San Francisco’s War on the Black Community

•September 19, 2019 • 2 Comments

Writing While Black logo37% of the Homeless people in San Francisco are Black. Less than 6% of San Francisco residents are Black. Black people are 7.7 times as likely to be arrested as white people in San Francisco. Saneism, ableism, and allegations of criminal behavior drug use are often used to veil racism where it is present in the removal of African Americans from power, position, and spaces which are White dominated.

San Francisco is getting to be more and more racist and unsafe for Black people. Black people are forced to self-segregate, move to the East Bay and remove ourselves from White Dominated spaces where we are attacked. Black people are being forced to self-segregate to POC only and Black/Mahogany groups and subsets, or move into Black friendly in the East Bay.

Microagressions like parking your body in front of Black people, yawning at them, and other types of bullying are used to remove Black people from white dominated spaces.

N***er-Baiting is the practice of instigating arguments and fights with Black people so that you can prompt an emotional response from them and then accuse them of being Angry, Emotional, Temperamental, Violent or Insane so you can undermine their credibility.

Character assassination campaigns are used to remove Black people from power and from places of authority.

A Year of Loss and Rebuilding

•September 18, 2019 • 4 Comments
BlackPantherMoviePartyThis is my niece Elisabetta Saulson, her high school sweetheart Jeveon Washington, my mother Carolyn Saulson and myself at the Black Panther movie in February 2018.
Little did we know at the time, a year later, Mom and Jeveon would both be gone.
My mother died January 2019 after a nine and a half year battle with Multiple Myeloma Cancer. My niece’s high school sweetheart Jeveon Washington was murdered at gunpoint in February 2019, a year after his nineteenth birthday. It was about eight months after they broke in June 2019.
This will be our first Halloween, our first Thanksgiving, and our first Christmas without my mother and Jeveon. Sometimes it’s hard to really process how cruel people can be and how callous. The cruelty of those who removed Jeveon from the world. The cruelty of doctors and staff when Mom was dying. The cruelty of friends who made every tiny thing imaginable more important than my mom’s life, her dying, my pain, or me and my family’s needs in the wake of two unimaginable tragedies and the loss of Jeveon’s young life.
Monday night, I told a friend I was alright, just going through some growing pains. The past year has come with a lot of painful lessons about the invisibility of Black pain. for as my mother’s life came to an end, I found I was increasingly expected to don the clothing of the Strong Black Woman, to silently suffer through her final days with no complaint, as my pain was troublesome and a bother to my friends. I, a burden for suffering. I, problematic if I was triggered or troubled by overt and covert signs of racism in the wake of my mother’s suffering at the hands of callous doctors, or my niece’s first love dying of gun violence.
The wounds run deep. #BlackLivesMatter isn’t a cause I support as an ally. Your derogatory comments when you call me a social justices warrior, or you make jokes about me being triggered by racist imagery, or ask me why it didn’t bother me so much before Jeveon and Mom died, hurt. I feel like I am not even a real person to you anymore.
When someone racist tells me he doesn’t believe I am black because I am biracial, I am supposed to suck it up. At every turn, I am supposed to swallow my pain. I am supposed to take the higher ground as others bully me while my mother lay dying, to coddle and shield thin-skinned other who are going through nothing much as my niece only 19 now grieves the loss of a young black many who died at only 19.
I am so glad that I work at San Francisco Bay View Newspaper now and my column #WritingWhileBlack.I wrote two columns so far, here’s my first column. I am so glad that I have the Black Horror Writing and Sci-Fi community, the Afrofuturist Community, the Afrosurrealist community, writer friends like Valjeanne Jeffers, Crystal Connor, Linda D Addison, Nicole Kurtz, Nisi Shawl and community friends like Wanda Kurtcu and Rudi Mwongozi and Hugh E MC and L.M. Kate JohnsTon who validate and know the struggle to be real. Projects like 100+ Black Women in Horror, Scierogenous 2, Black Magic Women, and Black Celebration to keep me sane.
How hard it is for me to bear the weight of this Strong Black Woman mantle you have thrown upon my shoulders in the wake of and in the days since my mother’s death. How hard it is for me to comfort others and tend to their wounds and emotions, making the smallest slight or wounding word or slightest change in the timber of my voice that shows the wound that rests deep in my soul since my mother left this world show.
My tears look like anger to you.
When I am hurt, you are afraid of me and hurt me even more. I look like a monster to you. Just like my mother did. And I thought you were my friends. And it hurts badly.
But I can’t help the way you see black women, how our softest words sound loud to you, how you think we are angry when we are hurt, and how even when you know we are going through something terrible you only think of yourselves and how we owe you deference and servitude.
All that hurts, but I am gonna #StayBlack and honor my mother in every way I can.

