We live in a diverse world, a world of different landscapes, climates and cultures. Although the internet and our various modes of transportation has made this world ‘smaller’ to us than to our ancestors, there is still an abundance of diversity among us. What I consider a daily routine may serve as a fascinating representation of my values, concerns and expectations in my life.
Drifting throughout this diversity are images in fiction and non-fiction that rightly or wrongly influence our perception of others and ourselves. These images suggest to us overtly or covertly what we may or may not be capable of or what we can or cannot be. I’ll give a couple of real life examples. I grew up with two male cousins, cousins I consider brothers. Both were talented artists; they would spend hours drawing pictures from comic books and other sources. As we grew older one of my cousins abandoned his artistic ambitions while the other continued. One day, as young men, he showed me his latest images and a question popped in my head. I looked at him and asked him: Why aren’t your superheroes black?
I’ve seen this same condition among other artists and creators of color. The answer is simple; we duplicate what we see. We also tend to accept what we see. Although I’ve heard many artists, especially musicians, argue against it, what we create influences what people think of others and themselves. This is why I believe it is important to show ethnicity in Speculative Fiction. While it’s easy for some to see astronauts and imagine themselves as one, for others the connection can’t be made unless they see themselves in that position. It is also important that readers see others in all walks of life, not just stereotypes. Giving readers a well rounded view of society opens the mind and lowers the barriers that stereotypes raise.
I could go on at length on this subject but I must give room for my fellow bloggers to share their view as well. Check out the other members of this Online Black History Month Event: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 bloghttp://shiftersseries.wordpress.com/ or her website 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: www.mvmediaatl.com andwww.wagadu.ning.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: http://valjeanne.wordpress.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.comAlicia 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 will be available February 1, 2012. The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit her at: www.aliciamccalla.comCarole 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