Available Now for Download and in Print! And the tale of the African Elementals begins… This prequel boxed set is the first, second and third installment in the African Elemental series. Mawu, Iniko, and Shania grow into their strength as mothers and warriors. These women wield the elements and war swords to save this universe […]
I’m always amazed at the number of hits that I receive on my blog. Each week I post and I wonder if people are interested in posts that deal with race, class, and gender in Scifi, Paranormal and Futuristic books, movies, and TV series.
I get excited whenever an awesome post takes off like lightening. I thought I’d re-share some of those amazing discussions and believe me, some of those posts, get heated…
Last week, one of my former students emailed me in distress over this series, “Save the Pearls.” Her anger stemmed from the obvious racially negative subtext (conscious and unconscious) that related to whites as “pearls” and blacks as “coals” in this controversial YA novel.
Admittedly, I was horrified by the obvious racial insensitivities within the first book’s descriptions on Amazon as well as on the “Save the Pearls” website, where the love interest, Jamal, has the astrological sign labeled “pimp.” The book trailer also was very disturbing with a young, blond woman in black face, telling her tale of reverse discrimination in her post apocalyptic world where her white skin makes her genetically-inferior and unable to handle the “heat.” Could someone really publish such a book in the 21st century? But what worried me the most was that this book was written for teens.
First off: Thank you, Alicia, for asking me to write a guest post. I’m encouraged by your enthusiastic response to the recent interview on the subject of Writing About Race in Science Fiction and Fantasy I conducted with authors David Anthony Durham, Aliette de Bodard, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and Ken Liu. I’m also humbled that you’d enquire about my own work.
So, here’s the deal: I’m creating a sci-fi series called The Abandon. On July 27, 2012 I’m shooting the pilot episode, which will follow the journeys of five black men after a global alien invasion. Yes, I said five black men. I know that’s revolutionary for television, but hey, I am committed to changing the game. I’m particularly interested in changing the game when it comes to black representation and inclusiveness in sci-fi TV and film.
The hunt and murder of Trayvon Martin seems like a fictionalized scene from a teen dystopian novel similar to the Hunger Games. The only problem is that this scene is real. I’ve been keeping up with the news on this case and I am both horrified and enraged. My feelings stem from two fronts, one because I am Black and the other because I am a mother. The injustice boils.
OK. Spoiler alert. Don’t read this post, if you haven’t seen the show.
I caught up on my favorite TV series, Merlin, and I know, I KNOW that Gwen and Arthur had to break-up but I think it was done wrong. I’ve been taking a few days to process the entire “Lancelot Du Lac” show and it still just aggravates me.
Woohoo! I’m excited that we’re at Day 3 in our discussion of Black Science Fiction. Don’t forget about the incredible giveaways coming up February 6th. This week we’re discussing if it’s important to show race, culture, minority politics, or ethnicity in Sci-Fi. K. Let’s talk.
I remember the day that my grandmother told me that she interviewed (in her youth) for a position at a local retailer but was unable to get the job because she didn’t pass the paper bag test. Yup. That’s right. My grandmother wasn’t lighter than a paper bag and so she couldn’t get that job.
So, I like it when an author puts race in front of my eyes. I enjoy visualizing what a character looks like, race and all. When it’s done correctly, the experience can deepen the reader’s relationship with the character. There are some people who say that showing race in this way is racist. They enjoy reading or writing raceless, race free, or characters of color with little or no physical description. I contend that this approach is racist.
I do not believe I am a racist. And yet I can make thoughtless comments, be oblivious, be hurtful without realization or intent. Like when I offered a hairdrier to a black friend. Hey, I thought I was being helpful. Forget color-blind. I can be down-right blind.
I don’t classify people by race. Why? I grew up with parents who were from the deep south. They would whisper things like, “well, he’s black…” as if that would explain something. Those comments made me ill. I grew up in Silicon Valley in the middle of the dot com boom. My early jobs were so multi-cultural that to me the world was a rainbow. I tour guided at a museum that drew international tourists and tried to learn phrases in as many languages as I could.