Studies have shown that, in the general population, Science Fiction and Fantasy has an impact on the teaching of values and critical literacy. Science Fiction challenges readers to first imagine and then to realize the future of not only the novel they are reading but, also the future of the world in which they live.
People of African descent can – and do – relate to the experiences in Science Fiction and Fantasy. But the lack of self-images in these genres can have a negative effect on the psyche of readers and can, indeed, contribute to negative behavior. We derive our perceptions of self by what we hear, see, and read and our perception directly affects our actions.
The Process of Action works as follows: 1. Perception (precedes thought) 2. Thought (precedes impulse) 3. Impulse (precedes action) 4. Action. If the perception of ourselves is a person who lacks courage, integrity and goodness – because we do not see ourselves possessing heroic qualities in most books – the thought creeps into our minds that we lack those heroic qualities, so we are – by default – people in need of rescue (victims), or worse, villains. The thought grows into a strong impulse to be the victim or villain; and finally, the action of being victim or villain takes place. However, if – through Fantasy and Science Fiction written with Black characters as the heroes – we begin to perceive ourselves as heroic…as hard working…as good…we will act in accord with how we perceive ourselves.
We need stories that do not deny race or the historical implications of it, while remaining unhindered by the racism that may be present. We need strong Black images in speculative fiction.
People from all background are starting to realize there is a need for diversity in Science Fiction and Fantasy and demands for a change are being made.
With all these demands to see more main characters – particularly heroes and sheroes – who are less of the old white male default, you would think that authors everywhere would stand up, join hands, sing a little "kum ba yah" and then sit down to write some great stories with some non-default heroes. The question is whether White, Asian, Native American and even Black people can see a Black person as their hero.
That will only happen if seeing a black hero/protagonist happens so much in stories, novels, and films that it becomes normalized. That it becomes common. But that has to begin with Black writers, since most writers will write what they know.
Blacktastic unapologetically gives you Black heroes and sheroes in the stories we present each week. We will bring you the best in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror and the subgenres of Black Speculative Fiction – Steamfunk, Rococoa, Dieselfunk, Cyberfunk and Sword & Soul – in a weekly podcast.
Each podcast will feature the reading of a short story by an author of Black Speculative Fiction, followed by a Q&A with the author from fans of the genre.
The funds raised will purchase a professional podcast platform, artwork and 3 hours of studio time to record the short stories and lay the sound effects.
Risks and challenges
The only risk we foresee is the possibility of not having a large audience. However, with over 5000 members in the State of Black Science Fiction group, who are eager to share their works with the world and to enjoy the works of others, and with the growing and consistent outcry for diversity in science fiction and fantasy, the risk is minimal.
We will tackle this risk by marketing to a broad demographic: Fans of Speculative Fiction, Diverse Speculative Fiction and Black Speculative Fiction between the ages of 13 and 65.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)