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Supporting Civil Rights and Black Culture - Zer Netmouse
January 25th, 2013
10:22 am

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Supporting Civil Rights and Black Culture
We had an interesting panel about fan inclusiveness at ConFusion, which will no doubt spawn a few blog posts here. Among other things, Neil Rest asked what an individual can do to help, so I'm going to write a couple posts on that. The next one will likely (also) be one on what you can do if you have money - a list of fannish groups and authors that deserve your attention and support. Before I get there, however, I wanted to mention some more general civil rights and black culture groups and institutions that I support and would like to spread the word about.
  • Color of Change - changing the color of democracy. These guys take specific action and run petitions to advance social and political change. I also find their emails very informative about current events I might want to have a voice in.

  • Southern Poverty Law Center - a non-profit organization that combats hate, intolerance and discrimination through education and litigation. They track hate groups in the country, work against groups like the KKK by suing their funding out from under them on behalf of their victims, and provide free training resources for police and teachers. If you want to get a frighteningly accurate idea of how much right-wing racism has spurred hateful activity in this country since we got us a black president, browse the SPLC's website.

  • The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. For over 80 years the Center has collected, preserved, and provided access to materials documenting black life, and promoted the study and interpretation of the history and culture of peoples of African descent. It's a research center of the New York Public Library, and like all library efforts right now, needs private support to keep going.

  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union are also still working for civil rights. The NAACP also has a variety of awards and activities that promote the positive representation of people of color in literature and the media. (Our own Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes have won the NAACP Image Award, for example.)

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From:beamjockey
Date:January 25th, 2013 06:23 pm (UTC)
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Our own Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes have won the NAACP Image Award, for example.

I didn't know that. The two of them are guests at Duckon this year-- as am I.

I was on a panel with Mr. Barnes once long, long ago, and I was impressed with his charm and thoughtfulness.
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From:netmouse
Date:January 25th, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC)
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The two of them are guests at Duckon this year-- as am I.

Neat! Have you read any of their writing? I was pretty impressed with Gorgon's Child, by Steven Barnes, though I wished I'd known before I read it that it was a sequel.

I've read three books by Tananarive Due - one nonfiction, one historical fiction, and one fiction. I recommend them all: Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights, by Tananarive Due and her mother, Patricia Stephens Due; The Black Rose: The Dramatic Story of Madam C.J. Walker, America's First Black Female Millionaire, by Tananarive Due; and Joplin's Ghost, which was recommended to me after I mentioned loving the first book on a panel at Renovation (SF we Love by Writers of Color), but complained that I don't generally like horror. It's mostly just a normal ghost story, with only a couple horror genre features. A lot of it is also historical.
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From:beamjockey
Date:January 26th, 2013 12:11 am (UTC)
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Have you read any of their writing?

Little of his, none of hers. But I have until June to read some. Thanks for the recommendations.
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From:netmouse
Date:January 26th, 2013 12:32 am (UTC)
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Sure thing.
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From:ckd
Date:January 25th, 2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
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And they were also the GsoH at Arisia, to which I say YAY.
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