originally published July/2015
By now, many if not most of you have watched the new Batman V. Superman trailer. Like most geeks, I had to take a peek myself. But I'm not only a geek, I'm also an IBBC; Internal Based Black Creator. And as such I am ever vigilant when it comes to the depiction of Blacks in modern Western art forms. Take a look at the above screen ... or better yet, frame grab. It may be too early to tell, but it appears that a Black man, or a man kissed by the sun big-time, is about to shoot Bruce Wayne's parents.
Again ... may be too early to tell, but if the above set of images is that of a black or brown killer, then Batman's parents will be shown as having been killed by a man of color in an alley. And just in time for the upcoming elections, when crime committed by Blacks will be show-cased in Willie Horton fashion.
Batman is an icon in the modern mythos of the American unconscious. He is one of the big-three in the DC universe. The man who killed Batman's parents has always been depicted as a white man. Why the change? If indeed there has been a change. Hard to tell, plus that hand looks like it could be white.
In light of the continued assault on unarmed Black men in American society - by armed Whites, it's interesting that what was always depicted as white on white crime in the DC comic book mythos, could now potentially have a Black man killing the parents of one of the most beloved heroes in the American collective psyche.
Donald Trump couldn't have written this scene any better. In the mist of white comic book fans going plum crazy when a beloved figure in the comic-magazine world is switched from White to Black, will we have an outburst of hate, pain, and vitriol at this potential ethnic switch-a-roo? Again I want to stress potential because the image moves fast. Could be a dark skinned white man ... a hamite, lol. Or it could just be the lighting.
Lets say the picture is that of a Black man in the first image. The question(s) then becomes -
1. Why switch the Wayne's killer from white to black?
2. What will the response from the fanatical comic book fan base be?
3. What impact will said switch have on the American unconscious?
Time will tell.
This article is © - July/2015 Daathrekh Publishing
As Within, Not so Without
originally published August/2014
Truth be told, not all muses are created equal. The artist is only as strong as his or her inspiration, imagination, and courage. And under the watchful eyes of the BSFGK or Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keepers, the Black artistic community labors under a kind of artificially induced self-policing. As such, they have willingly externalized their creation-engine/power.
The External Based Black Artist seeks to placate the industry, never challenging the status-quo, in essence, becoming at least an Agent, and perhaps as it relates to this series of articles, a fully realized Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keeper. Their journey is steeped in fear and the perpetual seeking of acceptance from the colonizers of imagination. Money, fame, and the preverbal pat-on-the-head, is the ultimate goal for the external based black artist.
The Internal Based Black Creator is one who builds from an authoritative non-apologetic spark of creativity and empowerment. The Internal Based Black Creator acts from a position of strength and authenticity, using his/her voice, words, images, and music, to speak truth to power. The Internal Based Black Creator feels compelled to at least suggest to the observer-experiencer, that there is always a higher frequency of black expression. Ever-Becoming, is the ultimate goal for the Internal Based Black Creator.
The Internal Based Black Creator or IBBC, is viewed by the neutralized masses as a pariah ... a spoiler. The IBBC is usually an independent voice, while The Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keeper or BSFGK, is generally a cog in one of the nine categories of White Supremacy - entertainment. The BSFGK is a straw-man ... a tool used to project the illusion of diversity in the western arts propaganda machine. The relationship between the IBBC and the BSFGK is tenuous at best. They operate from two extremes; one seeking to codify the whims of those other than themselves, while the other strives to generate better-human-sights-and sounds. I leave it up to the reader to discover which is which.
The Agent is another thing all together. Agents have no real power and are a general nuisance to the IBBC. They behave plague-like, spreading disinformation and disunity like flies on the Serengeti. In todays world, their field of operation is the electronic media. Name calling, slander, fear mongering, back-stabbing, and distraction, are their weapons. Agents offer first layer attacks but are easily dispatched by the hardened IBBC. The purpose of the Agent as it relates to the Internal Based Black Creator, is to waste the later’s creative vitality.
If this copy reads like a
speculative fiction piece, it is ... and it isn’t. This
series of articles is an experiment using real life
experience, constructs of history, culture, and social
concepts, molded into heroes and villains. Stick around,
more to come.
This article is © - August/2014 Daathrekh Publishing
The Agent in You
originally published October/2013
A few months ago I wrote an article entitled, The Rise of the Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keepers. It basically outlined the manifesto for those who seek for the externalization of Black creative vision and artistic power. The Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keepers’ primary focus is the falsification of Internal-Based-Black-Creator-Themes. It was further revealed, that the Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keepers seek to cling to a position of power and privilege within one of the nine areas of activity of White Supremacy – entertainment. The aforementioned piece is from an upcoming book entitled, “The Agent in You." A few weeks ago, I was inspired to drop this; which will also appear in the same book. This post is entitled, The Wonderers.
