Archive for April, 2018

Patreon Report – 18-04-25

The major thrust of my Patreon is to help support the work that I do in the community. So here are the things that I’ve been up to in the last month:
Community Innovation Lab: I am the artist facilitator for this community project. The purpose is to explore the challenges in Indianapolis to economic empowerment and human agency faced by two particular groups of our fellow citizens – women “returning citizens” (formerly incarcerated) and youth aging out of foster care. Our most recent artistic practice had our participants building bridges with one another. This involved them writing out their story on popsicle sticks, us mixing up the popsicle sticks (they were allowed to keep one stick/sentence of their story), then after randomly selecting as many popsicle sticks as they turned in, they had to weave a coherent narrative of the sentences with their partners. And use other media to help assemble their bridge.
The next session, coming up in a few weeks, moves from Theory to Practice. We’re going to develop small experiments with radical intent leading toward new ideas and solutions around reentry and foster care. Here is the experiment I will be proposing with my group: Whenever we talk about re-entry, we focus on the person being released. Services are aimed at them, despite significant hurdles of resources, housing, and transportation. We know from experience that when Person X hits a wall (services being denied/cut off, no job, not enough money coming in, etc), they go back to what they know, Person Y (aka, the corner). I want to target Person Y. What would it look like to network with them, schedule a coffee, recognize their humanity? What would them taking a pivot in their operations, getting them to care about Person X long term, look like? What would treating them as a part of the community look like?
Afrofuturism Friday: The re-cap is in the link. So we received a grant from the Indiana Humanities to continue these conversations. Thanks to this Patreon, I am foregoing any fee due to come my way so that we can pour those resources straight into our community Afrofuturism resource library.
Coming up…
The first two weeks of May include the following:
Mo*Con – A community of writers. In varying states of intoxication. Talking deep stuff.
-Afrofuturism Friday (Butler) – Octavia Butler’s work combines imagination with social, political, and even religious practice. It creates blueprints to find new ways to understand ourselves and the world around us. And, with its Afrofuture promise, it paints a vivid portrait of what the world could look like. So we will explore survival strategies for when the dystopia arrives.
Open Bite – A community event of entrepreneurs and artists. Lots of pics next month.

An Evening with Mikki Kendall and Chesya Burke (a pre-Mo*Con event)

At the intersection of race, gender, social justice, and speculative fiction, two powerful voices, Mikki Kendall and Chesya Burke, join us for a night of what is sure to be lively conversation. Mikki and Chesya will interview each other and host a Q&A in a free-flowing dialogue on oppressive politics, the state of fluid literature, white feminism, and paths for moving forward.

ABOUT MIKKI KENDALL

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and DePaul, Mikki Kendall has been blogging since 2003 under the pen name Karnythia. With nearly 100K Twitter followers, in August of 2013, Mikki started the hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen. It sparked a global conversation about racism, solidarity, representation, and access to resources in feminist circles. Her other hashtags (including #fasttailedgirls, #NotJustHello, #AbuserDynamics, #MillenialMammy, #NotYourMandingo, and others designed to make room for hard conversations about feminist issues) have also gone viral. Her hashtag #HistoricPOC was used by the US National Archives as part of the 2015 Black History Month events.

She has written for The Guardian, Ebony, Essence, Publishers Weekly, Global Comment, Salon, xoJane, The Toast, and other online and print markets. She has also been published in several anthologies, both fiction and nonfiction. She edited the Locus nominated anthology Hidden Youth with Chesya Burke, and is part of the Hugo nominated team of editors at Fireside Magazine. In addition, Mikki is an accomplished public speaker, frequently speaking on race, feminism, and social media at a variety of conferences and colleges.

Sample Mikki here:

Want to thank black voters for defeating Roy Moore? Tackle voter suppression.

Want to see Oprah be president? Maybe she should start with city council.

