Go to work

Go to class

Go to this meeting

Go to that meeting

Pay this

Pay that

Turn this in

Turn in that

Sleep for four hours

Wake up

Do it again

Walk here

Catch a bus there

Call an Uber here

Bike there

Run here

Walk there

Wake up, early

Be on time

Don’t be late

Remain punctual

But, be calm

Don’t get anxious

Rely on the plan

Rely on the agenda

Move by the calendar

Follow the budget

Don’t go out of it

Save this amount

Pay off that amount

Talk to this person

Answer that phone call

Move over here

Dodge that over there

Be graceful

Be calm

Have it together

Don’t feel pressured

“You can do this”

“You can do that”

“Be this”

“Be that”

Jump over that obstacle

Jump over this hurdle

The sky we live under they roam

Past down from generation to generation

I was taught to watch, be cautious, but more than that to know

To know how to look in their eyes and spot the difference

Is it their clothing, their uniforms, their jaw structures, is it the cold blueness that pierces through me seeing my blackness.

The difference in how they treat certain ones of us and how they relate to one another. They have their favorites and regard us like pets.

A division. An imaginary line drawn. Right down the middle of colors.

It’s something about the way they hold their lips, you can just see it. In broad day light, they really do hide in their uniforms, but if ever caught at night you can be sure that they transform.

In broad daylight, they eat at our restaurants, talk to our friends, and smile as we serve them food.

It is a sense. I know when they aren’t what they pose to be, I see it in their eyebrow structure and the way they hold their lips.

I can feel it.

Drugs

We all take them

We all use them

We all need them

What extent are we ran by them?

In a world where

Technology is a demand

Are we reprogramming our brains

as we suffer from chronic

mental illnesses

that go rapid?

The alcohol user

The coffee drinker

The Adderall supplier

The SSRI takers

The pain medicine abusers

The antipsychotic users

The ptsd anxiety needers

The antihistamine poppers

How are we all different?

What makes one crackhead different from

the coffee drinker?

Aren’t they both stimulants?

What makes the SSRI user different from

the Morphine abusers or CBD smokers?

They both are depressants

In my eyes,

we’re all the same

Nothing is different

In America, none of us

use our brain.

Our people always been on the bus

Since Rosa Parks

Hell,

I’m on it right now.

We can’t afford cars,

too expensive

Pay this note, pay that note

Have insurance

Buy a title

Don’t nobody got time for that

We like the bus though.

It’s fast, if it’s on time

and even if it’s late,

you can trust that it’s coming

I like the bus

I don’t like cars

Can’t pay for the Uber

Don’t want to be around white people

first thing in the morning

I like my people

We are hardworking

We don’t stop

or quit

We just board the bus

and go on

Some of the greatest books that I’ve read lately have a lot to do with politics, but not in the sense of what you may be thinking of (guns, wars, policies, and officials), rather in a different way. I like to define these books as being “woke.”

I walked around saying, “I hate politics,” but I have to admit, for a long while I was ignorant between the difference of hard news and political socialization among people. I thought it was all the same when in reality I just don’t have a liking for the way that journalists are taught to publish their opinions in newspapers and throughout media (a different conversation for another day.)

However, I’m here to help you redefine politics. Instead of thinking about bombs and wars consider the fact that it is the social topics that surface in our day to day conversations. That’s it, it’s just that simple. When you comment on the way a celebrity dresses or acts you’re making a political statement.

We can’t dislike politics because everything is political, the way that we access and process information is a form of politics. But, I’m here to talk to you about the political socialization through novelizing.

Political socialization is a means of communicating social justice topics through a form of media. Usually, these socially charged messages are backed by a bias which we then subconsciously learn. When you’re politically socialized you’re introduced to politics through a medium where an implied belief was already attached to the message, whether you agreed or not.

There are many, many novels that do this and it’s why young adults love a good dystopian novel. The thing that scares us the most has nothing to do with vampires, zombies, or ghost, but everything to do with the “what if” portions of our psyche that is curious about what’s to come. That portion of our world matters the most because it deals with the politics of our everyday life.

As novelists, we have you drawn to our work when we use politics in order to either make you confrontational and wanting to activate change or see something through a different lens. I argue that the best novels always have something political to say.

You can take these books off of a shelf eighty years from now and they will still be relevant, why? Because they commented on something about ethics and morale which govern the way that humans create laws, policies, and change. In that sense, a novel will never be old or “out of date” because it lives in an eternal state of being.

The next time you pick up a book, ask yourself, why did this writer write this today? And, what you will find is that the context of the book changes. Whenever I read something by a friend or off of the shelf of the library I’m always engaged with the larger conversation.

I always wonder if the politics of the book was to make me reconsider something or highlight a certain parameter of politics that I hadn’t thought of before. I invite you to ask an author, why did you take more than twenty-four hours of your life to write this specific story? What are you politically socializing me to believe?