Black Power: The Superhero Anthology TOC

When we put out the call for submissions for Black Power: The Superhero Anthology, we expected a good response. However, we were NOT expecting to receive over 50 submissions.

Correction: over 50 submissions of some of the greatest stories we have ever had the pleasure of reading!

It was difficult to narrow it down, but we have chosen nineteen (19) stories we feel best capture what we are looking for and will excite and inspire readers who have been waiting for an anthology like this – one in which Black Superheroes are at the forefront, aren’t simply the sidekick, cannon fodder, or the “Magical Negro,” whose major purpose is to pick the white hero up (emotionally and often physically) when he is down and encourage said white hero to go on and save the world.

We at Blacktastic Books – the Comic Book, Graphic Novel and Superhero imprint of Roaring Lions Productions – are proud to reveal the TOC for Black Power: The Superhero Anthology!

Are You Experienced? by Liberty Blair Charissage

A Monstrous Journey by Mark P. Steele

Black Licorice by Keith Gaston

Blue Spark vs. the Gentle Giantess by S.J. Fujimoto

Brianna’s Interlude by Jeffrey Bolden

Capes at the End of the World by Rorie Still

Django Unplugged: A T.A.S.K. Story by Hannibal Tabu

Fall of the Caretakers by Ronald Jones

Ghost by Milton Davis

Glascock by Cynthia Ward

Gotta Go by Aurelius Raines II

Heroes Again by Balogun Ojetade

In Need of a Friend by Derrick Ferguson

New Elements by M. Haynes

Nikia the Pandora by Lance Oliver Keeble

Real Monsters by Nora Anthony

Shadowboxer: Neutral Corners by Adeatoyshe J. Heru

Tally Marks by Chris Wilts

The Superhero’s Fatter Cousin by Valerie Puissant

Where Monsters Roam by Dennis R. Upkins

The SOBSF Con DVD!

If you missed the largest gathering of fans and creators of Black Speculative Fiction, Film, Cosplay and Comic Books EVER, if you were there and want a memento of this historic, fun and moving event, or if you simply want to catch up on some panels you missed, then get ready…

The State of Black Science Fiction Convention DVD will be made available for purchase next week! A digital download MIGHT become available in the Fall.

This DVD, priced at just $10.00, is loaded with over 4 hours of footage!

Be sure to get YOUR piece of Black History!

 

SOBSF Con Meets the Press!

This has been a great week for Atlanta’s Black Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror scene and it will get a WHOLE LOT better come Saturday when the State of Black Science Fiction Convention kicks off.

In the meantime, enjoy some of the press SOBSF Con is getting – both real and imagined – you figure out which is which.

First, we have a radio interview from Georgia Public Broadcasting, or GPB, that features author, filmmaker, dancer and futurist, Ytasha L. Womack and SOBSF Con Co-Chairs, author and publisher, Milton Davis and author, filmmaker and publisher, Balogun Ojetade.

Next we have a newspaper article from Atlanta Black News:

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Next, Balogun Ojetade was named ATLRetro’s Kool Kat of the Week!

And finally, THIS happened:

SOBSF Con

 

Join us THIS WEEKEND, for two days of Black Speculative Fiction, Film, Fashion, Fabrication and FUN!

#SOBSFCon #SOBSFCon2016 #StateofBlackScienceFiction

The Tuskegee Heirs and SOBSF Con present the YOU are the Hero Cosplay Contest!

Tuskegee Heirs

Marcus Williams and Greg Burnham, the geniuses behind the Tuskegee Heirs comic book and animation projects we are ALL looking forward to, came to SOBSF Con Co-Chair, Milton Davis with a proposal:

“How about a Cosplay Contest? We’ll put in half the money for it.”

SOBSF ConAnd thus it happened. So now, along will all the other Blacktastic happenings at the State of Black Science Fiction Convention, we have added the YOU are the Hero Cosplay Contest.

There will be cash prizes and awards, so cosplayers and aspiring cosplayers wear your coolest costumes, sign up at SOBSF Con and strut your stuff!

Here are the rules:

The YOU are the Hero Cosplay Contest has two categories: Adult & Youth.

Adults are contestants who are 16 years old or older. Youth are those contestants who are under 16 years of age.

Contestants will be judged on:

  • Craft – Contestants are judged on both the overall appearance of their cosplay, and the quality of the construction of the costume.
  • Coolness – Contestants are judged on their acting, presentation and presence.
  • Creativity – Contestants are judged on their originality and/or their personal spin on existing characters.

