Friday, September 27, 2019

Burning Out and Saying What I Want

Hello All,

The last couple of weeks have been rough for me personally. Life has a way of taking you to the ring sometimes and leaving you no time to prepare. While, I am always prime to fight—sometimes, just sometimes, I would love to be left the eff alone.

Hence this post. Call me what you want; a menace, a hater, ugly whatever. I've heard it all before, and honey sticks and stones... When I decided to review books out loud, it literally stemmed from a place of unemployment. I thought what can I do while I am looking for work so I'm actually doing something? A lightbulb goes off, duh review books. I've always been an avid reader, so it just clicked and made sense. I've been reviewing books for about 7 years now.

I've always had a keen eye but along the way, through my studies, and through this reviewing thing I've learned about the structure of novels, plots, nuances, character arcs, etc. I know my shit. Period. It took me a long time to give myself credit for that. But, I know my shit.

I think that's why those that respect me value my opinion. Because when you get a book review from Jazmen, it will be honest but it will be constructively critical where necessary. I never sit in front of my computer with malice intent. I'm a tell it like it is type of person. That's who I am and I am okay with that even if some of you are not. 

I have read countless books for people, tirelessly without asking for any compensation. Going inside and outside of my way to promote books I love, while marketing people get paid to do what I'm doing for free. Because I am passionate about this ish.

When I started Literally Black, I wanted to do what I was already doing on a grander scale for Black people. Point blank period. I wanted to see Black literature get the due it deserves, it's why I spend(spent) my days reading, reviewing and promoting Black literature. It is completely selfless.

But what I did not prepare for was to not feel that same support from my people. Let's be real, black bloggers are at a disadvantage. We're black and we want to be heard. Just the idea of that has some people shaking in their boots. (See non-POC) To have to fight for a position from the non-black community to my own is an exhausting feat.

What I didn't expect is to get review requests, review the books and not even get a thank you while watching these same authors flank to non-POC, like the very answer to their success lies in their hands. And, you know what, maybe it does. But, guess what don't let social media fool you, white people still have a problem with us (you).

What I also didn't prepare for is to have mute reviews on Goodreads just so I didn't have to wade through the people telling me I'm missing the point, people questioning my blackness, people telling me I'm wrong here and there and on and on because someone is butt hurt about the one review that's actually honest. Goodreads is for readers. AGAIN, Goodreads is for readers. Don't come for me if I didn't send for you. If I want smoke, I'll show up with the fire.

Don't get me twisted. I'm SUPER grateful to the people this does not apply to. You support me and other black reviewers and bloggers tirelessly. I see you and if I could give you something tangible as thanks I would. You see what the world wants to ignore. Because of you, we (black bloggers/reviewers) matter and remain relevant; at least to you. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. 

Image result for i said what i said nene

Just this very morning, I had to give someone the Nene Leakes, because they felt I missed the point of their friend's book. Whoever you are, I know your friends with that author. Why are up at 5 am reading reviews about a book and getting bothered by it? I mean, I have to laugh. I don't expect people to agree with everything I say. That's not realistic. However, how do you manage to be bothered about something you can simply ignore?

 But that was the last straw. I am officially burning out. I will not keep defending my point of view. I won't. I will Nene Leakes, I said what I said you to death. I will say what I want how I want. Because that's my business.

Going forward, I will limit severely the number of review requests I take on because it's obvious some of you have me messed up. If you are a fave this DOES NOT apply to you. Inudate my inbox with your written goodness. However, if you request a review from me, please understand the chances I will love and hate the book are the same. If you want me to lie or write up some general mess, there are several book tour hosts that will provide this service to you. 

If you want constructive truth, I got you. Otherwise, there are exits to your left and your right. Escape and delete.

I'm sure some people will roll their eyes at this, but you know what so what. It needed to be said. Don't think for one second I haven't talked to several black bloggers and reviewers who don't feel the same. Show us some damn respect. Or catch these hands or whatever Aretha Franklin said.

Good day and Happy Friday, God is still good.




  1. I hate that you have to say this, but I'm grateful for your honest reviews and support of the black community. We have to support our own and it's crazy to get upset about what someone says about a book when it comes for a genuine place — it's not going to be all love and roses all the time, and it shouldn't be. As a writer, an honest review — good or bad — is best thing you could give.

    1. I appreciate your support. And I plan to continue but it can get tiring. Thanks again. <3