Racism and Science Fiction de Samuel R. Delany


"Racism and Science Fiction" est le titre d'un article de Samuel R. Delany écrit en 1998.

Il est à lire sur le web ici.

Extrait :
"Racism for me has always appeared to be first and foremost a system, largely supported by material and economic conditions at work in a field of social traditions. Thus, though racism is always made manifest through individuals’ decisions, actions, words, and feelings, when we have the luxury of looking at it with the longer view (and we don’t, always), usually I don’t see much point in blaming people personally, white or black, for their feelings or even for their specific actions—as long as they remain this side of the criminal. These are not what stabilize the system. These are not what promote and reproduce the system. These are not the points where the most lasting changes can be introduced to alter the system.

For better or for worse, I am often spoken of as the first African-American science fiction writer. But I wear that originary label as uneasily as any writer has worn the label of science fiction itself. Among the ranks of what is often referred to as proto-science fiction, there are a number of black writers. M. P. Shiel, whose Purple Cloud and Lord of the Sea are still read, was a Creole with some African ancestry. Black leader Martin Delany (1812–1885—alas, no relation) wrote his single and highly imaginative novel, still to be found on the shelves of Barnes & Noble today, Blake, or The Huts of America (1857), about an imagined successful slave revolt in Cuba and the American South—which is about as close to an sf-style alternate history novel as you can get. Other black writers whose work certainly borders on science fiction include Sutton E. Griggs and his novel Imperio Imperium (1899) in which an African-American secret society conspires to found a separate black state by taking over Texas, and Edward Johnson, who, following Bellamy’s example in Looking Backward (1888), wrote Light Ahead for the Negro (1904), telling of a black man transported into a socialist United States in the far future. I believe I first heard Harlan Ellison make the point that we know of dozens upon dozens of early pulp writers only as names: They conducted their careers entirely by mail—in a field and during an era when pen-names were the rule rather than the exception. Among the “Remmington C. Scotts” and the “Frank P. Joneses” who litter the contents pages of the early pulps, we simply have no way of knowing if one, three, or seven or them—or even many more—were not blacks, Hispanics, women, native Americans, Asians, or whatever. Writing is like that. "
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