SOBSF ConEach contestant will walk down the center aisle of the theater, up the stairs and then pause at center stage to pose. Contestants will have the walk to the stage, the ascension onto the stage and the pose time to wow the judges and the crowd.

Please remember, this is a family event, so costumes that are too revealing or overly sexually suggestive will not be allowed.

No real weapons are allowed and no pyrotechnics can be used.

THIS is going to be EPIC, inDEED!

SOBSF Con

Can YOU Pronounce SOBSFCon?

Since we came up with the acronym SOBSFCon for State of Black Science Fiction, we have had some crazy interesting pronunciation of the word, to say the least.

To show you what I mean, we hit the streets and filmed random people attempting to pronounce SOBSFCon. We shot hordes of eager folks who were highly interested in the State of Black Science Fiction Convention and we are sharing a few on video.

It was a daunting task for many, but what WAS easy was their decision to experience the Blacktasticness of SOBSF Con June 11-12. We look forward to seeing them there. We look forward to seeing YOU there, too.

In the meantime, enjoy the video!

http://www.sobsfcon.com/

The Epic SOBSF Con Experience!

Here it is folks!

The Big, Bodacious, Blacknificent,  Blacktastic, fun-filled two day State of Black Science Fiction Convention schedule with the list of panelists, presenters and moderators!

Jam-packed with all the Steamfunk, Sword and Soul, Afrofuturism, Afroretroism, Rococoa, Horror, Cyberfunk, Cosplay and Black Speculative Fiction you can stand, the SOBSF Con schedule is EPIC!

SO epic, in fact, we’re not calling it a schedule, we call it an  EXPERIENCE!

Check it out:

 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

10:00am

The Afrikan Marketplace Opens!

Vending of Merchandise and Food

 

12:00pm

Theater: Hip-Hop / Afrofuturistic Puppet Show

Creator/Director: Tarish “Jeghetto” Pipkins

 

1:00pm

Theater: Invisible Universe: A History of Blackness in Speculative Fiction

Director: M. Asli Dukan

 

2:00 pm

Theater/Screening Room: We Want the Funk: Afrofuturism in Music

Moderator: Kalonji Jama Changa

Panelists: Speech Thomas, Fluxwondabat, YZ, Stacy Epps

Panel Room 1: Children – Tiny Yogis Yoga

Instructor: Tajuana F. Jones

Panel Room 2: Teens – Video Games We Love

Moderator: Dan Flores

Panelists: Brandon Davis, James Mason, Radi Lewis (via Skype)

Panel Room 3: Black Women In Speculative Fiction

Moderator: Nicole Kurtz

Panelists: Alicia McCalla, Valjeanne Jeffers, Penelope Flynn, Leticia Carelock, Cerece Renee-Murphy, Sheree Renee Thomas

Panel Room 4: Reading Octavia

Ed Hall, Sheree Renee Thomas

 

4:00 pm

Theater/Screening Room: Special Screening of “Returned”

Director: Lamont Gant

Panel Room 1: Children – Create Your Own Comic Book

Panelists: James  Mason, Sarah Macklin, Keef Cross, Tony Cade.

Panel Room 2: Teens Talk to Authors

Alicia McCalla, Alan Jones, Jeff Carroll

Panel Room 3: Black Southern Folklore in Horror Literature

Moderator: Balogun Ojetade

Panelists: Keef Cross, Brandon Massey, Valjeanne Jeffers, Sheree Renee Thomas

Panel Room 4: The Pinnacles and Pitfalls of Self/Small publishing

Moderator: Milton Davis

Panelists: Bill Campbell, Nicole Kurtz, Leticia Carelock, Gerald Coleman, Adrian “Asia” Petty.

 

 6:00 pm

Theater/Screening Room: Black Craft and Consciousness in Comic Books

Moderator: Robert Jeffery

Panelists: Dawud Anyabwile, Sarah Macklin, James Mason, Chris Miller, Radi Lewis (Skype), Hannibal Tabu (Skype)

Panel Room 1: Steamfunk Style

Moderator: Balogun Ojetade

Panelists: Mark Curtis, Ofeibea Loveless, Marcellus Jackson

Panel Room 2:  African-Centered World Building

Panelists: Milton Davis, James Eugene

Panel Room 3: Afrofuturism Art and Literature

Moderator: Ed Hall

Panelists: Bill Campbell, Clint Fluker, Lisa Yaszek, Sheree Renee Thomas

Panel Room 4: Writing for the YA Market

Panelist: Alicia McCalla, Valjeanne Jeffers, Christine Taylor-Butler,  Letitia Carelock.

