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Monday, September 25, 2017

Black Imagination and the Covert Contract For White Approval

Over the last few years I’ve been on social media talking about Black comics, Black fantasy and Black Science fiction I’ve noticed that there’s been some sort of covert contract among some Black folks regarding the comics, science fiction and fantasy they read. What I find is that many are into Black comics, science fiction and fantasy not because they like the hobby, but because they want the attention and approval of White people.

That’s a contract no one should enter into.

Most people regardless of race are usually into comic books, sci-fi and fantasy so they can imagine a place with someone like himself or herself in it as the hero. It’s supposed to be a place where people feel empowered to be who and what they want to be. So why bring White Supremacy into your fantasies?

That’s giving your power away.

White people could care less about what a Black person reads. What you read is about what you like, not about getting brownie points and the approval of others. If you’re into comics, Sci-fi or fantasy to get points with imaginary White folks you’re gonna be disappointed.

Because real White people don’t care about what you like. And using your interest in those hobbies as an attachment won’t make you many friends.

Imagination is a limitless thing. It can be anything a person wants it to be. But what I see when it comes to many Black folks is they live in an imaginary world where they see themselves limited by the power they believe White people have over them.

That shows me how deeply ingrained institutional racism is in the mind of the Negro. When Black people will fight to defend the worlds of Black characters created by White than support the work of another Black creator it shows me how much power White Supremacy has over the mind of Black folks.

Black people shouldn’t live to exist in a White person’s world. We shouldn’t be the ancillary character in our own lives. If imagination is limitless, then we should imagine ourselves in our own worlds of our own creation and share our interests with like-minded people because we love the hobby.

Comic books, fantasy and science fiction are supposed empower people. They’re supposed to allow people to imagine themselves in a world where we approve of ourselves and see ourselves in roles we want to be in. It’s about us seeing the value in ourselves and seeing a past and a future where we control our destiny.

When I write fantasy like the Isis series, The E’steem series and The Temptation of John Haynes featuring Black heroes and Black heroines it’s because I want to see someone like myself as a lead character in a fantasy story. It’s because I want to tell a story and show that Black people can live in a world of our own creation, a place where Black people can take the lead, live life on their own terms, without seeking the validation and approval of some imaginary White Man. The way I see it, if I can imagine a world where Black people can live life on their terms, I’d like to think we could make that fantasy a reality.

No Black person should be using comics, sci-fi or fantasy to entering themselves into a covert contract to get brownie points with imaginary White people. That’s letting someone else dictate the terms of life to you. If comics, fantasy and sci-fi are about imagining yourself in a world without limits, it’s ridiculous for Black people to impose limits on themselves.

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