The State of Black SF 2012: Why Race Matters Part 2

I need to repost the rules and deadline for our giveaway 🙂 So, I decided to revisit my topic, as there are some things that I should have mentioned earlier.

I’ve always hated it when folks overgeneralize — paint everyone with the same broad brush. So here’s what I have to say: to those white authors and filmmakers who’re trying so hard to be racially sensitive and accurate. We are NOT talking about you. I myself, create Native American, Asian, Spanish and White characters based on folks I’ve been fortunate enough to meet in my lifetime. As I’ve said before, I hope that I do a decent job. Only my readers can answer that.

No, the authors we’re trying to move forward are those who have no idea how to create a nonwhite character and don’t even try to learn. Just dig in their bag of stereotypes and throw something together. Personally, I’d rather be portrayed as a White woman with a deep tan (not perfect mind you but better) rather than a “Yuk, yuk missus… I’s a comin'” myth 🙂

As writers we’ve all heard too of publishing companies that strong-arm authors into making their characters white or racially ambiguous, so they can attract white readers. Again, all publishing companies are not equal. But these stories have made me glad I decided to self-publish. I’d also like to say (since I HAVE white readers) to these companies (you know who you are): you aren’t giving your readers enough credit. And you should stop treating them like children. Folks will read good writing, no matter where it comes from, and who writes it.

And now to Hollywood. Oh man don’t get me started! From the stereotypical characters that make us all cringe; to the people of color (yes, not just black folks) who die 15-30 minutes into the film; to the scores and scores of films made with no people of color at all.
. . . whatever is going on in the world of SF/fantasy literature, Hollywood is doing that and more.

So what do we do? Like I just said in a comment, like Charles Saunders says, we Keep on keepin on. In 2012 and ever after, they’ll be more multiracial books and movies. I said it and I believe it.

So that being said, stay tuned for the giveways rules: and be sure to check out my fellow SF authors on my blogroll 🙂

To enter the giveaway contest:
Post a comment on my weekly discussion here at https://valjeanne.wordpress.com

Tweet Tweet #blackscifi2012 #blackspecfic or #blackscifi with my twitter handle @Tehotep

Post comments on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Valjeanne-Jeffers-Immortal-Novels/113750871991936

I’ll be keeping track of the names of participating readers and will select and announce the first winner on February 6, 2012, as will the other authors.

Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer– is a Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler’s Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world’s first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled – Immortal Fantasy. Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: http://blakelyworks.blogspot.com/ or http://blakelyworkstudio.weebly.com/

L. M. Davis, Author–began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade. Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers: A Shifters Novel will be released this spring. For more information visit her blog http://shiftersseries.wordpress.com/ or her website http://www.shiftersnovelseries.com.

Milton Davis, Author– Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: http://www.mvmediaatl.com/Wagadu/ and http://www.wagadu.ning.com.

Ja Ja (DjaDja) N Medjay , Author—DjaDja Medjay is the author of The Renpet Sci-Fi Series. Shiatsu Practitioner. Holistic AfroFuturistic Rising in Excellence. Transmissions from The Future Earth can be found at: http://www.renpetscifi.com or on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/RenpetSciFiNovel or on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Khonsugo and http://authordjadja.wordpress.com/

Margaret Fieland, Author– lives and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines http://tinyurl.com/LifelinesPoetry/ is available from Amazon.com Her book, “Relocated,” will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013. You may visit her website, http://www.margaretfieland.com.

Valjeanne Jeffers, Author — is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at: https://valjeanne.wordpress.com , http://wwwsistermoon.blogspot.com/ and http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com/

Thaddeus Howze, Author– is a veteran of the Information Technology and Communications industry with over twenty-six years of experience. His expertise is in re-engineering IT environments using process-oriented management techniques. In English, that means he studies the needs of his clients and configures their offices to optimize the use of information technology in their environment. Visit him: http://ebonstorm.wordpress.com or http://ebonstorm.weebly.com

Alicia McCalla, Author—writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free is available in print or immediate download on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and other booksellers. The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on iTunes and Amazon. Visit her at: http://www.aliciamccalla.com

Carole McDonnell, Author–She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction. Visit Carole: http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/ or http://writersofcolorblogtour.blogspot.com/

Balogun Ojetade, Author—of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steampunk) and the feature film, “A Single Link”. Visit him: http://chroniclesofharriet.wordpress.com/

Rasheedah Phillips, Author–is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog, AstroMythoLosophy.com.

Nicole Sconiers, Author-is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage. Visit her: http://nicolesconiers.com/index.html

Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. is owner & operator of TheDigitalBrothers.com, BlackScienceFictionSociety.com & BlackCommunityEntertainment.com. Visit him: http://www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2stjwb1h216fd

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8 thoughts on “The State of Black SF 2012: Why Race Matters Part 2

  1. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round. So many writers live in a vacuum and don’t get out much, which leads to drive-by depictions of minorities. Then again, some authors have the privilege of not thinking about race at all. They create a world in their image, and people it with their friends and enemies. Diversity doesn’t really matter to them (Hollywood, I’m looking at you), because the assumption is that black folks don’t read or we only read urban lit. We have to keep educating folks, and like you said, keep on keeping on.

  2. Blacktastic post! I agree with Nicole – Education is the key. We must first educate our people…and also educate others. Many do not know Black Speculative Fiction even exists. If we did, many more of us would read it.

  3. Thanks Brother Balogun :)!! Exactly, it still blows my mind how many still think that Octavia Butler is the only one! After all this time. She’s the Queen. And she opened the door. But so many of us have walked through it since then.

  4. True words, sister. The main reason I began writing was to fulfill a lifelong dream. The second reason I began writing was to fill a void. I wanted to see me. I so happy to have met you and all these other writers who are of the same mind.

  5. Love it! I agree with everything. And I think sometimes the discussion of multiculturalism is subverted in the name of the poloarized black/white politics, but we need to be including our sisters and brothers of all colors and cultures into our story. And yes!! I’m so tired of the damn stereotypes and the Black characters dying off first and all the other offenses committed against us in traditional scifi. Thanks for your perspective!

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