 

8:00 pm

Panel Room 1: Women in Horror

Panelists: Valjeanne Jeffers, Penelope Flynn, Nicole Kurtz, Sheree Renee Thomas, Tananarive Due (Skype)

 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

10:00 am

The Afrikan Marketplace Continues!

Vending of Merchandise and Food

 

Theater/Screening Room: Horror on the Black Hand Side

Panelists: Brandon Massey, Steven Van Patton, Valjeanne Jeffers, Jeff Carroll

Panel Room 1: Traditional Arms, Armor and Martial Arts of Afrika

Moderator: Kalonji Jama Changa

Panelists: Balogun Ojetade, Da’mon Stith, Akinbobola Donaldson

Panel Room 2: Children and Teens: Afrikan Martial Arts

Conducted by Afrikan Martial Arts Institute

Panel Room 3: Creator Interviews and Readings (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)

TBA

Panel Room 4: Marketing Black Speculative Media to the Masses

Moderator: Milton Davis

Panelists: Adrian “Asia” Petty, Bill Campbell, Tony Cade

 

12:00 pm

Theater/Screening Room: Screening of Short and Feature Films

Various Creators (From 12pm-4:00pm)

Panel Room 1: Stunts and Fighting for Film, Stage and Television

Instructors: Jazzy Ellis, Balogun Ojetade, Da’mon Stith, Akinbobola Donaldson

Panel Room 2: We love Anime!

Panelists:  Alana Davis, Sarah Macklin, Renee Cooper

 

2:00 pm

Panel Room 1: RPGs and Racism

Moderator: Balogun Ojetade

Panelists: Tanya Woods, Ed Hall, Tony Cade

Panel Room 2: Children and Teens Talk to Authors

Panelists: Christine Taylor-Butler, Cerece Renee Murphy, Jeff Carroll, Alicial McCalla

Panel Room 3: Steamfunk, Dieselfunk and Rococoa

Moderator: Milton Davis

Panelists: Penelope Flynn, Mark Curtis, Vernard Martin

 

4:00 pm

The Big Beautiful Black Roundtable

Moderators: Milton Davis; Balogun Ojetade

Join authors, filmmakers, actors, cosplayers, fashion designers, fabricators, comic book creators, publishers, readers and fans at this “Town Meeting” as we present, discuss, listen to and put into effect strategies and collaborations to take Black Speculative Fiction/Film/Fashion/Fabrication to the next level!

Official Flyer 2

Official Flyer 3

SOBSF ConSOBSF Con

Praise for Harriet Tubman’s Steamfunk Adventures!

harriet tubman wanted poster“I can honestly say that I’ve been waiting for this book for years…This book imagines Harriet Tubman as a superhero of sorts, in a world where she and other “Gifted” fight for good or evil. What starts out as a simple kidnapping case evolves into a sinister threat against the country–and that’s as far as I can go without any spoilers! Something like 90% of steampunk fiction takes place in Victorian era England, but moving the action to post-Civil War America makes the story fresh for that reason alone. In keeping with our country’s rebellious spirit, every character has a strong personality that leaps off the page. There’s a lot of rough and tumble action with fight scenes ripped out of a kung-fu movie. The pulp fiction sensibility keeps you turning pages and screams for a film adaptation (after “Django Unchained”, I’m looking at you, Quentin Tarantino!) Best of all? I never could have predicted all of the twists and turns in the plot...I plan to explore more of Mr. Ojetade’s work and recommend that you do as well.”

“Enjoyed the mixture of history, fantasy and steamfunk. Looking forward to more adventures.”

“I loved these two books for the speed of the storytelling and the overall tension they built as they ‘steamed’ along. Who would have thought to have the legendary Harriet Tubman, known for her work on the ‘Underground Railroad’, become a super heroine?”

“These books were fantastic, never once letting my mind wander. My hat off to the author, Balogun Ojetade for a great couple of books. I’ll be back in his corner for more!”

Move over Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter because Harriet Tubman just came to town!”

“Balogun combines so many genres into this novel that it makes your head spin, but like a good gumbo it’s all about the roux.”

