The headlines this past weekend said it all. “War Room stuns box office with $11M”.” And another shocker: the premiere of ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s movie “Let the Church Say Amen” obtained great ratings on a Saturday night. Both of these occurred on the same August weekend and brought this question to my mind: when, oh when will the cultural movers and shakers in this country see that Black Christian people exist and that they want entertainment that reflects them and their values? How much clearer does it have to be that this is a market that should be served?
Yet, even as BCR enters its ninth month, there are still people who are shocked and stunned at the existence of African American authors who write Christian Fiction. I’m not quite sure I understand why, but to me, one thing is clear. People are ignoring groups like this one at their own marketing peril.
As all kinds of people further engage with one another across various work and social media platforms, people want to learn more about each other. When that happens, people will expect their entertainment to be more diverse and will begin to give the side eye to entertainment that lacks that diversity. People who shape this entertainment need to wake up and see the truth. Certainly the producers of The War Room and the author of the novelization (which was reviewed by Romantic Times and received a 4.5 star top pick by them—a rare feat for a book featuring Black Christian characters), have a better understanding of this.
With existence of an older, mentor figure named Miss Clara, the creators of The War Room show how they know faith has worked to sustain African Americans through a difficult history—a subject of interest to a historical author like myself. After all, Miss Annie in my novella, “A Sweet Way to Freedom,” performs much the same function in bringing a young Black couple together. Dare I hope that the success of The War Room might be a turning point in helping the larger culture to see the stalwart faith of Black Christians? A bigger question remains: will the cultural movers and shakers continue to leave money on the table by acting as if we are all wearing invisibility cloaks?
The second book in Piper Huguley’s newest series,” Migrations of the Heart” will be released on September 8, 2015. A Virtuous Ruby, which is Book One of the “Migrations of the Heart” series, is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Nook, itunes and Google Play.