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Re: Do Black People Have a Duty to Support Black Speculative Fiction?

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  • damamilcarandhisdamego
    i didn t have to read the whole question before i got the answer No . But on second thought . . . nope, the answer is still no . Duty is just a word to
    Message 1 of 29 , Jul 3, 2004
      i didn't have to read the whole question before i got the answer "No".
      But on second thought . . . nope, the answer is still "no".

      Duty is just a word to enslave one person to the whims of another.
      What if black-spec fiction got the support you so desperately crave
      for. What if then the trend of writing and most of the book sales (a
      vicious cycle) turned toward only speculative fiction containing
      another native race on this planet and questioning how that would
      upset the balance of powers in the 1700's? Would we then have a 'duty'
      to support black-written spec-fiction books written about the same
      subject where the only difference was that it took place in the 1900's
      BC? What about if we delete the white people altogether, would we be
      at war with the chinese or the arabs?

      I hope that you get my point. And if you didn't: my point is and was
      and probably always will be that THE CONCEPT OF "DUTY" UTTERLY ABSURD,
      as it impinges on my freedoms and liberties. All black people have a
      duty to is themselves. That should rather be stated, each individual
      person, who happens to be black, has a duty to live a self-sustaining
      life that impinges not one iota on another person and/or their property.

      Well then this. . . Since Steve's got the big bucks (nat'l bestseller)
      isn't it his duty to purchase a book from every single black
      spectualtive fiction writer and do a blurb for their book? And for
      that matter, why don't we just force him to open his how publishing
      company for our benefit and put us on the dole so we can draw bad
      comics with the dialogue in heiroglyphics. Afterall, it's our duty to
      learn heiroglyphics because our ancestors were Egyptians. Didn't you
      see my geneology traced back to Doro? Through Queen Nzigha and Nat turner?

      Hey Steve, i don't want a check, i just want a pair of heavier clubbells:)

      Amilcar
    • Oreoblues@aol.com
      In a message dated 7/4/04 5:26:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Steven Barnes ... So true. Back in the day, the head of our National Writers Union local
      Message 2 of 29 , Jul 4, 2004
        In a message dated 7/4/04 5:26:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Steven Barnes
        writes:


        > If you're going to have a chance in any of the arts, you
        > > have to remember that EVERYBODY wants a career where they can express
        > > themselves.
        > > To step into this arena means you had better the hell bring it.

        So true. Back in the day, the head of our National Writers Union local
        (Westchester NY/Fairfield Ct, if anyone on this list is from my parts) used to wear
        a button which read: "If you don't speak your mind, who will?" So true.
        Because if you're gonna ask someone to pluck down $25 for a first novel, you better
        dang-tootin have something valid to day. Besides, if you aren't going to
        contribute to the national or international conversation on some topic --you don't
        have to boring or polemic-- but if something doesn't connect to the world out
        there and if your HONESTY and truth aren't in your story because you're afraid
        of looking odd or of seeming weird or of being picked on, then why write? We
        really can't go suppressing ours truths, joys, imaginations etc like that.

        If you

        > > want to make money in SF, you MUST appeal to white readers. Because you
        > > don't
        > > know as much about their culture as they do (in general) you must dig
        > deeper
        > > into the question of what it means to be human. Completely short-circuit
        > the
        > > racial disadvantages with a commitment to being more honest, working
        > harder,
        > > just plain being better.

        True. Although, the outsider tends to see the larger culture very well. With
        great insight. If they look outward. Many folks look within their culture.
        White, black, chinese, it makes no difference. We speak of what we know. But if
        we lift our heads a bit we will realize that we know much about the larger
        culture, definitely by TV, media etc. Of course, and here I speak up for the Oreos
        in the land, even those folks raised within another culture still have to
        look up. I grew up mostly around white folks, so I know the white culture pretty
        well. The little old italian lady down the street picking dandelions, the
        Jewish liberal down the road. But even so, the aspect of white culture I know is
        the POOR white NY culture, just as I know the poor BLACK NY culture. So I
        couldn't very well write about the RICH white NY culture without doing some
        research, even with TV and dynasty and suchlike. So research is definitely
        necessary.

        So WHAT if you have to "work twice as hard to get

        > > half as far." Fuck it. My brother in law, (from my first marriage) Pat
        > > Young
        > > has a great philosophy: "if there are only two jobs left in the world, I'm
        > > getting one of them." My philosophy: "you can kill me, but you can't stop
        > > me."
        > > If you aren't willing to give it absolutely everything you have, stay out
        > > of the game. And if you really ARE willing to give it everything, you
        > will
        > > succeed, because 99.9% of human beings can't make that level of commitment.
        >

        Yes, it was taht great philosopher and philosopher (Woody Allen) who said
        that 90% of success is showing up. And some folks just don't show up. And the
        definition of showing up varies. But I can say it definitely is hard to "show
        up." Committing to being a writer, to being anything: an enlightened human being,
        a Christian, a doctor, very hard and requires heavy committment to all the
        task requires. -C

