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A Black Woman asks if she’s a racist for analyzing Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal stories with race in mind

Years ago I would have patted my foot in aggravation if someone asked me if I were racist. In college one of my white roommates, told me that I was racist because I ate dinner with other Black students. Give a sister a break. I just thought that it was plain old foolishness. I used to go into this huge HUGE diatribe about how Black people couldn’t be racist because they were disempowered in government, politics, and business. And furthermore, that because we were disenfranchised, the most I could be was prejudicial because being prejudiced was an individual event. Woa! That's a mouthful. 

Obama

Here I am in 2011 and Barrack Obama is in the White house. Can I be racist? I’d say so. I am WAY more sensitive about race and having that structural power to effect change.

Yes we can! Yes we can! Sorry, I digressed.

Is taking a good, hard, racial look at fantasy, futurism, and paranormal racist?

I give pause, scratch my head and think. Well, that’s certainly NOT my intent. But I can no longer afford to be silent on racial inclusion in literature, television, and movies that I love to watch. It’s too powerful to NOT discuss. In our society, we can’t afford to be desperately silent on issues of race in our entertainment. It seems like everybody is afraid to openly discuss racial issues because “we certainly don’t have those anymore” since there’s a person of color in the White House.

Racism

Ok, that aggravates me more than the one about me being racist because I eat a meal with people who look like me. I have a new diatribe, I’m a 41-year old Black woman with a Master’s degree and when I go to Walmart people follow me because I obviously fit the profile of a thief. Sheesh! We still have some problems, people.

We really need to continue tearing down segregation, racial stereotyping and non-inclusion in all areas of our society. It just so happens that FFP is my place to take a stand.

We must begin to have a critical racial analysis of FFP, if we want our society to become inclusive. Say what you’d like, but I believe that the image of Star Trek’s multiracial crew, working together, fighting against strange aliens, and going out on strange new adventures changed the way our society viewed MLK King’s dream. It was a non-threatening way to show the “dream” and helped usher in a new mindset.

This is what I’d like to do with my blog. I’d like to create a space for all people to openly discuss FFP in color and share the issues, concerns, and problems with inclusion. Are people afraid to be inclusive? I’d say so…

On both sides, I’ve spoken with authors of color who say that they’d better make all of their characters white in order to sale to a NY publisher. And, on the flip side I’ve heard white authors say that they are fearful of adding characters of color because they might do it wrong or will be considered racist.

I think we should shake the power base underneath FFP! I think we should intentionally add a little color! I think we shouldn’t be racist about it! I think we should talk inclusion and I think we should do something about it!

multiracial sets of hands

Is this platform racist? Do we need to have a real conversation about race in Fantasy, Futurism, and Paranormal?

Looking for people to weigh-in…

If you're a writer, do you include a variety of characters in your stories? If you're a reader, would you like to see more characters of color in the stories that you read?   What about movies and television? I'm excited to hear any thoughts on this issue. 

Let's hear it.  

 

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