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Top Ten African-American Characters in Science Fiction (Read 759 times)
Webbie
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Top Ten African-American Characters in Science Fiction
Feb 01st, 2010, 6:41am
 
Although this doesn't quite apply to the written word because most writers don't specify race unless it is a needed part of the story here is an article from Wired.com in recognition of the first day of Black History Month.

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The future. Whether twenty years or two hundred years from now, the sci-fi genre is all about new possibilities and new ideas. Change. Often, sci-fi TV shows, movies, and books are the perfect opportunity to envision a time when skin color has stopped being a factor in human-to-human relationships. You know, the novel concept of “content of a person’s character.” I can imagine a date in the future, when we refer to each other as Terran (as opposed to Martian or Titanese) or even just human.

Over my lifetime, a few movies and TV shows have got it right by casting an African American in a particular role, not to get a Black stereotype on the screen, but because the actor or actress was the right fit for the part; they were the embodiment of the character.

The character was not a slang talking, hood background having, gangsta riding, joke telling, sex kitten, ultra-pro-black (or as David Alan Grier says, Mike Tyson Black), holding the gun sideways, drug dealing, pimping, dancing, and jiving stereotype. They  were just… another excellent player in said show or movie. They made us forget about race as a divisive issue.

So, in recognition of the first day of Black History Month, here is a list of my top 10 favorite African American sci-fi movie & TV characters of all time.


Yes, Grace (Nichelle) Nichols made the list but only at #8?

Read More http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2010/02/top-ten-african-american-characters-in-sci-...
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ente per ente
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Re: Top Ten African-American Characters in Science Fiction
Reply #1 - Feb 9th, 2010, 4:20am
 
It  would  be  interesting  also  a  list  of  African/American  heroes  direct  from  comics, short- stories, books  and  so, not  only  from  movies/TV  series...eh,eh

Just  think  of  Storm, Imaro, Blade, etc, etc... Cool
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Webbie
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Re: Top Ten African-American Characters in Science Fiction
Reply #2 - Feb 9th, 2010, 8:42am
 
ente per ente wrote on Feb 9th, 2010, 4:20am:
It  would  be  interesting  also  a  list  of  African/American  heroes  direct  from  comics, short- stories, books  and  so, not  only  from  movies/TV  series...eh,eh

Just  think  of  Storm, Imaro, Blade, etc, etc... Cool



That would be an interesting list.

Of course you have to wonder about any guy black/white/whatever wearing tights and a cape!

Hmm.. How about gay characters. Wonder how many are out there?
Dick Grayson? The girls on scooby doo?

Then again sex doesn't seem to be part of the genre. Sexiness yes! But sex itself, not so much.
That would be more of an Anime thing I suppose.
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Jeangoldstrom
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Re: Top Ten African-American Characters in Science Fiction
Reply #3 - Feb 9th, 2010, 12:54pm
 
To the roster of African American literary heroes, may I add one of mine? He's "Max," the kid in my book Last Best Friend. Take a look at the cover on http://WhortleberryPress.com/pastbooks.html. You'll see one of Lela Kuruganti's _wonderful_ covers, showing Max and Tesi, a cat girl character also from the story...Anyway, Max is not only an African American guy, he's wearing a Whortleberry t-shirt!
  How did this all happen? Lela told me the teenage son of one of her African American friends asked her, "Why are the heroes in sf/f always white guys?"
   Lela thought they _weren't_ always white guys, so she drew Max as an African American kid, a move with which I totally agreed. After all, the story is about how Max, a modern college kid, lands a thousand years into the future and finds "manimals" (genetically altered dogs and cats) now the slave work force. Since Max knows how great slavery isn't, he tries to help the manimals get to freedom.
     The Whortleberry tee was also Lela's idea.
      Cheers for her great ideas!
            -- Jean
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John Gilbert
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Re: Top Ten African-American Characters in Science Fiction
Reply #4 - Mar 8th, 2010, 9:29pm
 
"Wired" is happily making nonsense of the concept of "African-American."  While SOME of the Star Trek characters are American, the Star Wars characters certainly are not!  I know, I know, we like to think all heroes are Americans...

%-)

John Gilbert


Webbie wrote on Feb 1st, 2010, 6:41am:
Although this doesn't quite apply to the written word because most writers don't specify race unless it is a needed part of the story here is an article from Wired.com in recognition of the first day of Black History Month.

Quote:
...
So, in recognition of the first day of Black History Month, here is a list of my top 10 favorite African American sci-fi movie & TV characters of all time.


Yes, Grace (Nichelle) Nichols made the list but only at #8?

Read More http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2010/02/top-ten-african-american-characters-in-sci-...

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Webbie
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Re: Top Ten African-American Characters in Science Fiction
Reply #5 - Mar 9th, 2010, 8:34am
 
John Gilbert wrote on Mar 8th, 2010, 9:29pm:
"Wired" is happily making nonsense of the concept of "African-American."  While SOME of the Star Trek characters are American, the Star Wars characters certainly are not!  I know, I know, we like to think all heroes are Americans...

%-)

John Gilbert





True, we do become national centric perhaps without even realizing it.
I recently read an alien invasion story set in Germany.
It was kinda weird having to mentally juggle the maps of the action scenes.
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