My story “The Migration Suite: A Study in C Sharp Minor” is up on the Uncanny Magazine site. But I wanted to talk about my inspiration for the story.

Pianist extraordinaire, Joshua A. Thompson, was doing his part of his “Black Migrations, Urban Realities” series down at Indiana Artsgarden and I wanted to check him out. He was performing with Manon Voice (it was actually my first time meeting the two of them face-to-face). By the time he got to the piece ‘Melancholia’ (composed in 1953 by Duke Ellington), with Manon Voice reciting the original composition “We Are Here,” I was through. I didn’t even realize that my pen had been jotting down ideas.

I’m constantly pushed by the artists in my city, no matter their craft, as they live their art out loud. This is a story inspired by community. (Special shout out to William Rasdell who let me pester him with questions about his work with the migration of the Diaspora.)

Anyway, here is the link to the story.

Also, the wonderful Caroline M. Yoachim did an interview with me about the story. You can read it here.

And the story was picked as one of the Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction: July 2019:

The Migration Suite: A Study in C Sharp Minor by Maurice Broaddus

“I believe all our journeys are to be celebrated, mourned, and remembered.” If you aren’t already familiar with the great Maurice Broaddus, let this story be your introduction. Broken into five stanzas, this science fiction-tinged tale tells of the movement, both willing and unwilling, of Africans and their descendants. We see glimpses of their lives from the first people to slave traders to runaway slaves to those who moved from the South to the North to those who left Earth entirely. Broaddus writes worlds that feel eerily similar to ours and uses them to expose the harsh truths we don’t want to see. “The Migration Suite: A Study in C Sharp Minor” is a distillation of the best of Broaddus.

Uncanny Magazine – July 2019, Issue 29

There was also a review over on the Quick Sips Review site. It reads…

This series continues to be one that explores the importance of having spaces that don’t cater to whiteness. That don’t attempt to negotiate or co-exist with whiteness. That don’t necessarily even aim to struggle against racism in order to build a better, unified world. Because in part the truth behind that particular utopian bend is that the work is expected to be done by the oppressed. They are supposed to convince the powerful that there is value in diversity and equality. Further, it’s not supposed to be instantaneous, and in the mean time victims of racism are supposed to understand that the system can’t change quickly. That they must be patient. And it’s refreshing to see the alternative to that, where a group of people decide they are going to split away and form a place that has a new system. That can change instantly. That doesn’t need to bring with it the racist infrastructure so long as it brings with the memories of what happened, the spirit of the people who have survived, and who still want to be free. The piece skips forward in time, spending long enough with each new character to give a feel for the worlds they are in, that they are leaving, that they are going to. And while it doesn’t give too much of an arc for each character, it gives a generational arc that carries through, from very early times to the future. And it further contextualizes the setting of the series as a whole, showing the events and the inspirations that led to the settling of First World (a lunar colony) by black settlers. It’s deep and complex, building up and up until it can reach the moon itself. A wonderful read!

It’s also a story with homework assignments, if you want to know the soundtrack that I was writing by:

7 Traceries: No. 4. Out of the Silence

 

William Grant Still (A Deserted Plantation: Spiritual)

 

Valse Suite, Op. 71, “Three-fours”: II. Andante

 

Adagio in F Minor by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

 

Duke Ellington: Single Petal of a Rose

 

In the Bottoms – Suite: Prelude: Night

 

In the Bottoms – Suite: Honey: Humoresque

 

In the Bottoms: II. His Song

 

Africa (arr. for piano) : Africa: II. Land of Romance (arr. for piano)