Eartha’s World: A Harlem Writer Shares Thoughts On Hollywood And The Writers’ Strike

July 24, 2023

By Eartha Watts Hicks

Harlem “Writers” and those around the world are content creators in various formats and facets.

Still, the craft has failed to be lucrative or even self-sustaining for many of us with a passion for the written word.

We spend decades honing our skills. Though talented and passionate, we are discouraged from pursuing Master’s and doctoral studies. Yet, the world needs content. The world labels us hobbyists when our successes, awards, accolades, and notoriety doesn’t materialize into six-figure income, whether we are Novelists, Playwrights, Screenwriters, Journalists, or Poet Laureates. Money matters to the rest of society, even though most serious writers pushed forward to master their craft, living by the mantra, “as if we would do it for free.”

I can tell you I write from the perspective of someone who has needed to put children through college, pay rent and for groceries and other necessities, internet access, Apps, books, software, computer replacement and repair, anti-virus, and subscription fees that I despise. Being a woman who’s black, I can tell you that I am also required to be fierce and fabulous, so the expense for hair, nails, and fashion are nonnegotiable for the ‘It Factor’ that gives us relevance. Despite how anyone glorifies the moniker, there is no Valor in poverty: Being a starving artist sucks. And no artists should have to wait until they are dead to eat.

So, from Harlem to Hollywood. They have my blessing, as the plight of all writers rests on their shoulders. Hollywood writers represent the giant screen, a format too large to ignore. Let them become the sounding board for all writers. Writers are underappreciated. But think of the film IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, and imagine our world without writers and their intellectual property. Our world would not be the same if we’d never existed. Even the ancient Egyptians had hieroglyphics.

Eartha Watts Hicks

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Eartha Watts Hicks is Harlem World Magazine’s contributing Book Editor. She is the award-winning author of Love Changes, a member of the Harlem Writers Guild, and a NYCHA/NAACP ambassador for literacy. For more information, visit

Photo credit: Noir Photography Studios 

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