Literary Fiction by People of Color discussion

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Octavia E. Butler Celebration of the Fantastic Arts

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message 1: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 2049 comments If you live in the Atlanta area or will be in the area on March 21, author Tananarive Due is sponsoring an exciting event. Pioneers in black speculative fiction will gather at Spelman College Thursday, March 21, 2013, to celebrate the legacy of science fiction novelist Octavia E. Butler at “Black to the Future: the Octavia E. Butler Celebration of the Fantastic Arts.” The half-day event includes:

• A black science fiction short film festival
• A performance paper at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, “Planet Rock: Techno, House Music & Afrofuturism”
• A lobby art exhibition
• A student staged reading
• A panel of writers: Steven Barnes, Samuel R. Delany, Tananarive Due, Jewelle Gomez, Nalo Hopkinson, Brandon Massey, Nisi Shawl and Sheree Renée Thomas.

This event is free of charge and if you are interested but are not in the area, it will be live streamed on Spelman's website: www.spelman.edu.

More details can be found on the event's Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/OctaviaEButle...

It should be an amazing experience!


message 2: by Selena (new)

Selena Haskins (booksbyselena) I wish I did. I like Octavia's work. That reminds me, I need to add her books to my shelf!


message 3: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2873 comments Mod
Wilhelmina wrote: "If you live in the Atlanta area or will be in the area on March 21, author Tananarive Due is sponsoring an exciting event. Pioneers in black speculative fiction will gather at Spelman College Thurs..."

I wish I could be there in person.
So thanks much for the livestream link.


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) One of the few reasons I wished I lived in Atlanta. Well, I'll just stream it live and enjoy the greatness that is and always will be Octavia Butler. Thanks for the information.


message 5: by George (new)

George | 759 comments I'd certainly be there if I possibly could.


message 6: by Rashida (new)

Rashida | 264 comments That panel! Probably best I'm not in the area, I'd embarrass myself with all the squeeing.


message 7: by Judy (new)

Judy | 20 comments Great project ! She's the best !


message 8: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 2049 comments Great write-up about Tananarive Due and the event in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution!

http://www.ajc.com/news/lifestyles/sc...


message 9: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2873 comments Mod
Wilhelmina wrote: "Great write-up about Tananarive Due and the event in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution!

http://www.ajc.com/news/lifestyles/sc..."


Thanks for sharing.
And I was able to attend the panel session via live streaming.

Technology is wonderful. :)


message 10: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 2049 comments I was able to attend in person! It was amazing!


message 11: by George (new)

George | 759 comments Well, don't stop there. Details, please, details.


message 12: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 2049 comments I missed the film film festival, but got there for the art exhibition and panel. I posted a picture of the panelists under "Photos" on the right side of this page. What a group! After the initial welcoming statements, one of the faculty members presented a poem in Octavia Butler's honor. Then a student drama group did an amazing reading of passages from Parable of the Sower. Then the panel began with each person speaking about what Octavia Butler had meant to each of them. I loved Samuel R. Delany's memories of meeting her as a 23-year-old at a writer's workshop and watching her develop from a painfully shy, brilliant young woman into the commanding presence she became. They went on to discuss the lack of people of color in all aspects of the speculative fiction community in the early days, from fandom to authors. Delany talked about the only two African American fans who attended speculative fiction events when he started out, and how they were a support community for him. I was particularly impressed by Steven Barnes, a wonderful author (in addition to being the husband and co-author of Tananarive Due). He talked about reading adventure stories as a boy trying to define manhood for himself, but finding only degrading images of black people. He said, in one of the most quotds lines of the conference, that he continued to read them, "Sacrificing his melanin of the altar of his testosterone". Everyone spoke about feeling like an outsider, needing to write the stories they wanted to read, and the joy of becoming a part of a community of speculative fiction writers of color. Barnes said that he believed in doing the work of writing, and that if enough people did the work, the geniuses like Butler and Delany would rise to the top. Nalo Hopkinson talked about not discounting anyone as a possible ally - that unexpected people could be of help. I could go on for a long time - this was a fascinating group of people and their conversation with each other and with us in the audience could have probably gone on for another hour. No one seemed eager to leave. I was so happy to be able to be there.


message 13: by George (new)

George | 759 comments now, that's what I'm talking about! Thanks, this is very nice. Wish I could have been there.


message 14: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2873 comments Mod
Wilhelmina wrote: "I missed the film film festival, but got there for the art exhibition and panel. I posted a picture of the panelists under "Photos" on the right side of this page. What a group! After the initial w..."

Thanks for sharing. Great summary. I can only imagine how much enjoyable it was to be there in person though the live-stream did do a great job.

The only thing I would add is that the panel mentioned the role of anthologies for black speculative writers. I have the anthologies mentioned and yes - they have introduced/informed me of black speculative writers that I was unaware of.


message 15: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 2049 comments Thanks for adding that, Beverly! There was so many good insights at this conference!


message 16: by Phillip (last edited May 07, 2013 09:06AM) (new)

Phillip this sounds great - i'm just getting into butler ... i have KINDRED next up in my to-read queue.


message 17: by George (new)

George | 759 comments took me altogether too long to get into Butler's works as well. now, I can barely put them down. just finished reading The Parable of the Sower, and the Parable of the Talents. her books are very deep multi-layered stories written with emotion and intelligence.


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