Single-Minded: On Being the Invisible Woman

A recent study says that African-American women are more "socially invisible" than black men. This would not be news to Zora Neale Hurston. Or any other black woman who isn't Oprah.

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But I prefer to look at our invisibility with optimism. I'm reminded of another quote by Morrison, who was featured in HBO's documentary series The Black List. During her interview, Morrison explained how she works:

Almost all of the African-American writers that I know were very much uninterested in one particular area of the world, which is white men. That frees up a lot. It frees up the imagination, because you don't have that gaze. And when I say white men, I don't mean just the character, I mean the establishment, the reviewers, the publishers, the people who are in control. So once you erase that from your canvas, you can really play.

Helena Andrews is a regular contributor to The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter.

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