Anne (netmouse) wrote,

May 18th: Fen of Color speak up

Following on RaceFail '09 I have friended a number of fen of color, not just because they spoke well in that discussion but because they seemed to be interesting fen and I would like to get to know them. I have also been tracking various communities that spun off that discussion. Since then I have seen numerous waves of topics sling through that community, more noticable by the fact that the topics have *not* touched most any of the journals I followed before RaceFail.

I am sad that the majority of my lj friends do not seem to know that these fen of color exist. Sad that so many of the FoC felt that a prominent author (L. Bujold) was saying they didn't exist in a discussion some have come to call MammothFail (about a book by another author entirely who solved the 'problem' of how to depict American Indians in her nouveau American Columbian Frontier Magic novel by erasing their existence entirely) that they called for a "Namecheck" of "wild unicorns" - those illusive fen of color that exist, yae, even that existed before the internet. Happily, this became a positive experience for those who arrived to post and realized that hundreds of posts proceeded them. The community 50 books_POC also started a thread for people to recommend alternatives to the book with such issues - alternatives written by POC, in keeping with that community's focus.

Today, late in the day because I was stuck in airports most of the day, I want to acknowledge that today has been called as a day for fen of color to speak out - to join the community for fen of color, united (foc_u), to write something in your own journal about being a person of color in today's sf fandom, and link to it from that community.

matociquala is one of the few white fen I have seen post about the day of protest today. She linked in particular to the essay Nalo Hopkinson posted for the day.

A more outstanding post today was this one by popelizbet, in which she links to a number of posts, journals and stories worth reading.

What I've mainly been reading, in the past four days, is a book called Acacia, by David Anthony Durham. It's a really good book, awesome in its span and engaging in its grip. It is also an important sort of saga to be read by any people who have grown up in a country that was born in the midst of a number of types of violence that it has tried hard to forget forged the very nature of its existence. Promises broken over and over again. People enslaved. No, Acacia (the empire) is not America. But I believe I see our reflection there. And I think I shall seek out Durham's other novels.
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