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African American Urban fiction has been a topic of contention in the literary community for quite some time now. Genres such as Crime fiction and sci-fi/fantasy have managed to secure a reputation as having numerous titles of literary merit. Even genres such as romance have gradually approached the same level, but one thing apparent in the literary world is that urban fiction has been considered the bottom for decades now. African American authors struggle to get past the perception urban fiction holds in the literary world due to its crude covers, graphic sex and violence scenes and heavy focus on street culture. Although urban fiction has been heavily criticized by the literary world, its popularity cannot be denied.

For African American authors writing urban fiction can be challenging because of the unwillingness of critics to examine how class and race intersect in the literary world. This is especially true if you’re publishing on platforms such as Amazon. Several years ago, I wrote a four-part series titled The Throne, and before I had even written part one, I had already changed the name which was supposed to be titled Southern Kingpins. Where did I get that title from?

Originally it was supposed to be about some young guys from a hood in the streets of Augusta Georgia. I tried to begin writing but as I sat there, I began to realize that I didn’t have a solid plot line. After this I decided to put the book down for a little while, but I didn’t pick it back up until several years later. When I finally picked it back up, I felt like it would be a much more impactful story as The Throne – And it was. 

The reviews on Amazon for that particular story were pretty amazing, and out of the hundreds of reviews there were two that really stood out to me. In one of them, a reader said something along the lines of “Just when you thought you’ve read all of the hood or Urban Fiction books, here comes some guy named Cole Hart with a fresh voice and creative style of storytelling.” In the other review a lady had made a comparison with the acclaimed classic series The Cartel by New York Time’s bestselling authors Ashley & Jaquavis. That comment was something that I could never forget because at the time Ashley & Jaquavis were consecutively putting out amazing and inspiring work. 

Although their work is incredible, I can say that The Throne was something completely different. The story is based in the hoods of Atlanta and Augusta Georgia. The characters are extremely well developed, you’ll love some characters and you’ll hate others. I’m not going to reveal too much about that particular series, but if you want to explore the series further then you can check it out on Amazon Kindle where all four parts are completed. Trust me, if you start part one you won’t be able to stop until you reach the very last page. 

It’s apparent from the reviews that urban fiction receives from the public that the genre is not going anywhere. As an African American author, writing about these topics can be difficult when the literary community disregards the topic. Personally, I write urban fiction to call attention to this underrepresented genre. 

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Featured Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

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