And that's always the danger, I think. As black creators, there are very specific times when the wider writing community shows out for you, but as soon as the experiences of black creators online aren't centered, the environment becomes just as hostile again. Allies can come and go as they please, we can't exactly get bored of being black and suddenly move through online spaces as if we aren't.
Because of that, I've become wary of setting up shop anywhere where the culture isn't openly moving towards being safer for black creators to exist openly, let alone thrive. Part of that positive cultural shift is creating an environment where black creators can thrive without narrowing their content to what people think we should write. Street Fic is the only genre where having a majority black cast isn't seen as a brave artistic choice or political statement, because everywhere else, representation is seen as deviance rather than diversity.
Then there's the actual labour of moving through artistic spaces where the majority of people aren't aware of what it means to be a black creator on there. From discussions about having to justify black characters, or awareness around problematic representation and the historical weight and weaponising of tropes like the 'Magical Negro' or the 'Noble Savage', to being tagged in threads by non-black creators who want to know if an idea for representation they had is acceptable (it's often laced with trauma and the labour to explain why is almost always met by people ready to belittle or contradict your points despite taking no time to research on the matter).
It's a lot. And frankly the black creators I know in online spaces like this only put up with it because they may want to see a community do better by them, or being openly black is the easiest way to find community with people they won't have to educate to feel comfortable around.
So that would be nice too, creating an environment where BIPOC and QPOC can openly congregate to create community, share ideas, network and provide refuge for each other.But that's forum specific.
On the main site, it's really hard to find works by other black creators. I usually rely on checking the libraries of the black creators I do know and making my way out from there because there's nothing to signal for their content in searches. Even then, many of the great works I do find are abandoned or posted elsewhere where they find traction offsite more easily.
Because the thing is... black stories aren't monolithic, so they absolutely can find an audience anywhere that offers that genre, but they may not be written with that entire genre in mind as a target audience. There's a good thread on twitter explaining how culture and history affects narrative voice in fiction and I'll link it below, and why a work can find an audience on tapas but not necessarily a dedicated, core following, because the people it was made for aren't given a pathway to finding it.
A dedicated highly visible feature list would probably be a start, but that also relies on black readers being shown that this is a space where they can find black voices and stories, and gaining the trust of an entire community like that is a long process. And if the spikes in engagement with the Black Lives Matter movement have shown anything in the past, it's that robust allyship on this scale is very temporary, and black people have learned to only trust the allies who stick around and put in the work after everyone else has literally gotten bored and thinks it's okay to no longer be as vocal.
thread on black vs non-black narrative voice:
This also speaks to some of the biases that make it difficult to create content where your readership doesn't have a strong, visible presence.