The Wonderers are men and women who seemly do not hold the perceived acceptance, status, and power of the Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keepers. They do however share in their distain for internal based Black creation motifs and concepts. The Wonderers generally hover around Black creative people; forums, chat rooms, social sites of all kinds, yet proudly proclaim the superiority of the all inclusive; racially speaking, economic advantages of making a living as an external based Black Artist. It would appear that the Wonderers are Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keepers in the making. They are not.
The Wonderers are spoilers who feverishly extol the positive experiences they’ve enjoyed with non-Black artists and creators. They do so, while condemning and showcasing the negative history they’ve faced when participating in creative projects with Black people. Wonderers are agents. Wonderers are nomads.
The Wonderers’ as agent is a compelling phenomenon. They actively seek out Internal Based Black Creators; their works and conversations, in hopes to castigate, misdirect, and chastise. They work hard at painting the Internal-Based-Black-Creator as narrow minded, limited in scope and success, and as reverse racists. They never miss an opportunity at showing and proving how following the yellow-brick-road of mainstream thought, is vastly superior to any and all things perceived as militant – read: unapologetically Black creatively. The Wonderer as agent acts as a kind of auto-drone within mostly Black creative gatherings. Wonderers are artistic overseers who would rather be rubbing elbows with those who actually have no respect or place for them.
The Wonderer as nomad is tragic. They recognize that they are unwanted pests in non-Black artsy circles, so they are forced to go slumming in Black-creator-communities. They feel superior to other Blacks; believing they posses higher knowledge and wisdom as bestowed upon them by their white masters. The Wonderers' as artists are creatively dead. Their work is rejected by the non-Black community for it’s unoriginal mimic laden content, and often passed over by the Black community by-in-large, for its gutted and soulless expression.
The Wonderers are cousin to the Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keepers. They posses different anti-black rhetoric/technique, yet share in their aversion for Internal-Based-Black-Creator-Themes. Unlike Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keepers however, the Wonderers are nomadic agents who specifically seek out Independent Black Creative Communities to destroy them; where as the BSFGK* want nothing to do with non-conforming Black artists.
The Internal-Based-Black-Creator faces a myriad of challenges. The powerful imagery and frequencies molded by these men and women are in direct conflict with the core tenants of White Supremacy. Unfortunately the minions of the Eurocentric Hive Mind Construct are legion and they stand ever vigilant to protect their conscious stifling masters.
* Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keepers
This article is © - October/2013 Daathrekh Publishing
The Emergence of the Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keepers
originally published July/2013
Power is the ability to define a thing, and have people respond to that definition as if it were their own –
Dr. Wade Nobles
African American Science Fiction is an umbrella term used to describe a genre that is usually created by people of African descent, and for which the content normally features black people as central to the body of work. Black speculative fiction is often thought of as African Centered in scope, but generally, it isn't. That is to say, the cultural and social identity of the world is usually Eurocentric in reflection, though it may take place on Martin Luther King Blvd, or 125th street.
For a piece to be truly Black Science Fiction, it’s Asili *, should be Black in its major expression(s). What does this mean?
The language, the worldview, the spiritual cultivation system, and the daily struggle, must all converge to produce; speculatively speaking, an authentic and unapologetic Black: spiritual, mental, and physical presence.
One may bring forth a story where the character(s) are white, but the piece may still be considered Black Science Fiction, because the culture used by the character(s), the language spoken by the character(s), the religion or spiritual system important to the character(s), springs from and moves to, express and continue, a Black world theme.
Conversely, a piece may be replete with Black folks, with an agenda seemingly for the benefit of Blacks, but the cultural practices, the language spoken, the ideas that are deemed sacred and important, are in fact European or Asian in origin, and hence the body of work cannot be viewed as Black Science Fiction. It is simply fiction with Black people in it. I use Black as a template for discussion. The term is meant as a symbol or an ideal of undiluted black speculative-purpose, stemming from an internal based paradigm.
Why is this important?
For the artist, the imagination is the most important, powerful, and impactful tool of human possibility. And as Black creators, we must be ever vigilant in preventing the externalization of our inner vision/future/power – imagination.
Enter the Black Speculative Fiction Gate Keepers. The BSFGK. lol. They are those who operate out of a fear-based trauma, triggered by - blackness - as it relates to people places or things. The BSFGK, are men and women for whom through socialization, past experiences; real and imagined, and a sub-conscious acceptance of white superiority, move and act in ways to externalize their imagination, power, and possibility.
