If we can’t write diversity into sci-fi, then what’s the point? You don’t create new worlds to give them all the same limits of the old ones.
Take me back tumblr, please
I’ve been gone for almost 5 months and I’m very sorry. I left in the middle of a book exchange and I feel like a terrible person for having no accountability for the project. It’s no excuse, but I did finish my degree finally, and I got into grad school, and I worked a crap ton this summer to get enough money to pay for grad school.
Please accept my apology and accept me back.
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Last Updated: 14/07/2014
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Books were (and still are) my way of understanding the world. When I felt like being a girl and being a nerd didn’t make sense in the same body, Hermione Granger was there to teach me better. When awkward middle school crushes threatened to overtake all my cognitive functions, Eragon flew me off on fantastical journeys that stretched my brain further than a braces-filled conversation with any boy ever could.
But devoted as I was to the universes hiding between the covers of my favorite books, I couldn’t help but start to wonder why I never read about people who looked like me. I didn’t see us at journalism competitions, on TV discussing New York Times bestsellers, or assigned on any syllabi. Did Black writers not exist? Or worse yet, were Black people just not worth reading and writing about?
To have the one thing that makes sense to you in this world reject your existence almost entirely is no simple diss. It tells you your stories don’t matter, your voice is better off unused, your problems aren’t real. Or worse yet, that you are the problem.
For a long time, this forced me to reconsider my love affair with literature; unrequited love isn’t really my thing. I spent a long time avoiding books because I didn’t want to be antagonized even in a fantasy realm, to always be the nondescript footnote in someone else’s memoir. It was only after immersing myself in the words of Toni Morrison, Frederick Douglass, Junot Díaz, CLR James, Maya Angelou and other Black authors that I fell back into the warmth of literary intimacy.
It’s in the morning, for most of us. It’s that time, those few seconds when we’re coming out of sleep but we’re not really awake yet. For those few seconds we’re something more primitive than what we are about to become. We have just slept the sleep of our most distant ancestors, and something of them and their world still clings to us. For those few moments we are unformed, uncivilized. We are not the people we know as ourselves, but creatures more in tune with a tree than a keyboard. We are untitled, unnamed, natural, suspended between was and will be, the tadpole before the frog, the worm before the butterfly. We are for a few brief moments, anything and everything we could be. And then…and then — ah — we open our eyes and the day is before us and … we become ourselves.