        --Carole McDonnell <>< <>< <><
        "The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to
        feel ourselves at home here on earth." ... Malcolm Muggeridge


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Oreoblues@aol.com
        In a message dated 7/4/04 5:26:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Me too. The last line of my story, Lingua Franca, (in the So Long Been Dreaming anthology) is a
        Message 3 of 29 , Jul 4, 2004
          In a message dated 7/4/04 5:26:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
          SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com writes:


          > > <I to the give able being of matter a just is it think editors
          > > publishers and readers what they want--but then again, it depends on
          > > what you think of as "making it". Big sales? Write like Terry
          > > McMillain. Getting books out there? Get an agent editor or
          > > publisher who will give you a shot.
          > > Being good? Time will decide that. Who here remembers Pearl S. Buck>
          >
          > I do. My grandmother gave me Reader's Digest books to read when I was a
          > little girl. Mostly to shut me up, because I was a voracious reader.
          >

          Me too. The last line of my story, Lingua Franca, (in the So Long Been
          Dreaming anthology) is a direct echo of the last line of "The Good Earth." Just had
          to say that. I feel so in sync, now that you brought her name up.

          As for Terry McMillan, she's funny as heck but there's just so much chick lit
          I can take. And there are way too many black women writers writing chicklit
          nowadays. And --don't snap at me here-- some of those women need to learn the
          basics of writing. When I read Waiting to exhale, I thought...why am I bored
          here? Because the characters were not really well-defined. I'm so hoping Terry
          has learned a lot more aout characterization by now. She relied way too much on
          hunor to almos tthe exclusion of all others. She probably has. I should pick
          up her last book to see what's what before I say anything more about her. But
          all that chick lit stuff. Good Lord! Those women need writing lessons. -C

          --Carole McDonnell <>< <>< <><
          "The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to
          feel ourselves at home here on earth." ... Malcolm Muggeridge


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Oreoblues@aol.com
          Hi Amilcar: Wow, I loved your definition of duty! So true. And yet, I ve got to address it. This idea of duty is an important one. I hate to sound so
          Message 4 of 29 , Jul 4, 2004
            Hi Amilcar:


            Wow, I loved your definition of duty! So true. And yet, I've got to address
            it. This idea of duty is an important one. I hate to sound so old-fashioned
            here, but honestly, we're still a struggling minority group.

            so why should we do our duty to black artists:

            1) the Powers that be, "the Man" etc must see black art as viable.
            2) WE must support each other's heart
            3) We must support each other's pocket book.

            Heck, we can't afford to let the creative works of our fellow creatures go
            into the world without a little shove up the uphill river of fame from little
            folks like ourselves.

            Your example is extreme...and a straw man. I get your point though. There are
            some black arts I just can't get into. Back in the day (another day) I used
            to watch The Wayans' In living Color. Then I stopped. Hey, I connected with
            what they did, but I kept thinking white folks in the middle of (let's say)
            Wyoming were mocking black folks with this kinda stuff. So I just couldn't watch it
            anymore. The line between supporting black artists had been reached and
            crossed. -C


            In a message dated 7/4/04 5:26:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
            SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com writes:


            > Duty is just a word to enslave one person to the whims of another.
            > What if black-spec fiction got the support you so desperately crave
            > for. What if then the trend of writing and most of the book sales (a
            > vicious cycle) turned toward only speculative fiction containing
            > another native race on this planet and questioning how that would
            > upset the balance of powers in the 1700's? Would we then have a 'duty'
            > to support black-written spec-fiction books written about the same
            > subject where the only difference was that it took place in the 1900's
            > BC? What about if we delete the white people altogether, would we be
            > at war with the chinese or the arabs?
            >


            --Carole McDonnell <>< <>< <><
            "The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to
            feel ourselves at home here on earth." ... Malcolm Muggeridge


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • damamilcarandhisdamego
            What s up oreoblues? let me proceed. . . ... address ... old-fashioned ... Amilcar speaking: if you noticed, i m not one of those people who implicitly accept
            Message 5 of 29 , Jul 4, 2004
              What's up oreoblues? let me proceed. . .

              --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, Oreoblues@a... wrote:
              > Hi Amilcar:
              >
              >
              > Wow, I loved your definition of duty! So true. And yet, I've got to
              address
              > it. This idea of duty is an important one. I hate to sound so
              old-fashioned
              > here, but honestly, we're still a struggling minority group.

              Amilcar speaking:
              if you noticed, i'm not one of those people who implicitly accept
              being part of a "group". Red cars and red apples, two completely
              different things (cars and apples) but we 'group' them arbitrarily
              because of their color? Foolish. I'm an individual who happens to be
              part of a minority group in America, a person who's ancestry mostly
              dates before Ellis Island. How you like them apples?

              >
              > so why should we do our duty to black artists:
              >
              > 1) the Powers that be, "the Man" etc must see black art as viable.
              > 2) WE must support each other's heart
              > 3) We must support each other's pocket book.
              >

              Amilcar speaking:
              I noticed the frequent use of the word "must". What happens if we
              don't? Is it REALLY our responsibility. According to what? According
              to whom? For what reason?

