The New York Chapter of the State of Black Science Fiction in collaboration with the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, presented a panel discussion on fantasy fiction within the Black Literary Arts. To this day, new voices are emerging in the field of speculative fiction. Voices that tell of our humanity as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston once did (and still do), albeit with rivers of alien worlds and gods enslaved. Speculative fiction does not just entertain, but informs us that to imagine beyond ourselves is as human as the fight for freedom and acknowledgement of said humanity. The invited panelists are outspoken voices against the oppressive actions of institutions that effect not just Americans but all who struggle to be seen as part of the human race.
About the participants:
Phenderson Djéli Clark is a historian and occasional speculative fiction writer. His short SFF stories have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Every Day Fiction, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Tor.com and several print anthologies including Griots I & II, Steamfunk and Myriad Lands. He blogs on SFF, diversity and more at his blog The Disgruntled Haradrim (pdjeliclark.com). He also tweets stuff: @pdjeliclark.
Nivia Evans has a BA/MA from Adelphi University and worked as an English teacher for three years before breaking into publishing. She began her career at the Overlook Press in 2014 and is currently working at Orbit Books, where she can indulge in her lifelong obsession with speculative fiction. She is committed to seeing diverse representation in publishing and often dreams of being as iconic as Pam Grier.
N.K. Jemisin is a Brooklyn author who won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for The Fifth Season, which was also a New York TimesNotable Book of 2015. She previously won the Locus Award for her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and her short fiction and novels have been nominated multiple times for Hugo, World Fantasy, and Nebula awards, and shortlisted for the Crawford and the James Tiptree, Jr. awards. She is a science fiction and fantasy reviewer for the New York Times, and you can find her online at nkjemisin.com.