Black Speculative Fiction gate Keepers, view all internal-based-Black-creator-themes, as inherently evil and completely inferior to white control-imagination-motifs. Consequently, they unwittingly; or maybe not, destroy Black Speculative Fiction from within, by the unconditional externalization of the primary catalyst of human potential as it relates to dream-to-reality endeavors – creativity.
The BSFGK are living tools used by those; whom ever or what ever they maybe, to push for the externalization of inner-power; in this instance, as it relates to creativity and imagination, in efforts to control the image-possibility-constructs, used by people of African descent.
So watch. In the coming days, months, and years, and in response to the emergence of Internal-Based-Black-Creator-Themes, the BSFGK will move in predictable ways. Like imagination zombies, they will strive to marginalize, castigate, and objectify, those who create from an internal and original source.
The BSFGK Manifesto
1. Compare internal-based-Black-creator speculative fiction with external-based speculative fiction, as if the latter is the only yardstick of imagination, creativity and success.
2. Ignore the material head start enjoyed by the practitioners of external-based imagination-motifs, while ridiculing the independent steps as taken by internal-based-Black-creators.
3. Objectify and vilify all non-external-based speculative fiction through fear based trauma, trigger words, and spookism.
4. Use their Black skin as a galvanizing call to a pseudo universal theme fed on the, “just so happen to be black,” bait-and-switch, externalized imagination hoodwink protocols, sprinkled with claptrap, blackface creation fodder.
5. Tricking off their power by failing to overstand that external-based creative themes = weaves, blue contacts, etc.
6. Distract, misdirect, huff and puff, name call, snitch, while singing the praises of external based creator themed projects, all in hopes of securing a marginal position of power and trust within a speculative fiction boundary of imagination colonization.
Pay attention. Study even when you are on vacation. Escapism is temporary, mental freedom, is forever.
Asili * see _ Yorugu_ by Dr. Marimba Ani
This article is © - July/2013 Daathrekh Publishing
originally published March/2013
As sites like Black Science Fiction Society continue to grow and push change onto the speculative fiction world, I am hearing two concerns emerge out of the African American creator scene. One such argument is issued from Black creators who are mainstream and have gained important footing in established fields be they: movies, comics, hollywood, etc.
I've listened to 'established' African American creators argue, how important it is for Black creators who want to get a job in the industry, stay within the boundaries of what is deemed safe and non-threatening, and how if an up-and-coming creator wants to shine, he/she should not do stories(read projects), that are 'blackity-black'. Yup, I actually heard this term used.
Then there are the independent creators. Those who do stories/projects that would be considered Blackity-Black - lol. These folks maintain that an artist should be true to their vision, and for those who create for the sake of what they think the majority of people will gravitate to, are not being creative, and further still, this ensures that the same kinds of ero-centric properties; regardless of the color of the characters, will continue to be recycled.
Here's the funny part. Both camps maintain that they get passed up at conventions and other venues when and where they show their wares. Both groups continue to cite that they don't get enough support from the African American community.
The mainstream complaint is, "We are creators who generate stories that are just as good as what is being produced in Hollywood, by Marvel & DC, and our characters look like; and our stories are similar in content to, what you already purchase, so why not buy from us ... we're black."
The independents argue, "...that we are black creators who create great and fresh copy, but more importantly, our stories/projects are for and about black characters and themes, so why not support us?"
Two possible answers -
For the mainstream creators - You wont get support if you don't bring anything new to the table. No one will buy Hollywood, DC, Marvel; this includes in black-face, when the original is available. It insults the intelligence to read or watch a blatant rip of something that doesn't reflect the community, or more importantly, acknowledge a huge segment of the group's social-experience. It's a pain in the butt to get screwed, but it really sucks to get "did" by someone who looks like you. Sorry.
For the independent creators - Many African Americans are afraid to support ethnocentric projects for fear of being perceived as pro-black. Being pro-black in America for many, equals reverse racism. Being perceived as pro-black by folks who sign your checks, can translate to NO checks. Also, sub-consciously, African Americans really don't like things that are blackity-black because it makes them feel uncomfortable around their non-black friends and associates. And finally, Millions of African Americans don't necessarily have a Black experience, but rather a mainstream experience.
Possible Solution -
Lets merge the camps. Why not develop a particular understanding, and support our mainstream creators. Lets help them get those big contracts/deals, and help put them in a position(s) where they can support the independent creators. When we have enough 'mainstream' Black creators with long money in seats of power, they can in turn reach 'back' or 'over' or where ever, and fund the independent creators who do ethnocentric projects. There is an audience for all kinds of stories and projects. We as creators CAN gain access to a pool of billions; think North and South America, and the continents of Africa, Europe, and Asia; all with different political, and cultural expressions, but both camps will have to become ONE to make this work.
This article is © - March/2013 Daathrekh Publishing