All in all, I respect the genre for all of what it is and therefore I respectfully call it what it is, based on its history as well as contemporary perspectives applied to the genre. This is why I call the genre, "Street Literature." I do recognize that some European street literature scholars, who study broadsides, pamphlets and public street documents from a historical
In public libraries today, the genre is basically referred to as 'urban fiction.' In my upcoming book, I unpack the conflation of urban fiction towards street lit. In the meantime, I keep coming back to what "it" is called, and I think I do this because I am steadily working towards reconciling what the genre is not only called, but what the genre really is, myself.
My dichotomous relationship with Street Lit doesn't worry me because I also understand that that is where the beauty of Street Lit lies - in its transgressive-ness and audacity to challenge how we think about the genre and the stories it conveys, and therefore challenging us on how we think about and view our world and the real life characters within it. This is why when people say things like, "Oh ... it doesn't take readers places," or, "Oh, it kills the reader's imagination," I know they are conveying a deep misunderstanding of Street Lit specifically, and of the concept of "genre" overall. For when a genre simultaneously informs, challenges, validates, and entertains one's sense of truth - well, isn't that what literature is all about, from the gitgo?