Link: Lovecraft’s Legacy by Paul St. John Macintosh

Over at Greydogtales, a weird fiction blog, author/critic Paul St. John Macinktosh has an essay that examines the latest kerfuffle in the weird fiction community. (Lovecraft’s racism and the legacy of his fiction in many ways mirrors the current culture war over Civil War monuments). In the essay, he highlights POC writers (N.K. Jemisin, Victor Lavalle) who subvert/revise/challenge the subtextual xenophobia in HPL’s work in addition to calling out the denialism/minimizing that many aficionados use.

If there was a huge racial component to Lovecraft’s definition of “unknown,” then you could almost read into such remarks a frustrated longing to engage with other unknown peoples, as much as fear and distaste towards them. That’s as plausible an interpretation as any claim that Lovecraft’s mature work is some kind of systematic dog-whistling for underlying racism, with Deep Ones and ocean-going cultists standing in for black Americans and Catholic immigrants.

Link: Lovecraft’s Legacy

The Age of the AfroGeek

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I was a geek growing up. A black geek.
Bookworm? Check yes.
Science Fiction and Fantasy fan? Check yes.
Alternative/avant garde/world/ambient music fan? Check yes yes yes.

I didn’t fit in. Square peg, etc. But there’s a unique issue faced when you’re a geek and of African American descent.

You’re an anomaly, an outcast, the punchline of the end of a joke.

See: Urkel, Stephen Q. You get funny looks at SF conventions.
The record-store clerk asks you if you need help, because you are obviously in the wrong section of store. (In my case, the Import section).

Your black peers also think you’re strange.

They police your blackness.

If you read at all, you should read ONLY  The Autobiography of Malcolm X  or  Makes Me Wanna Holler.

(“I swear that Octavia Butler is black…Just ignore the picture of the white women on the cover!”)

Don’t get me started in music.
Siouxsie, Liz Fraser and Lisa Gerrard sang the soundtrack of my late teens. Thank God(dess) that those Tower Record bags weren’t see-through!

(“Yes, A.R. Kane are two Afro-Brits… Yes, their music is strange…. And yes, they don’t appear on the cover of their albums; that’s a thing now.”)

Now, it seems that there are more Afro-eccentrics out there than before.
The field of SF/Fantasy now has Jemisin, Okorafor, Hopkinson, Daniel Jose Older and more
Music has Cold Specks (gothic tinged gospel), Janelle Monae (SF and Kate Bush and funk are influences) and now a heavy metal band of African American preteens called Unlocking The Truth and much more.

We’re coming. We’re here.We’re frightening the horses, shaking the foundations and laying down our roots.

Afrogeeks are no longer novel, or “in the closet.”

There’s a damn pop culture Renaissance going on!
This the Age of Afrogeekdom.