ABOUT CHESYA BURKE

Chesya Burke is a doctoral candidate in the English department at the University of Florida. She received her Master’s degree in African American Studies from Georgia State University in 2015. Currently, Chesya is a double fellow, receiving both the Florida Education Fund McKnight Fellowship and the PhD Graduate Student Fellowship from the University of Florida. As a scholar, she teaches such topics as Black Women Spec Fic Writers, The Racial Dynamics of Nationality Politics and The Literature of Resistance: From Nat Turner to Black Panther.

In addition, Burke wrote several articles for the African American National Biography published by Harvard and Oxford University Press. Burke is an award-winning writer, who has published nearly a hundred stories and articles, leading Grammy-nominated spoken word artist and poet Nikki Giovanni to call her work “stunning.” Her primary areas of interests are in African American literature, race and gender studies, comics and fluid fiction. She edited the Locus nominated anthology, Hidden Youth, with Mikki Kendall and her thesis was on the comic book character Storm from the X-MEN. Shiv, Burke’s stand alone comic, is scheduled to debut in 2019.

You can sample Chesya’s work here:

Zero Percent Chance

Say, She Toy:

Horror Is . . . Not What You Think or Probably Wish It Is

AFROFUTURE FRIDAYS – FROM WAKANDA TO PARABLE OF THE SOWER

First off, we’re pleased to announce that we have received a grant from Indiana Humanities to continue these conversations!

Second, Afrofuturism considers these questions: Where are we now? Where do we want to be? How do we get there? Our goal is to imagine the future we want to see. So let’s start with a re-cap of how dominating Black Panther’s run has been:

At this point, Black Panther’s performance at the box office has stopped being surprising and is now just impressive. Black Panther was number one at the box office for five straight weekends, it is now the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time domestically and it is the most tweeted about movie ever. Black Panther has now passed the nigh-unsinkable Titanic to become the third highest-grossing film of all time domestically.

-It’s only surpassed by James Cameron’s Avatar, which sits at number two, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens at number one.

Black Panther will be the first film released in Saudi Arabia in 35 years.

 

AFROFUTURE FRIDAYS – REPLICATING WAKANDA (A Re-cap)

After a vibrant (and standing room only) discussion about the movie Black Panther and its themes, our discussion ended before we had a chance to discuss the role of technology in our communities. Technology plays a vital role in Wakanda—in medicine, communication, protection, and transportation (we see a Wakanda designed to be walkable Wakanda as well as having a mass transit system). What we want to consider is that:

Afrofuturism is not just an aesthetic — it’s just as much a framework for activism and imagining new technologies. We’re interested in how the movement can make a practical difference in the lives of those from whom the thought culture draws.

We watched two clips about tech and Afrofuturism from Robin Thede’s late night show The Rundown as the basis of our table discussions:

  1. What (unique) resources does your community have?

-how can you use those resources to build your community?

-how can you leverage your privilege to benefit other communities?

  1. Considering the needs of your community, what are some technological aids (not fixes)?

-what kind of technology can you come up with?

 

RESOURCES

Afrofuturism and Outsider Tech

Sculpting Space for Afrofuturism as a Methodology of Liberation

 

NEXT UP: Octavia Butler’s seminal work, Parable of the Sower.

Octavia Butler’s work combines imagination with social, political, and even religious practice. It creates blueprints to find new ways to understand ourselves and the world around us. And, with its Afrofuture promise, it paints a vivid portrait of what the world could look like. So we leave you with this thought from Parable of the Sower:

“All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God Is Change.”

Go forth and be the change.

