For the first day of “Black History Month” (although Black history should be all day, everyday), I want to give a little background history of my return to speculative fiction. Looking back, I have always enjoyed speculative fiction, including science fiction, horror and fantasy. Growing up, I love fables, books and films about talking animals, shows like The Magic Schoolbus, Dr. Seuss books, and anything that “normal” people might consider weird. A few days ago, I found a book report that I did in junior high school on the science fiction novel, Silver Eyes. I remember reading and loving the “utopian society gone wrong” book, The Giver (I read it might be turned into a film soon), Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” and “Tell Tale Heart,” Dicken’s “The Christmas Carol,” and the list goes on. My poetry even reflected my interest in speculative fiction. I wrote a poem about my menstrual cycle (I had painful cramps), called “Menarch and the Girl,” which was about an evil sorceress who put a curse on a girl to live and die each month (I was slightly morbid as a teenager, I am not that way now).
However, around the time I entered high school, I began to lose interest in it. I blame it on several reasons. My high school was so rigorous that I started to dislike reading for fun, even though I liked some of the books, such as the magic realist Haroun and the Sea of Stories. For some reason, I became obsessed with teenage pop stars (don’t ask) and shows, like Degrassi. Most of my time I gave to music and I think my love for speculative fiction seeped into there because I listened to artists like Missy Elliot, Kelis and N.E.R.D. Last, my family became “saved” and started going to church when I was around 11. I was told books that were about magic and witches (Harry Potter), anything that questioned Christianity (The Da Vinci Code) or anything that focused on too much science and not enough faith was not good to read or considered nonsense. So, I guess I could not reconcile the two and I dropped the former.
As I entered college, I had changed again. I went natural and began to grow my locs. Also, I started to lose my faith in Christianity (but shhh! don’t tell my parents that yet). In my sophomore year, I took a class on Black people and Mass media with Professor Arthur Lewin. His class, as well as a few others, taught me to think further outside the box and sparked my interest in Africana Studies. Later, I attended a class on the African Diaspora (one of the books we read was Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye) and I began to study more about the Diasporic history. As I studied the history, I also studied the traditional spiritual systems and religions, which further diminished my belief in Western Christianity. Early last year, I started my blog, its name from a statement by the poet Aja Monet (at least I think) and my pseudonym a reflection of studying Egyptian mythology. My blog started as a way to give a historical context to culture, mainly the ignored or erased history of marginalized groups, and as a way to show off my quirkiness, specifically my non-mainstream music interests. Somehow, I stumbled upon Afrofuturism, which tied everything together for me, and as they say the rest is history.