Many monthly periodicals are worthy of reading, yet none more so than Wired Magazine. The editor of this fantastic magazine devoted to technology and business, Chris Anderson, has also published two important books.
The Long Tail and most recently, Free, are vital reading to understanding emerging trends in technology and how it will effect business and the dissemination of news. We owe a great debt to the intelligence he brings to these books and the magazine in general
Thus, the news of Wired publishing a story devoted to the best Black characters in Science Fiction piqued our interest here at Stuff Black People Don't Like, especially since this month is devoted to celebrating fictional Black History Month at SBPDL:
The future. Whether 20 years or 200 years from now, the sci-fi genre is all about new possibilities and new ideas. Change. Often, sci-fi TV shows, movies and books give us 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 a black actor in a particular role, not to get a 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, gangsta-riding jokester with a background in the ‘hood. Not a sex kitten or ultra-pro-black (or as David Alan Grier says, “Mike Tyson black”), holding the gun sideways. Not a 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.