I have quite a bit of anxiety about how readers of Saami ancestry will take to my embellishments and historical fiction. I am consulting with trusted sources that are knowledgeable and part of the Saami culture. Yet, I cannot bind myself, as my characters are entirely fictional—and must remain so or I will have a story without much action. However, as a man of African descent in the United States, the last thing I want to do is to malign or insult another minority.
|Who could this be?|
Although there is no evidence that Couchee (Badin) had any experience with Saami folk, I want that experience for him (that is the beauty of writing historical fiction). Of all the great places and people of Sweden I was exposed when I starred in Allt För Sverige, living with Saami people for a few days was something I wished I could have done. The more I learn about them—and the more I work on developing my Saami characters—the more I respect and honor their great heritage.
The Saami people may be a minority in Sweden, but they are at its foundation. The same goes for Africans in Sweden. Neither of these realities can be ignored any longer. And that, I hope, will be at least partly remedied with Badin and the Secret of the Saami and my work to translate Badin's diary.