“Imagination Unlimited: Fantasy Fiction and Black Literature” with N. K. Jemisin & Others

October is Black Speculative Fiction Month!

“Imagination Unlimited: Fantasy Fiction and Black Literature”

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
6:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:00 p.m.)

Medgar Evers College, CUNY
Edison O. Jackson Auditorium
1638 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11225

Reading and Discussion. Light refreshments.
Subway: 2, 3, 4, & 5 trains to Franklin Ave.; S [Franklin Ave. Shuttle] to Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The New York Chapter of the State of Black Science Fiction in collaboration with the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, will present 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.

Invited participants: Phenderson Djeli Clark, author and historian whose 2014 symposium detailing the literary history of Black Speculative Fiction in America serves as the inspiration for the program and 2016 Hugo award winner for Best Novel, N. K. Jemisin, author of The Inheritance Trilogy, Dreamblood Duology, Broken Earth series, and numerous published works of short fiction. Moderated by Nivia Evans, Hachette Book Group/ Orbit Books.

About the participants:

Dexter Gabriel Photo

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_pic-moderator-sobsf-oct-2016 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

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Mission of the State of Black Science Fiction:

The State of Black Science Fiction – SOBSF – is dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, fiction, film, comic books, cosplay, and related popular art-forms, by and about people of African descent, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of black speculative works to art, culture and social justice.

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Main Chapter- Atlanta, GA

Founding Members: Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade

New York Chapter – Brooklyn, NY

Founding Members: Marc Abbott, Kirk A. Johnson, M. Kayana Lewis, and Steven Van Patten