Ida Salomon Faubert (1882-1969) was a Haitian poet in the first half of the 20th century. Faubert enjoyed a comfortable existence as the only child of former Haitian president Lysius Salomon. After her father’s overthrow from power, Faubert was sent to France where she was raised by her mother’s relatives. While she eventually came back to Haiti for numerous visits, Faubert belonged to Paris’ bon vivant scenery. Her time in Paris, nevertheless, did not manage to erase her Haitian origins. Haiti was indeed a central theme in her work and she surrounded herself with other Haitians émigrés.
Though the name Ida Faubert is mostly remembered by Haitian literature enthusiasts, her importance for Haiti’s literary culture is undeniable. Part of the La Ronde literary generation, Faubert was amongst the first women to seriously publish in Haiti and to be both read and respected amongst her peers. Some of her more famous works include Cœur des Îles (1939) and Histoires d’Haïti et d’ailleurs (1959).
What Is AfroFuturism? on Black Girl Nerds podcast, 4/20/14 at 7pm
The show will answer the question what exactly is AfroFuturism from the founder and creator of The AfroFuturist Affair.
The AfroFuturist Affair is a community formed to celebrate, strengthen, and promote Afrofuturistic and Black sci-fi culture through creative events, community workshops, blogging, and creative writing. The Afrofuturist Affair uses proceeds from events to fund the Futurist Fund Community Grant. The AfroFuturist Affair is a founding member of Metropolarity.net, a 215 Speculative Fiction Collective.
R. Phillips is a Philadelphia public interested attorney, speculative fiction writer, the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair, and a founding member of Metropolarity.net. She recently independently published her first speculative fiction collection, Recurrence Plot (and Other Time Travel Tales).
Diversity is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing
"The publishing industry looks a lot like these best-selling teenage dystopias: white and full of people destroying each other to survive."
via BuzzFeed Books
10 tips on seeing race, culture, and power while reading.
The Mangbetu people, from the Congo River basin, are best known for their practice of head elongation. Their skill in music, art, and metallurgy are also remarkable.
Identity of the African Diaspora: An Evolution of Identifying Terms
The terms used to describe members of the African Diaspora have evolved throughout the last couple of centuries. Identities have taken shape often based on the region in which African descendants currently live. The majority of people, who used to be categorized solely as ‘black’, are in search of a term which identifies them as people who are part of a larger culture and not one that necessarily reflects their race and skin color.
The modern debate over an identifying name took shape during the African slave trade when the first Africans were shipped to the Americas and the Caribbean. The vast majority of Africans wanted to be referred to as African. However the non-African population referred to Africans either as slaves or free. Thus began the reference to people as an adjective and not a noun. Soon Africans and African descendants rejected the term ‘African’ because a negative connotation evolved through the ideas of European descendants. ‘African’ came to symbolize a sub-human identity because Africans were seen as ‘barbaric’ and ‘ape-like’. With the end of the nineteenth century, adjectives started to transform into nouns as identifying terms for African descendants. The term ‘Colored’ became customary when describing all people who were ‘non-white’. However this was replaced with the term ‘Negro’ in the early twentieth century due to the fact that segregation was on a rise and signs above public facilities appeared all over the United States indicating which facility could be used by the ‘Colored’ or by the ‘Whites’. Segregation fueled racism and the terms, ‘Colored’ and ‘Negro’, were perceived as racist by the time of the 1950s and 60s’ Civil Rights Movement. Currently the only acceptable use of the term ‘Colored’ is in the organizational title of the NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).
In the 1960s many African Americans were rediscovering their African roots. Hairstyles such as the Afro were becoming popular and slogans such as ‘Black is Beautiful’ were chanted by many. “Say It Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud”, was a song by James Brown which demonstrated the rise of ‘Black Pride’ in the 1960s. With this rise of Black awareness, the distinction on who was ‘Black’ changed. Although ‘Black’ still referred to the color of one’s skin, now it referred only to African descendants and no longer encompassed dark-skinned individuals such as Italians or Mexicans. However, this remained problematic because it referred to anyone originating from African descendants, such as people from the Caribbean, even though these possessed a highly distinct culture. Not all African descendants welcomed the surfacing of the term ‘Black’ because they felt it was similar to the term ‘Negro’ which was now seen as a racist term. But for the most part many accepted the term ‘Black’ and it is still considered acceptable in the USA and other parts of the world today.
