Friday, October 24, 2014

Why Diversity Matters to Me

Why does Diversity matter to you? Oh, my bad. We should probably agree on what the term 'diversity' means first. The dictionary defines diversity as The state or fact being; diverse; different; unlikeness..., Uh yeah sure. You know what? I'm going go with my boy Buggin' Out from Do The Right Thing who immortalized the definition of diversity with one question: How come ya ain't got no brothas up on the wall?
That's it.  That's diversity. Now let us move forward. So again why does diversity matter to you? Tough question? OK, I'll start... Diversity matters to me because I'm inundated with images of other in TV and Film. Diversity matters to me because because my image, my story, my American Experience is important. It deserves to be heard, to be seen.  Diversity matters to me because my peers know nothing about me outside the office. Oh they know the caricatures because that is all they have been exposed to but they do not know me.  Which is sad because I know them, and have known them all my life. I'm familiar with their favorite movies, books, music. Not to say they are a monolithic group but I'm even familiar with the diversity within their universe.  But when I bring up my favorite movies, books, music they're surprised. They have never heard of the movie Cooley High or Paul Beatty's brilliant Tuff, and since Talib Kweil get's no radio play he is not even in their orbit.

Me? I'm not so surprised by this.  But more important than anything Diversity matters to me because of my daughters. They are intelligent, beautiful, athletic, funny, and... black. When was the last movie that represented that? I'll help you... Love And Basketball. And I'm mad.  I'm mad because I can't count the number of movies I've seen before I got to experience it.
That locker scene in Love and Basketball when the young ladies are talking about their futures, their love for basketball, their dreams, had never ever been seen on film. Ever. A group of woman having an honest discussion about their limited future prospects and it had nothing to do with men! That is one of my favorite scenes of all time. It is in a word poignant. And the world had to wait for Gina Bythewood to bring it to life. And you know what? Mrs. Bythewood latest film Beyond The Lights  promises more of the same.  That is to tell a story from a diverse perspective that can resonant with the public at large but have a special relationship with, as the dictionary would say a, different segment of the population. And I will be in line on opening night because Diversity matters to me.  But you never answered the question; Why does diversity matter to you?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Black Speculative Fiction Month

In case you didn't know it's Black Speculative Fiction Month (#BSFM)! Yay! And if you want to find out more about Black Speculative Fiction check out our friends at Twin Ninja Book Reviews or Milton Davis over at the State of Black Science Fiction  And Milton is always looking for book releases, interviews, conventions, etc. so hit him up on facebook if you have ideas, suggestions, inquiries

As for me I've been reading the excellent web comic series A Softer Apocalypse written by Greg Stolze and drawn by Nick Butler of Turtle Dust Media  And if you
are into Black Speculative Fiction or want an example of Black Speculative Fiction you need to peep this joint now. And don't worry about paying for it because it's free. The comic is set in a not too distant future where everything that is wrong today has gotten dramatically worse. And it's not so much a post apocalyptic dystopian piece as a suburban horror story with climate change instead of vampires, and economic downturn instead of werewolves, and years of bio terror instead of ghost. But the coolest part? If you are desperate, driven, or crazy you can buy super-powers on the black market. But be careful because their is a 50-50 chance that the process to procure these powers can kill you! Greg's and Nick's links are below along with the link to the web comic. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

Softer Apocalypse: Link

Nick's Links:
Download a copy of Nick's head trip here:

Greg's Links