Black Celebration Collection this Halloween!

•September 15, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I am very excited to be working on a collection of essays, articles and interviews by and with African American authors on the subject of Black representation in horror. The book includes work by Paula D. Ashe, Valjeanne Jeffers, Crystal Connor, Linda D. Addison, James Goodridge, Balogun Ojetade, Nicole Kurtz and myself.  The book will be released on October 31. I am setting up the pre-release for it as we speak.

A collection of articles, essays and interviews with and by African American horror writers on black representation in horror, horror diversity, reviews of African American horror films, horror novels, weird fiction, dark fantasy and more.

“This essential collection captures thought-provoking essays (ex. Southern Gothic Horror, Magical Realism & Horror in Toni Morrison Novels, The Inimitable Tony Todd, Black Horror Films of the 30’s and 40’s, etc.), fascinating reviews, and insightful interviews written by horror authors from African Diaspora. You could search for each piece or buy this exceptional book and have all the remarkable work at your fingertips.”

–Linda D. Addison, award-winning author of “How to Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend” and HWA Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Available on Smashwords for Pre-Release

Available on Amazon for Pre-Release

Black Celebration front

Here is a list of the essays and interviews in the book as it currently stands:

  • The State Of Speculative Fiction: Why Race Matters
  • Genesis – The First Black Horror Writers/Storytellers
  • An Interview With L.C. Cruell
  • Black Horror Films Of The 30s And 40s
  • The Inimitable Tony Todd
  • Black Creators In Horror Comics
  • My Life My Horror: On The Dearth Of Black Characters In Horror Movies
  • Living Among Legends
  • Black Occultist Rollo Ahmed
  • Movie Review: Pooka (2018)
  • Haunted Hickory Hill
  • Gagool To Akasha: Black Characters In Horror Fiction
  • A Forgotten Catalysis: Son Of Ingagi
  • Movie Review: Sorry To Bother You (2018)
  • Review Of Chesya Burke’s Strange Crimes In Little Africa
  • Black Herman
  • Sycorax’s Daughters Stoker Nominated
  • Sycorax’s Daughters Gives Black Women In Horror A Voice
  • Fierce. Fearless. Female.
  • The Sounds Of Horror In Black American Music
  • Movie Review: Voodoo Black Exorcist
  • Why Television Needs Damali Richards, L.A. Bank’s Bad Ass Black Vampire Slayer
  • Horror Blackademic Is A Real Thing
  • Black Magic Women Highlights Horror By Black Women
  • Oh, Susannah: How The Dark Tower’s Explores Black Woman Stereotypes
  • How Wesley Snipes And Blade Saved The Marvel Movie Franchise
  • Interview With Dr. Kinitra D. Brooks, Horror Scholar
  • Maman Dragonne
  • African American Folklore, Magical Realism And Horror In Toni Morrison Novels
  • Review Of Dawn By Alex Fernandez
  • Interview With Dawn Filmmaker Alex Fernandez
  • Sugar Hill: A Blaxploitation Gem
  • Linda D. Addison Wins HWA Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Interview With Linda D. Addison
  • Sister My Sister: An Open Love Letter To Abby And Jenny Mills From Sleepy Hollow
  • Warmth: An Unforgettable Journey
  • Review Of Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror By Eden Royce
  • Southern Women’s Influence On The Weird

Regarding my resignation from the Kinky Writing Group

•September 7, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Writing While Black logo

I’m still processing the whole writer’s group resignation (on my part). I started the group as an author to help aspiring writers, but somewhere along the way, two of the members who have little writing experience and never were published prior to Scry of Lust decided without my permission or consent to change the form of my group from a moderator-led group lead by an experienced instructor, to some sort of flat-file egalitarian group with no leadership or anarchist collective belonging to “everyone” and to use this structure invalidate my personal extensive experience and professional resume,

Then, they proceeded to tone-police me using both gendered and racially oppressive tone policing statements, referring to my issuing of any orders as “dictatorship” and screaming. Other people who witnessed the rehearsal and the performance viewed these characterizations as either completely fabricated or grossly exaggerated. They clearly suggested Angry Black Woman stereotyping and were very sexist and racist characterizations.

