Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Man That Changed My Life

When I was a junior at Spelman College my favorite professor introduced me to Derrick Bell. I was taking Race Racism and American Law. The required textbook for the class was written by Derrick Bell. I was so intrigued by the book and the author that I began searching more information about him. 

Derrick Bell was one of the few black men I respected (R.I.P) in this world. Mr. Bell put his career on the line to protest Harvard University's shameful hiring practices. It seems Harvard didn't believe in making black women tenured professors and as a result Mr. Bell gave Harvard his ass to kiss!

Derrick Bell changed my life.

His books introduced me to socially conscious science I call it. As an aspiring writer searching for my voice, his profound storytelling opened my eyes to all the social ills that can be explored through science fiction. I began writing stories about race, racism, sexism, colorism and classism. After YEARS of toil and pain, I'm finally releasing my first socially conscious science fiction novel. I plan to release the novel, which is the first in a series, sometime in January.

I wanted to share Mr. Bell's work on my blog. His most famous science fiction story is The Space Traders. This story made me fall in love with science fiction. I started imagining worlds where black people reign supreme, where gender roles are switched and women dominate, where a whole population of women (in the case of my novel, black women) can disappear off the face of the planet without a trace. 

Like I said, Mr. Bell changed my life. 

The Space Traders was turned into a short film in the 1990s. It aired on a short-lived HBO series called Cosmic Slop (think of it as a Black Twilight Zone or Outer Limits). The video up above is that short film. Here is a link to the actual story written by Derrick Bell

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