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Faces of Color

State Of...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

It has been a year and oh what a year; exhausting, draining, somewhat (or more) depressing, definitely illuminating. And all through it I had no impetus whatsoever to tap signed hosts or look for new ones, and get things rolling on The PoC in SF Carnival.

I felt no need to get anyone involved in collecting links to the, quite frankly, bullshit white privilege that coated the entire year. And for a good part of the year LINKSPAM took on that role, while conversations happened in public and in private; wearying and sometimes repetitive.

I gave myself till December to see how I was feeling, cause quite frankly looking at the Carnival, after looking at those conversations made me cry. Yes, I'm admitting it - I saw white people (acting the fool) and they made me cry.

And while I was recovering from those injuries (what, did you think Strong Black Women Feel No Pain?), my focus shifted. I am no longer comfortable just trying to be a presence, just trying to prove PoC; have conversations about SF; are consumers and creators.

As stated before: I Want To Have A Conversation.

A certain type of conversation, this is true. It's THE CONVERSATION I WANT TO HAVE and the PoC In SF Carnival, as it was in 2008, doesn't quite fit.

I could, it is true, hand the Carnival over and if someone really wanted to gather links under that title with added commentary and seemed sincere and contacted me, I believe I would hand it over.

What I would like to do, what has occurred to me to do, is drop the CARNIVAL part of the title.

PoC in SF

As a blog centered in and promoting THE CONVERSATION I WANT TO HAVE. With regular bloggers and guest posts.

Not something that happens once a month, but something, somewhere to go to on any day. Somewhere to have the conversation, versus mainly/only pointing out where parts of the conversation have been happening.

Something more inclusive of the myriad voices that are Non White Peoples.

Something more inclusive of the myriad Non English Speaking (or at least English Secondary) voices.

So now I understand what I want, why the Carnival was not enough, to be used in 2009. All that's left is figuring out how I will go about creating the space I want for the community I want - and where.

Additional Note aka Some Harsh Truths: The PoC In SF Carnival was started because of my frequent pointing out at how other carnivals with related issues consistently left out non-white povs. The response to which was essentially - go make your own. To which I did. And I will always be grateful that Ragnell put that idea into my head, even if it was because I couldn't put intersection of issues into hers.

But I don't want to even unconsciously follow that mold anymore, because part of following that way of doing things involves exclusion; a certain navel gazing and kind of grubby space guarding.

I want to create my own space, my own institution, my own node and I don't want to do it alone. Moreover, I want it to actively include those non-white romance writers, for example, who're trying to write something that doesn't fit the mold of 'What Their People Are Supposed To Write About'; which in terms of Blacks in the US would be ghetto lit and Christian Romance (occasionally).

The story of MillicentMillenia Black has never left my mind (Sorry Penguin Books, you can't purge people's memories).

And 2009 has shown me and shown me and shown me that such a space for discussion is needed. Actually more than one space for such discussion is needed, because one singular space cannot be everything to a varied group of people.

PoC & Non White Peoples In Genre Fiction.

Not a monolith.


Author: Avalon's Willow » Comments:

Bulletin: This Is What DC Refuses To Do

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Back in August I mentioned a project being done, one named:

Everyone Survives To The 31st Century

I was hesitant then to promote it outside of emails and twitter dm's because it was so wonderful to me. I did not want to see some white jerkarse from DC slap a cease & desist on it and try and or succeed in getting it pulled down.

The Legion Of Superheroes as multiethnic and diverse. Truly reflecting the complexity that is human physical appearance on Earth with hints of sociological diversity as well.

But the project is over now. It is three issues and a coda showing what could have been had DC not been filled with individuals who put more stock in tokenism and propagating white supremacy and authority above even good storytelling.

Oh, they won't describe themselves as such, but a future where everyone from humans to very humanoid aliens are all white? And their general strain of only light skinned minorities have even bit parts to play? That colourism? The combination of the two? That's white supremacy plain and simple. That's the sociological disease that says only white people have been, are and will ever be important.

Odditycollector, in her social experiment (one of the few times the phrase means something positive on the internet) has thoroughly shamed DC.

And thoroughly delighted me.

Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue 3 & #Coda.

A space opera odyssey I could invest in, if DC had any interest in telling stories outside the echo chamber of white (& male) power.

xposted: Seeking Avalon

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Author: Avalon's Willow » Comments:

Bulletin: State Of...

Monday, July 27, 2009

2009 has been 'The Fail Year'. Everytime one turns around, someone's being idiotic in a spectacular way, about race. The spectacular is the way it's different from all the other years. But spectacular is exhausting. Spectacular, you see, equals 'Post Racial' and that lie is one overfed, over indulged, blood sucking leech on the arm of activism.

Or at least my activism.

January to March took up all sorts of energy with Race Fail - Part 1.

Then came Part 2 (Mammoth!Fail) in April and May and Part 3 (Cover!Fail / Cover!Gate) in July, with Harlan Ellison being Harlan Ellison and using the word n****** and, Justine Larbalestier's blog hosted discussion on the whitewashing of book covers - including her newest YA book, LIAR.

