The Beauty of Rejection, a guest post by Charity Alyse

I was in kindergarten the first time I heard I’d never be an author.

When rain poured outside of our classroom window in torrents, it meant only one thing: indoor recess. While my fellow classmates whined their complaints and their youthful smiles fell into cold frowns, I rushed to my cubby. Inside were countless construction papered stories stapled together and signed with my pen name: Charity Alyse.

They were familiar stories, ones I’d heard countless times before. Stories of brave princes and delicate princesses, stories of magic and wishing on stars. Except the fairy tales I created carried a twist. Each character had a skin that matched mine. Princes had afros that were picked out to the galaxies and the princesses had micro braids that snaked down their waists. In these stories, Black characters always got their happy ending.