              My gripe with most of this 'must' stuff (cough: "crap") and 'duty'
              stuff (cough: "bs") flying around the African-american community is
              based on my really old-fashioned agreement with the self-reliance
              movement of "freed" blacks (or rather "un-enslaved" or "re-freed
              blacks" because slavery was an artificial social concept and not a
              feature of physical reality).

              Since the integration movement, and its close ties with communism
              mixed with the vestiges of slaveholder guilty-responsibility for
              taking care of slaves (as a patron) the clarion call for progress has
              been that someone 'owes' or someone 'should' do for others. What about
              doing for one's self? Bob Johnson created BET so he could own it,
              money in his pocket. Magic Johnson didn't play for the fans (an
              neither do any other sports players, they just make nice soundbites),
              he and other athletes played for himself FIRST and FOREMOST.

              For you Dragonball Z watchers. I like Fajita's morals best. His
              problem was that he blocked the flow of his power with the doubts
              buried deep in his personality. Fanatacism is a reaction against doubt.

              > Heck, we can't afford to let the creative works of our fellow
              creatures go
              > into the world without a little shove up the uphill river of fame
              from little
              > folks like ourselves.
              >
              Amilcar asking:
              And why not?

              > Your example is extreme...and a straw man. I get your point though.

              My example is extreme simply to demonstrate the principle that duty to
              others is only a form of enslavement. Its funny how that straw man
              seems to pop up in many flesh-and-bones people's minds isn't it?

              There are
              > some black arts I just can't get into. Back in the day (another day)
              I used
              > to watch The Wayans' In living Color. Then I stopped. Hey, I
              connected with
              > what they did, but I kept thinking white folks in the middle of
              (let's say)
              > Wyoming were mocking black folks with this kinda stuff. So I just
              couldn't watch it
              > anymore. The line between supporting black artists had been reached and
              > crossed. -C

              So YOU liked it? Then you thought it would give someone else the wrong
              impression? Well, isn't that the point of sketch comedy? To examine
              stereotypes and poke fun at them? Do you think hwite people stop
              watching SNL because the chinese won't understand them?

              Amilcar
            • Oreoblues@aol.com
              Hey, there, Amilcar! I m Jamaican-American incidentally. Came over via Air Jamaica. But I tend to connect with anyone of any race, if they re oppressed or have
              Message 6 of 29 , Jul 5, 2004
                Hey, there, Amilcar!

                I'm Jamaican-American incidentally. Came over via Air Jamaica. But I tend to
                connect with anyone of any race, if they're oppressed or have been oppressed
                or may be oppressed.

                Honestly, I think my sense of duty comes from my perverse need to be loved.
                As an Oreo growing up in Brooklyn, I always wanted folks to like me and be on
                my side. Call it silly. But groups help each other. And often --note the OJ
                trial case-- someone who has not been dutiful to the "race" has gleaned benefits
                from the "race." I'd like to think I'm dutiful to the race. I've followed a
                lot of the musts. As the first black movie reviewers for my town;s newspaper, I
                always chose minority movies over popular movies. (unless the film was a true
                stinker) But the OTHER side of this duty thing --the recipient side-- is wnat
                is important to me. I'd like to think that black folks out there --dark folks,
                minority folks-- would always give me the benefit of the doubt befoer they
                knew me, would always be for me instead of against me, and give me a chance
                simply because of my race. So, getting away from the theoretical to the
                personal: if I saw your book on the shelf and saw your black face, I would probably
                pick the book up as a duty to be fair to you. Hey I might hate the book. But
                because you were of the dark race, I'd feel the duty to pick up your book. And
                I'd hope Black folks would do so for me. Are you saying I should be "fair" and
                pass your book buy? I don't think I have that kind of fairness in me. I'd
                want to erad and love your book as a duty. And I'd want to have that kind of
                goodwill from all black writers when it comes to my book. Then maybe, their
                attention would draw the attention of the white reader as the book climbs the
                best-seller charts. Call me a wuss, but that's how i feel. -C

                In a message dated 7/5/04 5:07:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com writes:


                > Amilcar speaking:
                > if you noticed, i'm not one of those people who implicitly accept
                > being part of a "group". Red cars and red apples, two completely
                > different things (cars and apples) but we 'group' them arbitrarily
                > because of their color? Foolish. I'm an individual who happens to be
                > part of a minority group in America, a person who's ancestry mostly
                > dates before Ellis Island. How you like them apples?
                >
                > >
                > > so why should we do our duty to black artists:
                > >
                > > 1) the Powers that be, "the Man" etc must see black art as viable.
                > > 2) WE must support each other's heart
                > > 3) We must support each other's pocket book.
                > >
                >
                > Amilcar speaking:
                > I noticed the frequent use of the word "must". What happens if we
                > don't? Is it REALLY our responsibility. According to what? According
                > to whom? For what reason?
                >


                --Carole McDonnell <>< <>< <><
                "The only ultimate disaster that can befall us, I have come to realize, is to
                feel ourselves at home here on earth." ... Malcolm Muggeridge


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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