You wouldn’t believe the deluge of stories I hear once I tell people I’m a racial justice blogger. As if suddenly I became a priest for racial confessors, a person starts talking about the time he was cornered by a group of police for walking the wrong way, for wearing a hooded sweat-shirt, or for hanging in a group of other Black men. Most times, I hear about real dire situations, like stories of systematic and chronic discrimination on the job, in school, and in hospitals. Needless to say, my desire and duty to extend a listening ear gets worn out. Which is why I was happy to run across this website Common Ties that’s paying people for their personal tales of racism and prejudice. Here’s the announcement:
Among its themes, Common Ties is seeking stories about racism and prejudice. Stories are due by August 7 and selections will be made by August 9. Racism, and the broader concept of prejudice, is such an abiding, pernicious aspect of the human condition it is surprising it is not listed as one of the deadly sins. If you or someone you know has been a victim of racism or prejudice and has a compelling account of the event(s), we would like to read your story.
Most interestingly, Common Ties is also looking for perpetrators of racism in what seems to be some South Africa-esq reconciliation approach. Though I’m sure a story by a racist is doomed to lack the right focus on power structures, race stories are wanted, and it doesn’t appear for novel reasons.
For this topic in particular it is important to remember that Common Ties publishes personal stories, not essays or opinion pieces. Stories can be written using your byline or a pen name. We purchase both original stories and reprints. Payments are typically between $100 and $200 per story, although writers can suggest another amount. Should your story be accepted, we may approach you to record it. If we do you will receive a microphone, and recording assistance. If your recording is accepted, you will receive an additional fee of $150. For more, please check out the submission guidelines. Stories should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. New Notice: All submissions must indicate the answers to two items: 1) whether you’d like to use your real name or a pen name, which can be furnished at a later date; and 2) whether you are interested in trying to record your story, if invited.
Alright, let’s get writing!