This past week has been International Blog Against Racism Week, and I've been so out of touch that I nearly missed it. Here are some links for anyone who hasn't been following it:
- The most time-sensitive item: the Angry Black Woman has offered to answer questions. She says: "Ask me anything about Racism." Unfortunately, I didn't see this offer 'til just now, and it looks like she's going to stop tomorrow. So if you have questions about racism that you want answered by an Angry (but smart and interesting) Black Woman, zip on over to her blog and post them right away.
- For those of you who are new to the discussion, you should start (after posting questions to ABW as described above) with ABW's Required Reading page. Even if you're short on time, if you're a white liberal then you really really ought to at least read ABW's "White Liberal Guilt" and, most especially, Ampersand's "How Not To Be Insane When Accused Of Racism (A Guide For White People)." If you're white and liberal, I strongly recommend reading both of those last two items before posting any comment in any of the below discussions.
- Mary Anne has a good discussion of addressing prejudice and discrimination in fiction, in response to Scalzi's discussion of writing colorblind. (Which, in turn, was a followup to Scalzi's previous entry about leaving out race in his fiction, which was a response to an article about black science fiction writers in the Boston Globe.) See also Kameron's "Why Writing Colorblind Is Writing White (a rant)." I'm also reminded of Delany's explaining to us at Clarion lo these many years ago about the "unmarked state" of a character being white, male, and so on, and pointing out that for fiction set in the modern world, a character's gender (and race, and so on) does have an effect on how the character interacts with the world.
- Claire L. has an excellent list of ways for editors to reach out to writers of color. Thanks, Claire! Could someone from the SLF maybe grab this list (if that's okay with Claire) and put it on the SLF site? Also, could someone from the Carl Brandon Society post such a list on the CBS site? (Some of us were talking at some recent con about putting together an "intro to race and racism issues in sf" resource list to catch people up on the discussion, and hoping CBS would host such a list; I think there are several good resource lists out there already (like ABW's Required Reading list and the IBARW resource list linked below), but it would be cool to collect them in one place.) Also, although this doesn't count as actually doing outreach per se, I hereby officially state that we SH fiction editors are always looking for stories by writers of color and featuring people of color as characters. But I imagine most other sf editors are doing that kind of passive "outreach" as well, so I'll try to be more active about it. . . . Also worth reading on this topic, of course, is ABW's "How To Promote Diversity in Fiction Markets" from back in May.
- The International Blog Against Racism Week LiveJournal community has a good general resource and links list, from which you can roundaboutly reach the IBARW bookmarks list at del.icio.us.
P.S.: Although this is more or less off-topic, while I'm here I wanted to mention that I just discovered that Rod Serling wrote the screenplay for the 1972 movie The Man, in which a black US Senator (played by James Earl Jones) becomes President of the US. Apparently based on the novel of the same title by Irving Wallace. I haven't read the plot summary, and I have no idea whether it's any good, but based on the premise (and when it was made), it sounds like it might be interesting enough to see. Sadly, it apparently hasn't been released on DVD.