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN SPECULATIVE FICTION – A READING PRIMER

I recently spoke at the Kheprw Institute on the history of Black Spec Fic. This is the reading list I provided as a starting point:

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN SPECULATIVE FICTION – A READING PRIMER

Martin Delany
Blake, or the Huts of America (1859)

Charles W. Chesnutt
The Conjure Woman  (1899)

Frances Harper
Iola Leroy (1892)

Sutton Griggs
Imperium in Imperio (1899)

Pauline Hopkins
Of One Blood (1902)

Edward A. Johnson
Light Ahead for the Negro (1904)

W. E. B. Du Bois
“The Comet” (1920)
“Jesus Christ in Texas” (1920)

Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
Mules and Men (1935)
Tell My Horse (1938)

George Schuyler
Black No More (1931)

Henry Dumas
Echo Tree

Amos Tutuola
The Palm Wine Drinkard (1952)
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954)

Samuel R. Delany
The Jewels of Aptor (1962)
Dhalgren (1975)
“Racism and Science Fiction”

Virginia Hamilton (1934-2002)
Zeely (1967)
The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl (1986)
The Justice Trilogy (2012)

Ishmael Reed
Mumbo Jumbo (1972)

Toni Morrison
Song of Solomon (1977)
Beloved (1987)

Octavia E. Butler
Kindred (1979)
“Bloodchild” (1984)
Parable of the Sower (1993)
Fledgling (2005)

Charles Saunders
Imaro (1981)

Gloria Naylor
Mama Day (1988)

Charles R. Johnson
Middle Passage (1990)

Jewelle Gomez
The Gilda Stories (1991)

Tananarive Due
My Soul to Keep (1997)
The Good House (2003)
Ghost Summer (2015)

Christopher Priest (Jim Owsley)
Black Panther v.3 (1998- 2003)

Nalo Hopkinson
Brown Girl in the Ring (1998)
Midnight Robber (2000)

Sandra Jackson-Opoku
The River Where Blood Is Born (1998)

Victor LaValle
Slapboxing with Jesus (1999)
Big Machine (2009)
The Ballad of Black Tom (2016)

Colson Whitehead
The Intuitionist (1999)
Zone One (2011)
The Underground Railroad (2016)

Sheree Renée Thomas
Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora (2000)
Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (2004)

Walter Mosley
Futureland: Nine stories of an imminent future (2001)

Linda D. Addison
Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes (2001)
Being Full of Light, Insubstantial (2007)
How to Recognize a Demon has Become your Friend (2011)

Steven Barnes
Lion’s Blood (2002)
Zulu Heart (2003)

L.A. Banks
The Vampire Huntress Legend series (2003-2010)
Crimson Moon series (2008- 2010)

Minister Faust
Coyote Kings of the Space- Age Bachelor Pad (2004)
From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain (2007)

Brandon Massey
Dark Dreams (2004)
Dark Corner (2004)

Andrea Hairston
Mindscape (2006)
Redwood and Wildfire (2011)

Nisi Shawl
Filter House (2008)
Stories for Chip (w/ Bill Campbell 2015)

Wrath James White
The Resurrectionist (2009)

Nnedi Okorafor
Who Fears Death (2010)
Akata Witch (2011)
Binti (2016)

Maurice Broaddus
“Pimp My Airship” (2009)
King Maker (2010)
The Voices of Martyrs (2017)

Helen Oyeyemia
White is for Witching (2010)

N.K. Jemisin
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010)
The Fifth Season (2015)

Chesya Burke
Let’s Play White (2011)

Mat Johnson
Pym (2011)

Milton Davis
Changa’s Safari (2011)

Balogun Ojetade
Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (2012)

Tobias Buckell
Arctic Rising (2012)
Hurricane Fever (2014)

Sofia Samatar
A Stranger in Olondria (2013)

Bill Campbell
Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (2013)
Stories for Chip (w/ Nisi Shawl 2015)

Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Summer Prince (2013)
Love Is the Drug (2015)
“A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i” (2015)

Jenn Brissett
Elysium (2014)

Tade Thompson
Making Wolf (2015)

Kai Ashante Wilson
“The Devil in America” (2015)
The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps (2015)
A Taste of Honey (2016)

Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown
Octavia’s Brood (2015)

Marlon James
The Dark Star trilogy (2017)

 

 