The term ‘Afro-American’ developed during the rise of hyphenated terms to describe American minority groups in the 1970s and 1980s. Soon the term evolved into ‘African-American’ and finally into ‘African American’ with it losing the hyphen. The hyphen was removed because many believed that it implied a sub-category. ‘African American’ was adopted quickly by many because many African descendants in the USA did not identify themselves as ‘Black’. However, this terminology does not satisfy everyone because many also believe that there is nothing African about them. It is now widely accepted as the politically correct terminology for Americans of African descendant although it is understood that one term cannot contain all the information required to accurately represent a population of over forty million people.
Today, members of the African Diaspora associate themselves with Africa through the terms with which they identify. Many African descendants believe that the usage of ‘African’ when being identified is a way of circling back to their roots of Africa which carried a stigma for a long time. When polled by the online Village forum associated with the Blacknet website, 40% of African descendants living in Great Britain wished to be called African British while almost half that number, 24%, wished to be called Black. Many believe that the English language has oppressed African people by constantly using adjectives instead of nouns when referring to an ethnic group. With the desire to be recognized and connected with their heritage and not described according to their skin color, many prefer the reference to Africa when identifying them.
Afro-Latinos acknowledge their black identity but do not accept it as a means of identification. Although many people would expect Afro-Dominicans to share the same level of identification with blackness as African Americans do, many Afro-Dominicans believe that being black places them into the same social category which African Americans associate with racism and discrimination. Afro-Latinos in the USA also do not identify with the African Americans. For many Afro-Latinos, African American means that someone is born in the USA with African ancestry and not Hispanic heritage. However, the longer an Afro-Latino remains in the USA, the more likely he/she will identify him/herself as being black just like the African American.
These diversities and complexities pertinent to members of the African Diaspora make it difficult to claim a common identity. Although many share broad similarities, African descendants do not believe these similarities are enough to associate all under the same umbrella. Every region of the world that African descendants live in has unique aspects for understanding the logic behind the terminology desired by them. History, culture, and political institutions have all been factors which have shaped racial identities throughout the world.
When people think about Jewish Diaspora communities, they probably think of Fiddler on the Roof style Jewish communities, inquisitions, and lynch mobs. They forget that the Jewish Diaspora was not one singular event, and that it sent people in every direction across the globe, and not just to Europe. Many went east—there were vibrant, ancient Jewish communities across the Middle East up until the mid-twentieth century. And some went further east, to China.
There are brilliant, amazing, innovative, and groundbreaking writers of color everywhere. EVERYWHERE. ALL OVER THE PLACE. Why are they not submitting to traditional publishers and agents? IDK, maybe because traditional publishing is an industry made up of nearly entirely white folks from upper-middle-class and wealthy backgrounds who routinely reject work by writers of color as “unsalable” or because “we already have one of those” and who do not bother to publicize or get behind any of the handful—literal handful, folks, come on—of books by writers of color they do manage to publish every year, thus effectively ending those writers’ careers when their books tank. I wouldn’t submit, either. (For the record, 100% of the people who have submitted directly to Guillotine have been white.)
So how do I find writers? The Internet, obviously.
Fiction is not Darwinian: It contains no impartial process of evolution that dispassionately produces the events of a fictional universe. Fiction is miraculously, fundamentally Creationist. When we make worlds, we become gods. And gods are responsible for the things they create, particularly when they create them in their own image.
Laura Hudson writes about the shotage of women characters in Star Wars fore Wired.com in her article "Leia is not enough: Star Wars and the woman problem in Hollywood."
"Science fiction in particular has always offered a vision of the world not myopically limited by the world as it exists, but liberated by the power of imagination. Perhaps more than any genre of storytelling, it has no excuse to exclude women for so-called practical reasons — especially when it has every reason to imagine a world where they are just as heroic, exceptional, and well-represented as men."