Lisa Harlin and Tania Turner write about talking frankly about race in a subtle way, and being honest without being offensive
A woman called Florence wiped away tears as she signed our book called Sweat Pained, She Said, I Was Black!
“In the 1950s, my great-grandmother got married and lived in Barcelona for the rest of her life, the only black woman in town. I was born in Spain and my mother died here.”
Tania told me that she was driven by her own experiences as a young black woman living in south Florida.
“I talked about some of those experiences and I talked about how I felt about the phrase ‘Black girl magic.’
“So I decided to use colourblindness as my advertising concept and I decided to use the same strategy with Emma as a white character. I said, ‘who has more white magic?'”
This is what it was like to write about race by focusing on two women talking about race
Everyone in this book tells her flaws, problems and wrong-doing in her own honest way. Tania let it all hang out in her honest therapy session, and Lisa opened up about her difficulties in the car with her mother. Both women talk honestly and honestly without being hurtful or rude. This was their approach.
“Tania will say that one of my arguments that are made are fake and they will back them up. I always laugh when she says that because that is how we interacted with each other in real life. So it’s a way of making it real.”
It took both Tania and Lisa a while to get their voices out. Lisa said it was during a concert that she found a voice that would carry the book.
“It was really my brother’s and his wife who showed me that I could write without being crude. Tania really encouraged me.”
Being honest without being insensitive is what this book is about
Though they are not perfect, Tania and Lisa have learned to talk frankly about race in a subtle and sophisticated way.
“We’ve spoken about race in a way that does not offend people.”