB Book Club and the pleasure of hosting a few Black Women Authors and get their take on soul infused storytelling. Check out what they had to say below and be sure to tell us what soul-infused storytelling means to you!
BOOK CLUB SPONSOR MESSAGE
Black Women Authors Discuss the Meaning of Soul-Infused Storytelling
Candace Buford of Kneel
Soul-infused storytelling means character-driven tales that make the characters leap off the page, that have texture to their surroundings. You kinda leave a piece of yourself on the page to breathe life and love and sorrow and hope into your characters. And that is what it takes to truly make a relatable character, one who exists in the grey of a black and white world. Perhaps that’s why I gravitate towards Southern Gothics–there is so much soul to be had!
Taj McCoy of Savvy Sheldon Feels Good As Hell
To me, soul-infused storytelling incorporates family history, culture, tradition, food–properties that help to shape who we are based on our family lineage and what we’ve been able to preserve over time. It’s important to me to include family dynamics–often multi-generational families–in my writing to help show how culture and tradition evolve with each generation. How certain traditions or languages can be lost, but the same dish will be served for generations to come. How the strength of these relationships helps to edify and soothe the spirit. Soul-infused storytelling breathes life and complexity into characters, adding dimension and opportunities for relatability.
Catherine Adel West of Saving Ruby King
I’ve learned there are many ways I inject blackness into my books consciously or subconsciously. For me, dialogue and the mannerisms of my characters are subtle but effective ways testifying to how our people relate to one another in big and small ways. Another way in which I bring blackness to my writing, bring the soul of my people into a story, is working our music and art and literature into the narrative. It’s a way to pay homage to those who’ve come before me but also introduce their work to readers who may be otherwise unfamiliar and lowkey just fangirl out over black culture.1