America's Wire Releases Commentary From Acclaimed Author Wm. Paul Young On Literature's Role In Bridging America's Racial Divide

Nov 27, 2012, 09:19 ET from America's Wire

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's Wire today released a commentary by acclaimed author Wm. Paul Young on the role that literature can play in helping bridge the racial divide in America.

Mr. Young writes that "our cultural indulgences, such as the entertainment we seek, play a critical role in shaping our faith, perceptions and values. The evolution and transformation of our souls is impacted by environment, including the television and movies and art we watch as well as the museums we visit, the music we listen to and books we read."

Furthermore, he adds: "For decades, civil rights and social justice advocates have attacked Hollywood and the entertainment industry for negative stereotypes of people of color repeatedly seen in movies, video games and television, especially African Americans and Latinos. The negative portrayals can shape the perceptions of the people who watch them."

In his books, Mr. Young portrays African Americans in roles unrelated to their race. Cross Roads, a new novel published by Mr. Young this month, portrays a black woman whose inner soul is visited by a white man on a spiritual journey to right the wrongs in his life.  In his previous book, The Shack, Mr. Young portrays God as an African American woman.

"In my spiritual works of fiction, whether my characters are white, black or brown, they are normal in the sense that the roles they play have nothing to do with the color of their skin. It's the color of their souls that's important," Mr. Young writes. "…My novels aren't overtly about race; they are about the people who inhabit the earth. They portray this concept of normalcy, acknowledging the inner souls of all people, demonstrating that we all accept or reject spiritual guidance in our daily lives."

Mr. Young's commentary, as well as other articles and commentaries, are available free of charge from America's Wire.  Go to  and click downloads (right column) to publish the article. America's Wire provides mainstream newspapers, community papers, websites, ethnic publications and wire services with stories and commentaries reporting on structural inequities and the communities impacted. America's Wire is operated by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

Michael K. Frisby

SOURCE America's Wire