People of color are too often relegated to supporting roles in mainstream urban fantasy. I just read this about Researcher Keith Green who is creating a course at Rutgers University about Black Science Fiction through the ages.
I really related to this statement:
“He explains that blacks were often relegated to ancillary roles, while white, heterosexual males were portrayed as the protagonists and heroes. Historically, he adds, black characters have maintained what Toni Morrison called an “Africanist presence” in American literature, portrayed as sidekicks who provide emotional support or guidance for the main characters.”
So even though they’re there, they don’t really have their own story. Here are some works that come to mind to demonstrate what I mean. Can you think of others? List in comments section.
- Guinan on Star Trek
- Trez and Iam in the Black Dagger Brotherhood
Not all of these are speculative but this campaign is rocking it. Here’s their mission statement:
We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality.
We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. Our mission is to promote or amplify diversification efforts and increase visibility for diverse books and authors, with a goal of empowering a wide range of readers in the process.
In order to accomplish our mission, we reach out to individuals and groups involved in many levels of children’s publishing—including (but not limited to) publishers, authors, distributors, booksellers, librarians, educators, parents, and students.
A very brief perusal of discussions on sites like Goodreads will give authors a good idea of what readers are hungry for.
- Dreams. They can go a lot of ways, like foretelling, alternate worlds, astral projection, etc.
- About aliens on earth.
- I’m fond of characters with extra or enhanced senses. They can feel or see things that others can’t, or are more in tune with the world.
- My favorites are stories that are original but realistic, with just enough magic in it to make it interesting
- Shifters other than werewolves.
- Other magical creatures and realities. Like revenants, Selkies, fae, mermaids, djinn, the far-eastern and African mythological creatures. There are a lot of world mythologies out there besides the same, tired old European ones.
- Based on the 7 deadly sins; perhaps a series?
- Fairy Tale, Cyborg, and/or Alien Romances
- Angel-themed paranormal romance
- Asian and other racial main characters
Some new works from this great author who is now deceased have been discovered. Two stories will be released this week!
This blog’s mission to find and promote books and other media that celebrate the diverse people all around us and include them in speculative fiction. I want to highlight classic work as well as new artists; books, graphic arts, movies, and whatever entertains people. There’s some excellent work going on out there already and I hope to inspire newcomers.
Really thought-provoking post.
The Academy Awards will soon unveil the very best in filmmaking in 2014. As the prediction chatter ricochets around the web, our curiosity about the level of racial and gender representation of the Academy Awards is the focus of our next Diversity Gap study. We reviewed the Academy’s entire 85-year history and the results were staggeringly disappointing, if not surprising in light of our past Diversity Gap studies of The Tony Awards, The Emmy Awards, the children’s book industry, The New York Times Top 10 Bestseller List, and US politics, where we analyzed multi-year samplings and found a disturbingly consistent lack of diversity.
Since the Academy Awards was founded 85-years ago:
- Only one woman of color (1%) has ever won the Academy Award for Best Actress
- Only seven men of color (9%) have ever won the Academy Award for…
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