Writing Our Heroes, Writing Ourselves

10996435_10153025428871291_7978619420643990358_nI’m trying my hand at writing a short piece of fiction that I actually want people to read. I say “trying my hand” because it’s been a few months now…OK, OK, nearly a year…and I’m getting nowhere (obviously). There are a variety of reasons for this (work, hobbies, laziness) but the main one is that I’m trying to get myself out of the mindset that my lead character will be uninteresting to my target audience.This is the worst kind of thought that can occupy a writer’s headspace. Worrying about whether readers will be receptive to something you haven’t even finished writing yet is a surefire way to not publish anything. At all. Ever.

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The Wars of Other Men’s Scott Norman

TWOOMThe steampunk/dieselpunk tale The Wars of Other Men comes out on DVD this month. We talked with Scott Norman, who plays the film’s nameless main character, about the life of an actor, being a black geek/nerd and “steaselpunk” (TM Scott Norman). Continue reading “The Wars of Other Men’s Scott Norman”

Tips for Understanding Black History Month- 2015 Edition

Phenderson Djèlí Clark

blackhistorymonthIt’s that time of year again, Black History Month. Beginning every February in the United States, the country sets aside 28 (or 29 in a leap year) days to celebrate, discuss and engage Black History. Innocuous enough. And yet what seems to happen every Feb. 1st, is the beginning of a 28-days long ritual of whining (how come they get their own month?), misconceptions and endless micro-aggressive racial faux-pas. And this isn’t just from the usual sky boxes of white privilege; there are black people (some of them noteworthy) who wade into…well…the stupid. So here are a few tips to better understand the month, both for those who have to endure the stupid and for those who might be enticed to engage in the stupid.

This is just an updated list from an identical post I did last year. But guess what? It never gets old because the stupid never…

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IsWhat?! Presents The Deconstruction Period

deconstructionPOn Tuesday, Feb. 24, ‪the members of ISWHAT?!, including Midwest BSFA member Napoleon Maddox, are hosting a show at ‪The Greenwich called The Deconstruction Period. As some might imagine, the name and concept of this event is intended to bring to mind certain eras in history, as we have not come as far as our calendars suggest.

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Cosplaying While Black and ‪#‎28DaysOfBlackCosplay


Last fall, I was standing around shooting the breeze with a bunch of people at a comic book convention when one of the guys turned to me and said, “You know who you should cosplay?” I cringed internally because if you’re a white guy talking to a non-racially ambiguous plus-sized black woman, this type of conversation never ends well, especially for the party on the receiving end of such a question.

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Black to the Future Program Wrap-Up

facebook_-265051031Last Tuesday’s “Black to the Future: Afrofuturistic Music” program at Sweet Sistah Splash was the Midwest BSFA’s first activity of the year, and we couldn’t have planned for a better group of participants! There was something electric in the air as about 20 attendees from all walks of life discussed the meaning of Afrofuturism and how it applies to music. It was the kind of experience I hope we can have many more times in the months to come!

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