“I can tell he did homework about Post Civil War 1800’s. Nor did he forsake plot for zany action. He took on important historical characters and breathes new life into them. This is alternative historical fiction at its best. Throughout the novel, you will encounter many people that will have you running to Google to discover their history. You will also encounter tall tale-ish folk that deserve their own novellas.”

Freedonia Cover Final“The pulp aspects he infused into the novel gives it an extra kick like a jalapeno boiled down into a pot of collard greens. I found myself hanging on the edge of my seat not just because of the action, but because the dialogue was canny. This was not a mindless romp of action, because there are lessons be too learned…WHERE IS MY SEQUEL BALOGUN? WHERE IS MY SEQUEL?!”

“Excellent story with interesting historical references. I enjoyed the book very much. Quality writing, well paced, interesting characters.”

Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman is an exciting mash up of steampunk, alternate history and horror…Balogun writes in a rapid fire style with short, action packed chapters and colorful, unexpected characters. No one is as they seem and the story’s twists and turns had me feeling like I was on a wild roller coaster ride and loving every minute of it.”

“One of the most entertaining aspects of Moses is the re-imaging of historical history. No one is safe from Balogun’s imagination, and everyone ends up with a fresh identity to match the world he creates for us. The other characters are just as imaginative and vivid; my two favorites are Mama Maybelle and Black Mary. When you read the book you’ll clearly see why...So get Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman, strap on your bicycle helmet and keep your hands inside the car. You’ll enjoy the ride.”

“It’s a kickass supernatural steampunk action-adventure alternate history starring American heroine Harriet Tubman as she battles the eerily-gifted and treacherous crew led by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, a hoard of ghouls, and the evil spirit of John Wilkes Booth. Set in post-Civil War USA. Appearances by Louis Pasteur, Abe Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, among others. Wonderfully written by a master of martial arts, with never a dull moment or a superfluous word. Can’t wait for more!”

“Balogun Ojetade continues to deliver the goods in this exciting sequel to Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman. This time Harriet and Stagecoach Mary travel to the alternate America of Freedonia to save the life of Bass Bello. As before Balogun gives us historical figures like you’ve never imagined and enough twists and turns to make a ballerina dizzy. A great read from a great writer.”

Harriet Tubman Collage

Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman

The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman: Freedonia

The State of Black Science Fiction Convention is just ONE MONTH away! Spread the Word!

SOBSF Con Logo

The State of Black Science Fiction Convention, or SOBSF Con (SOBSFic Con) is just one month away! Get your tickets and reserve those accommodations because you do NOT want to miss this!

Tell your friends; tell your neighbors; tell your children, spouses, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and even your play cousins.

Join us for a Blacktastic weekend and meet, greet, talk to and learn from cosplayers, fabricators, filmmakers, authors, actors, celebrity guests and other fans of Black Speculative works – Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror fiction, fashion, films, puppet shows and comic books created by and about people of African descent.

SOBSF Con

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The Reading for Warriors Book Fair comes to Atlanta!

The Afrikan Martial Arts Institute and the Urban Survival Preparedness Institute present:

The Reading for Warriors Book Fair!
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Free and open to the public, the Reading for Warriors Book Fair is the first book fair in Atlanta, GA to feature works specifically written for Afrikan Warriors young and old.

Join us for great conversation, great food and, most of all, Blacktastic Books for Warriors, Revolutionaries and Activists!

Authors Kalonji Jama Changa, Balogun Ojetade and Chike Akua will discuss their books, Afrikan Warriorhood, educating Afrikan children, preparedness and survival and much more.

The authors will also share brief, exciting excerpts from their works and answer your questions, too.

A powerful selection of great books, written by and about Afrikan Warrior women, men and children will be available for purchase and signing by the authors.

Delicious, healthy food will be available for purchase, too!

HOURS AND LOCATION
Saturday, May 14, 2016
11:00am-4:00pm

at

Waterfront Eatery and Wellness Center

2240 Forest Pkwy, Morrow, Georgia 30260

Creative Resistance: Why SOBSF Con is good for the “Conscious” Community

Conscious 1The Black Arts Movement was the artistic branch of the Black Power movement. It was started in Harlem by writer and activist Imamu Amiri Baraka. Time magazine describes the Black Arts Movement as the “single most controversial movement in the history of African-American literature – possibly in American literature as a whole.”