There's still August, September, October, November and December to go, for five to three more big things. Big as in, not counting the little OMGWTF indignities and outrages. And this is all Speculative Fiction associated. This does not include the vetting process for soon to be Justice Sonia Sotomayor or the Philly Pool 'Complexion' situation, or Henry 'Skip' Gates or The Brooklyn Lesbians Of Colour Victims of Police Brutality situation.

This Week In Blackness put it succinctly: 2009 is the new 1952.

Or at least for those of us who didn't live through 1952 with nonwhite skins, each incident is feeling a heck of a lot like how we've imagined moments in 1952 must have been like; frustrating, painful and eating into one's strength.

I've found it extremely exhausting, don't you find it exhausting just reading the list? Do you remember the things I haven't mentioned so far? Because there's been more. A whole heck of a lot more, both Speculative Fiction oriented and non-writing/political.

Some Hints: Wiscon, Readercon, Robin McKinely saying she's going to be considering the POTUS to be a tanned white man, Prince of Persia (with white male lead).

And of course Avatar: The Last Airbender being RACEBENDED to have white heroes and brown villains. Because PoC Heroes aren't Realistic / Don't Sell / Blah Blah White Privilege Excuses Blah.

2009 has been a banner year for saying "IF YOU AREN'T WHITE, YOU DON'T BELONG".

I pause now for a potentially blurry set of references: Cockroaches in Space. District 9, Alien Nation (remake).


Sure, it's more overt than it's been in a while, but it's not as if folk don't know what the whitewashed covers, and white actors in roles for characters of colour have meant for all these years. It's not as if folk haven't known why in the future PoC rarely seem to exist or why The Forbidden Kingdom, despite being all about Jackie Chan and Jet Li, needed a white boy to move the narrative along.

So it's International Blog Against Racism Week - but I'm exhausted because 2009 has felt like a BLOG AGAINST RACISM YEAR. That said, however:

1. Teens Of Colour, reading and reviewing books

2. A Detroit organization, operating a library and offering support to young women.

3. Zulu Mech 1 Yes, African Mechas. A series produced by Wesley Snipes.

Meanwhile I'll continue regrouping enough to do more than blog occasionally about what absolutely infuriates me; regroup so I can go back to organizing the Carnival and not feel burned out just by living.

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Author: Avalon's Willow » Comments:

Asian Super Heroes Go To San Diego

Monday, July 20, 2009

Angry Asian Man has the details of : Secret Identities at San Diego Comic-Con / Asian American superhero Contest.

Secret Identities, in case you forgot is an Asian Superhero Anthology.

[ Yup, still fighting the disease/malaise/lethargy every time I want to promote something PoC / PoC & Comic Related. It's like I can feel the full weight of the white stupid it will have to fight against, just to exist. Ugh. But baby steps, yes?]


Author: Avalon's Willow » Comments:

Viacom: In Ur Protest, Trying To Hide It

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Viacom has sent Zazzle a cease and desist and it has pulled the Racebending.Com merchandise from its offerings.

More information and image files of the correspondence here @glockgal on livejournal. But apparently it's a violation of copyright to use even the word Aang.

Below is the c/p of letter I tried to send to Viacom via this form. But it's 8:13pm EST, April 28th and I can't find a send button. UPDATE: It appears to have been my browser being resoundingly weird.

Go here for the complete timeline of Viacom/Paramount Pictures Racist Fail.

More of my thoughts a Seeking Avalon


Author: Avalon's Willow » Comments:

Carnival of Merit

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Asian Woman Carnival is live @Yennenga (a community on livejournal).

Despite the mental break I've been taking from things like this - I'm devouring it. I've only gone through maybe a quarter of it so far, but there's powerful stuff there - things to make you think about yourself, about life, about other people, about invisibility. Good stuff. A really good Carnival. An amazing first Carnival issue.

Go read.


Author: Avalon's Willow » Comments:

Special Edition: ANNOUNCEMENT!

Friday, March 6, 2009

PoC in SF/F Carnival Special Edition:

Interrogating the Text, De-Colonizing the Mind: An Intra-PoC Dialogue

This special edition of the PoC in SF/F carnival is once again dedicated to
intra-PoC dialogue.

Separated by time and distance, joined by personal experience and on/offline
interaction, our lives together are not always a bed of roses.

In the wake of recent events, what's next on the horizon for intra-PoC
relations? How do I/You/Me/We go about creating those places where our own efforts shine while at the same time work through those things that divide us?

Contributors are invited to engage the theme as they choose. It's a jumping
off point but not necessarily a cliff.

Caveat: Since People of Color (PoC) is not necessarily a universally used term, especially by fans living outside of the US, I encourage those who
have other ways of defining themselves (for example, non-white, fen of
pigment, chromatic) to step up and participate.

Feel free to post this notice far and wide.

Send your links to: ladyj dot 965 at gmail dot com
Deadline for submission: March 27, 2009
Host: ladyjax
Location: boom_tube (aka ladyjax's other not so used LiveJournal)

Questions: ladyj dot 965 at gmail dot com

We've already started this with PoC Author & Character Story Reccs. But the Carnival is part of our infrastructure and I look forward to seeing yet another aspect of the Conversations We Want To Have.

Also please do not forget the Asian Woman Blog Carnival: Deadline - April 3rd 2009.

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Author: Avalon's Willow » Comments: