This past Saturday my husband and I attended a local book club discussion on Octavia Butler's Bloodchild. In fact, we only attended because we saw a chance to talk to other black folk about great science fiction (of course, now I have you guys). My husband Stafford has read just about everything by the late Ms. Butler. I read one book in a series quite a few years back that really impressed me, but I hate having to follow a series so I lost track. I choose to read her short stories.I started Fledgling, but seriously - it scared me. I'm a serious wuss and it was dark!!! Honestly, I don't even know how I got through all of that H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King back in the day! I've grown up and punked out.Anyway, Octavia described Bloodchild as her "man pregnancy' story. "Bloodchild" first published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, June 1984, won the 1984 Nebula Award for Best Novelette and the 1985 Hugo Award for Best Novelette.We had a fierce discussion over the slavery aspects of the story (some thought we only saw them as slaves because of our experiences here on earth) and the matter of choice. And of course, how men take the pain of true delivery - ha ha. This story truly highlights Octavia Butler's wonderful ability to get you moving and involved with the story immediately.If you haven't read it yet, you can read it in its entirety on the Washington Post Book Review site. It is also on Google Books, but several pages are missing. At least for a short time you can still find it on the old SciFi channel SCI FICTION page. This is a part of the Scifi channel's website that was supposed to be dismantled last year.It's a quick and fun read. Check it out, then come back here to discuss it. I want to hear more of the male side of the story.
Sandra Kelly, HUCE; Kyndall Brown, Diane Williams, and Abiola AbramsWow! What a fun night! Sorry you missed it!Food, fun and books - what more can a gal ask for? Okay . . . maybe someone good at Photoshop to get rid of that too-too-too-tootsie roll. But I digress . . .We'll have another one in June 2008. Keep checking the calendar because we may have a mini-showcase in April at UMBC in MD.Howard University Continuing Education in partnership with Black Author Showcase™presents a Black History Celebration.Friday, February 29, 2008 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Howard University, Continuing Education1100 Wayne Avenue • Silver Spring, MD 20910Refreshments served • Prize DrawingsFeaturing tastings of Niellys Ultimate products •FREE ADMISSION TO PUBLICFeatured author signings:Poetry from one of the youngest members of the showcase, Kyndall Brown, author of “I Ain’t Ascared of Nutin’ - The Evolution of Me”.Abiola Abrams, host of BET’s Best Shorts, indie filmmaker, and author of the new Simon & Schuster novel Dare.
One of the most promising of the young Negro poets said to me once, "I want to be a poet--not a Negro poet," meaning, I believe, "I want to write like a white poet"; meaning subconsciously, "I would like to be a white poet"; meaning behind that, "I would like to be white." And I was sorry the young man said that, for no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself. And I doubted then that, with his desire to run away spiritually from his race, this boy would ever be a great poet. But this is the mountain standing in the way of any true Negro art in America--this urge within the race toward whiteness, the desire to pour racial individuality into the mold of American standardization, and to be as little Negro and as much American as possible.
[Last sentence]: We build our temples for tomorrow, as strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, 'free within ourselves.'
More at: The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, Langston Hughes
1926, The Nation, Courtesy of University of Illinois English Department
|Tommie Smith, John Carlos, '68 Olympic Games|
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