Both inherently and overtly political in content, the Black Arts Movement was the only American literary movement to advance social engagement as an essential ingredient of its aesthetic. The movement broke from the immediate past of protest and petition (civil rights) literature and dashed forward toward Black Power.

SOBSF ConIn a 1968 essay, “The Black Arts Movement,” Larry Neal proclaimed Black Arts the “aesthetic and spiritual sister of the Black Power concept.” As a political phrase, Black Power had earlier been used by Richard Wright to describe the mid-1950s emergence of independent African nations. The 1960s’ use of the term originated in 1966 with Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee civil rights workers Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) and Mukasa Dada (Willie Ricks). Quickly adopted in the North, Black Power was associated with a militant advocacy of armed self-defense, separation from “racist American domination,” and pride in and assertion of the goodness and beauty of Blackness.

Creative Resistance involves a wide variety of artistic forms: music, memes, posters, banners, plays, street theater, poetry, animation, fiction, comic books, fashion, film and much more. Art adds vitality and energy to advocacy and reaches people at deeper emotional levels, conveying what cannot be said with the mere recitation of facts.

SOBSF ConArt is a tool for outreach. Inviting people to participate in art builds on issues that they care about and provides an opportunity to build relationships.

In the process of creating art there is a tremendous opportunity to build deep support for the issues the movement is working on.

Art is good for our communities and artistic collaboration is a bonding experience. We make art together, not just because of the changes it can bring to the world around us, but because of the way it changes us internally. The relationships built create community and solidarity that is essential in a successful social movement. The art that is created reaches out to people who see the protest, installation or other event. All of this adds up to empowerment of the individual, community and movement.

In this respect, art is a catalyst, on multiple levels, for change.

SOBSF ConTo be effective in our activism it is not enough to provide facts, figures and graphs and reach people in their heads. In order to change people, we have to reach them at a deeper, more emotional level.

Throughout history, the most effective political activists and revolutionaries have married the arts with campaigns for social change.

Think of the iconic photos of us being attacked by dogs and having the fire hoses turned on us; of police brutalizing and murdering us throughout our sojourn in America. These iconic images will be carried with us forever because they reached into the depths of us.

Another powerful artistic tool is music. Music draws people in and can open the door to a movement’s message. From hip-hop to jazz to soul, there is musical activism. Music is also a tool for creating solidarity and confidence as activists face difficult situations.

The Steamfunk, Dieselfunk, Sword and Soul, Rococoa and Cyberfunk YOU find trivial, or irrelevant to liberation and revolution are actually powerful tools in the service of protest and political and social actions.

An Afrikan proverb teaches Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter – the destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

SOBSF Con“Culture” refers to the collection of expressions that make a society. In the world it is dance, music, art, fashion, language, food, etiquette, religion and folklore. In ourselves it is the stories we believe about who we are, what we can accomplish, our values, world views; it is the lens through which we interpret our realities.

These are the stories that rule our lives; that tell us who we are and who we should want to be, what we can achieve and how we’re supposed to fit into the world around us. These are the stories that maintain our political and economic systems.

As activists, we must understand where culture has power over us and where it has power to support us. We must understand how culture has the strength to heal our wounds and grow our movements. Above all, we must take the time and make the effort to engage it. Cultural resistance is a central function of changing society. How can we shift any system of oppression if we don’t shift the culture that loyally believes in it?

At the State of Black Science Fiction Convention, we are providing safe spaces for transformation; retraining and healing ourselves from damage done by the legacies of oppression. We are building a sense of community, of unity, of shared values, an alternative world view, and a commitment to making the struggle for social justice through the speculative arts an integrated part of our lives.

The stories we live by, the values we hold, our creative expression, how we build community: this is the realm of culture. This is why we cannot rely on fact sheets, marches and manifestos alone. This is why we desperately need to recognize that culture has to be on the front lines of any resistance movement. Because whether we acknowledge it or not, culture is not just a piece of the battle, it is the very ground on which the battle is being fought. We have been so focused on the guns that keep firing at us—the student debt, the bank bailouts, mass incarceration, privatization, neo-colonialism, war–that we rarely take a moment to look at the landscape on which we stand. It is time we examine the hills and the holes of our battlefield and make some decisions about what terrain we actually want to fight on.

Join us June 11-12 at the Southwest Arts Center for SOBSF Con (“SOBSFic Con”) as we tell our stories our way.

SOBSF Con