So, what have I read today?
NPR’s list of Top 100 SciFi/Fantasy titles, which is shamefully lacking women and people of color. To balance it out I traced back through the Russ Pledge posts that started this summer, like Taking the Russ pledge and A shocking UK sf ‘favourites’ score: men 500, women 18 on Ask Nicola, MIND MELD: What’s The Importance of ‘The Russ Pledge’ For Science Fiction Today? on SF Signal and Taking the Russ Pledge on Wis[s]e Words. The Angry Black Woman asked for scifi by people of color in the comments to her post Mindblowing Science Fiction by POC and I know I’ve seen lists elsewhere, but a quick google search didn’t help me that much.
So then I moved on to Sniffing Dirty Laundry: A True Story from “the Help’s” Daughter by Bernestine Singley. She recounts her reaction to the white woman who called her to gush about how much she loved her black maid, the author’s mother. Fabulous post about how in this so-called “post-racial” society stories like The Help are used to perpetrate racism and revisionist myths about the South and white people — with continuing impact on black people and all of us today. And, rare thing in the blogoverse, the comments are as insightful as the original post and create dialogue. (via @JustineLavaworm on twitter). And for good measure I read “Growing Up Oblivious,” by Barbara Beckwith on the same blog, about a white woman whose family employed a black maid when she was little, and revisiting those memories as an adult who finally becomes aware of the white privilege of her life. All of which will give me way too much to fight about during my sojourn in white suburbia this weekend with my family.
But first of all a fascinating look at current thought on the past of homo sapiens, Homo Sapiens, Meet Your New Astounding Family on Discover Magazine:
A single, unforgettable image comes to mind when we ponder human origins: a crouching ape slowly standing and morphing into a tall, erect human male poised to conquer every bit of habitable land on this planet….But that ascent-of-man picture is looking as dated as the flat earth. A series of scientific and technological breakthroughs have altered much of our fundamental understanding of human evolution.