Shout Outs
John F. Allen
Paula D. Ashe
Michael Boatman
K. Tempest Bradford
Crystal Connor
Errick Dunnally
Andre Duza
Robert Fleming
Craig Laurance Gidney
LR Giles
Seressia Glass
Lawanna Holland-Moore
Valjeanne Jeffers
Jemiah Jefferson
Rhonda Jackson Joseph
John Edward Lawson
Kai Leakes
Alicia McCalla
Carl Hancock Rux
J. Malcolm Stewart
Geoffrey Thorne
K. Ceres Wright
Ibo Zoboi

 

Check out:

A Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction

Science Fiction by African Writers

Upcoming Workshops

I’ve been getting a lot of (well-earned) grief about not publicizing my workshops and such. I try to keep my appearances updated on my web site, but here are some upcoming events:

Afrofuture Fridays – the second Friday of the month, I’ll be at the Kheprw Institute leading a community conversation on Afrofuturism and applying those themes to community work. Here are links to our introduction and out Black Panther conversations. Indiana Humanities has awarded us a $4,000 grant to continue the conversations. Next up, April 13th, Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower.

Characterization Through Dialogue – “Characters are at the heart of stories and dialogue helps define characters and drive story.  In this workshop you’ll learn to develop characters, consider word choice, and define their voice through dialogue. The workshop will present essential tips to improve dialogue and explore how to write dialogue that rings true, deepens character, creates tension, and more.” Saturday, May 19, 9-12p at the Indiana Writers Center.

Pop up Writing Workshop: Your Super Hero Story – “Learn tips to writing your own super hero story by transforming your personal memoirs and experiences into a masterpiece led by an expert at the Indiana Writers Center.” Monday, June 18, 6:00-7:30 pm at Metazoa Brewing

Midwest Writers Workshop Super Mini-conference – I’ll be conducting workshops on Worldbuilding, Dialogue, and the Business of Writing. July 27-28 at the Ball State Alumni Center.

Writing Excuses Cruise – Allow me to quote fellow instructor, K. Tempest Bradford: “Join me on the Writing Excuses cruise, a writing conference & retreat taking place this September. Hone your craft by attending talks & participating in workshops led by a huge roster of amazing writers, editors, & agents. I’ll be an instructor this year alongside Amal El-MohtarMaurice Broaddus, Piper J Drake, Valynne E. MaetaniDongWon Song, Mary Robinette Kowal, Kathy Powell ChungSandra TaylerDan Wells, and Howard Tayler. The depth of our collective knowledge is rivaled only by the sea, which we will sail to Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize, and Cozumel, Mexico. Yes, this cruise is part adventure as well. Though you’ll only a get a brief taste of each place we dock, sometimes that’s just enough for inspiration. And maybe it will make you want to return, explore deeper, and fuel more creative fire. More details available at the link as well as registration.”

Indiana State Library teen-focused writing festival celebrating the horror and sci-fi genres. October 20, 2018. Details to follow.

[My Apperances page also includes the conventions I plan on attending. Look for me at the Steampunk SymposiumMo*Con, GenCon, and World Fantasy]

The Apex Takeover Continues

A year ago it was announced that I’d taken on the position as reprints editor for Apex Magazine. Recently I was saying to myself, “Self, you’re not that busy, is there anything else you can take on?” So Apex Magazine made this announcement…

am pleased to announce that Maurice Broaddus has accepted the position of nonfiction editor for Apex Magazine!

Maurice is a prolific and well-regarded author who works in a multitude of genres. He is also the Apex Magazine reprints editor and now wears two hats for our publication. Upcoming authors Maurice has lined up for essays include Mur Lafferty, Mary SanGiovanni, and Tobias S. Buckell.

You can find Maurice Broaddus on Twitter at @mauricebroaddus and online at www.mauricebroaddus.com. His novella “Buffalo Soldiers” was recently published at Tor.com.

Mo*Con Giveaways: USB Memory Direct

We have a lot of partners coming on board to help put on Mo*Con this year.

USB Memory Direct has provided us with 25 custom flash drives to give away on a first come first serve basis.

Their catalog of drives can be found here, but they can obviously customize them (THEY FLIP TO MATCH MY BUSINESS CARDS/BOOK COVERS!)