How I researched 100+ Black Women in Horror

The cover photos on 100 Black Women in Horror

I just received this lovely letter in my email inbox from poet and aspiring fellow literary cultural archivist Rabia Shay, a self-described blerd (black nerd):

Hello, Sumiko Saulson.

My name is Rabia Shay and I’m inquiring about your book 100 Black Women in Horror. I was very happy to have come across such a resource and thought I’d like to create my own (not in horror btw). I just wondered how to go about it? A great deal of information is included in your book and I wondered if you had to seek permission from those mentioned.

Thank you very much for your time and hope to hear back from you soon.

Rabia Shay

Dear Rabia,

100 Black Women in Horror started out as a blog series right here for Women in Horror Month. Women in Horror Month is in February, so I decided to combine it with Black History Month, which is how I came up with the idea.

I started out with the blog post 20 Black Women in Horror, which was pretty simple since I could rely on my own personal knowledge of black women who wrote horror, such as LA Banks, a personal favorite. But as the list expanded to 60 and then 110 women, I had to use other methods.

I started with “Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora,” and then worked my way through other similar African Diaspora anthologies that included horror authors. I read through the table of contents first, collected names, and then, went over their stories to see if they had a substantial body of horror work.

Since the first three lists of approximately 20 women each were posted on my blog, I was starting to get a reputation as someone who did this kind of work – so I started to have women from the African Diaspora contact me through my blog.

I hope this helps!

~ by Sumiko Saulson on September 25, 2020.

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