Black and Marginalized Writers: MANA Will Help You Get Your Voice Heard!

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Writing gives voice to our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and unlocks our creative potential. Many voices, however, have been marginalized whether by society, individuals, personal trauma, or by other ways. 

Nonetheless, many have not given up or given in to the pressures that come with self-expression. And, more importantly, these writers let their voices be heard among—or even rise above—the crowd. How did they do this? They did it by telling their own stories. 

Stories are a part of our daily lives. If you think about it, not a day goes by when we do not hear, read, or tell a story. Stories connect us and shape our view of the world. Stories tell others who we were in the past, who we are now, and who we want to be in the future. 

One person whose voice has risen dramatically in recent weeks is Amanda Gorman, the National Youth Poet Laureate, who recited her poem, "The Hill We Climb" at the inauguration of U.S. President Joseph Biden. 

While Gorman received critical acclaim for the delivery of her inauguration poem, it took years for her to find her voice. Gorman told The Guardian, a story about when she was in kindergarten, she was diagnosed with an auditory disorder that resulted in her having a speech impediment. When she was in the third grade, Gorman said a teacher introduced her to poetry, and it was through writing and reciting poetry that she found her voice. 

Everyone has a story to tell about their own experiences or about someone else's experience. Sometimes, we find ourselves talking more about other people's stories because we do not like telling the details of our own stories

As a young child, the renowned poet, Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928-May 28,2014) did not like the story that was shaping her life. So, she began writing at a young age and used poetry and other forms of literature to deal with the trauma she had experienced. Angelou later used her writings to encourage others to find their voice and then speak up to make changes in their world.

Writing gives voice to our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, but some voices are not always heard or appreciated. The voices of many have been marginalized for various reasons, including personal trauma. Nonetheless, these voices can still spring up and force change in society. 

Writing Can Prompt Change

Many people who felt marginalized by society refused to stand by and let the biases of others define them. So, they found a way, including writing, to tell their own life's narrative. (MANA) began its “Black Lit Alive!” podcast series in 2020 as a way to promote literature produced by African American writers in the 18th century and beyond. It was through literature that marginalized individuals, whether enslaved on free, expressed their individuality and shared their life experiences at a time when Black people were viewed, not as fully functioning human beings, but as mere property.

Frederick Douglass (February 1818-February 20, 1895), for instance, escaped from slavery and became a national leader in the abolitionist movement and famous for his antislavery writings. 

Poet Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (September 24, 1825-February 22, 1911) captured the life experiences of slaves in her poem, “The Slave Auction.” Here is an excerpt:

And mothers stood, with streaming eyes,

And saw their dearest children sold;

Unheeded rose their bitter cries,

While tyrants bartered them for gold...

Go here to MANA’s Black Lit Alive! blog post to read the entire poem or listen to an interpretive reading of the poem.

Let Your Voice Be Heard With MANA's Self-Publishing Offer

In commemoration of Black History Month, MANA invites Black and marginalized writers and poets to submit their poetry and short stories for publication on the Short Story page on MANA’s blog, “The MANA Sunriser."


1. Poetry should be a maximum of 250 words. 

2. Short Stories should be a maximum of 500 words

3. Submit your work to MANA via email:

Upon receiving permission from the author, some works will be interpretatively read in a podcast on the blog. Also, a “Black Lit Alive!” charm will be given to each contributor while the supply lasts. 

MANA is also inviting Black and marginalized writers and poets to self-publish their work and receive a $750 discount on the cost of most MANA self-publishing plans. You will also receive a complimentary MANA t-shirt. 

Go here to MANA’s website to learn more about MANA’s Self-Publishing Plans. We can tailor a plan to fit your budget. 

The deadline to take advantage of these opportunities is February 27. This is a chance to let your voice be heard. 

Questions? Contact MANA at 734-975-0028 or via email:

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