From Gagool to Akasha: Black Characters in Horror Fiction (HAGL 2 Excerpt)

Calling All Horror Fans! Press Presents:  

Free excerpt from Horror Addicts Guide to Life 2 


From Gagool to Akasha 

Black Characters in Horror Fiction 

by Sumiko Saulson 

Black representation in Horror fiction is about both characters and writers. We need more Black authors, directors, screenwriters, and people behind the scenes to make sure that our communities are envisioned through our eyes. Yet, there is undeniable value to Black heroes and villains envisioned by other non-Black authors. The 2017 remake of Stephen King’s IT is a prime example of how betrayed Black audiences feel when representation is diminished by erasing or minimizing the presence of an important Black hero like Mike Hanlon. Outrage over whitewashing doesn’t disappear just because the character was written by someone who isn’t Black. And anger about Black actors portraying characters like Rue in The Hunger Games and Akasha in The Queen of the Damned suggest overwhelmingly, racism among audiences. The success of Black Panther demonstrates both the need for Black characters and the factual ability of Black characters envisioned by White writers to be handed over to Black production and writing teams. 

Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward’s authoritative work on the subject is called Writing the Other. It deals with the ins and outs of writing characters unlike oneself. This is crucial as many of the Black characters in Victorian fiction are hopelessly stereotyped characters of Black witch doctors and high priestesses like Gagool, the evil old hag who advises the twisted dictator King Twala in the Alan Quartermain novel, King Solomon’s Mines, by H. Rider Haggard. Haggard was one of the better-known writers in the Lost World genre. Modern takes on mysteriously hidden societies can be elevated, like 2018’s movie Black Panther’s take on Wakanda by Black director Ryan Coogler and writer Joe Robert Cole, or feature terrifying evil White overlords against spunky Black heroes, like Jordan Peele’s award-winning 2018 Horror film, Get Out. 

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Do you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre? Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horror addict’s life.  

Our month-by-month almanac with important dates, movie lists, puzzles, crafts, articles, and recipes will guarantee your whole year is occupied with delightful horror activities. Don’t miss our monster guide with articles about vampires, zombies, ghosts, and some creatures that just can’t be categorized. Enjoy interviews with creators of horror content and hear perspectives from different cultures and backgrounds. Read stories of real hauntings, nightmares, and vile vacations.  

Allow us to curate your horror lifestyle. 

With articles by: A. Craig Newman, A.D. Vick, Alyson Faye, Angela Yuriko Smith, Brian McKinley, CM Lucas, Camellia Rains, Carrie Sessarego, Chantal Boudreau, Courtney Mroch, Crystal Connor, D.J. Pitsiladis, Dan Shaurette, Daphne Strasert, Dee Blake, Emerian Rich, Geneve Flynn, H.E. Roulo, H.R. Boldwood, J. Malcolm Stewart, James Goodridge, Jaq D Hawkins, Jeff Carroll, Jonathan Fortin, Kate Nox, Kay Tracy, Kerry Alan Denney, Kieran Judge, Kristin Battestella, Ksenia Murray, Lee Murray, Lionel Ray Green, Loren Rhoads, M.D. Neu, Mark Orr, Martha J. Allard, Michael Fassbender, Mimielle, Naching T. Kassa, Pamela K. Kinney, Priscilla Bettis, R.J. Joseph, R.L. Merrill, Rena Mason, Renata Pavrey, Rhonda R. Carpenter, Russell Holbrook, Selah Janel, Steven P. Unger, Sumiko Saulson, Tabitha Thompson, Theresa Braun, Trinity Adler, Valjeanne Jeffers. 

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~ by Sumiko Saulson on May 27, 2022.

One Response to “From Gagool to Akasha: Black Characters in Horror Fiction (HAGL 2 Excerpt)”

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