I feel very hurt, and since they have decided they want a peer-run writing group I have elected to turn it over to them to run as a peer-lead group, rather than to go along with the fiction that it started as a peer group, and the fiction that I am their peer. I am far more experienced and am not their peer. I do not feel like dealing with the series of personal attacks they have come at me with in order to bring an end to my leadership. So I have opted out entirely. Saneism, sexism, and racism aren’t cool.

I wish them the best of luck in their new peer-lead structure, but it is dishonest and disingenuous to pretend that I am not the founder of aforementioned group. It is dishonest to pretend that I don’t have a great deal more experience in writing, publishing, editing, proofreading, and teaching / workshop creation than the people who have repeatedly challenged me do.

Part of the reason I resigned was to get away from how personal they were getting, as both of them used my arguments with Darcy to impugn my character when the arguments were regular relationship issues and not a big deal and they didn’t need to involve themselves. My relationship with Darcy is way more important than that group and I refuse to put it at risk because a dude is so petty that he wants to attack my love life in order to try to get me out of my role of leadership.

AKA this dude kept complaining that I was “yelling” at Darcy when in reality we were snipping at each other aka arguing and it was very two sided (unlike this other person’s one-sided view of it). Another person complained because I asked Darcy to leave right after the event because we were having a personal argument over something Darcy did during the show. Neither of them should have been using my arguing with my girlfriend to try to undermine me professionally. That’s sexist. Also I have every right to leave the venue personally, and every right to ask my girlfriend to discuss something with me privately outside the venue.

Anyway I have better and more important things to do with my life than to try to teach people who pretend they already know everything, to give then rides, to organize anything for them, or to babysit them while they pretend I am not actually doing anything and act like the agendas, rules, writing exercises, anthology and everything else I was the primary organizer and producer (and often creator) of  magically appeared from nowhere.

Plague Master Series – Trevor’s Got Trouble At Home

•September 3, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Plague Master Series – Trevor’s Got Trouble At Home

By H.E. Roulo

HE Roulo 2If it wasn’t bad enough that Trevor, the teenage hero of the Plague Master series, is fighting zombies, arguing with a Plague Master, and trying to discover a way to permanently cure the infected, he must also deal with the terrible conditions on his homeworld, Shailon.

Shailon is a backwater in the 5-planet system recently colonized by ships from Earth. Families on the first ship to arrive declared themselves the winners, gave themselves the titles of Founder, and have been lording it over everyone else ever since. Their estates are large, and the general population is forced into cramped towns. Unfortunately, when there is an outbreak of the Regulon Disease, which turns people into mindless undead, the Founders respond by herding the infected into the lower districts and hiring off-world mercenaries to keep them there.

Trevor never had much, and once the zombies arrive he wants to find a way to fight back. He becomes a bait-boy for the mercenaries, and runs through houses to draw out any zombies inside. Eventually, he’s forced to leave Shailon for the Sanctuary Dome where infected are sent until they change. What he discovers, is that despite the dome being filled with rejects from other planets, it is still a better place to be than his homeworld. Not so much once the dome breaks, and zombies i

HE Roulo Cover2

nvade, but he is able to bring the formula for a cure back to his homeworld.

In the second book, Plague Master: Rebel Infection, Trevor is a hero for returning home with an inoculation against the change into a zombie. However, the Founders don’t administer the vaccine equally, and Trevor quickly realizes that conditions aren’t improving. As a hero, he is a threat to the Founders power and revolution is on the horizon.

A new zombie outbreak, the intervention of a Plague Master, and the realization that the long-sought cure is starting to fail all makes Trevor’s life harder than ever. Find out more in Plague Master: Rebel Infection.

Plague Master: Sanctuary Dome is the first book of the Plague Master series. Next up in the planned trilogy is Plague Master: Rebel Infection, releasing September 2019.




“A perfect mix of classic sci-fi and zombie horror. Once you start, you are hooked!”

-Jake Bible, author of Little Dead Man.


Sanctuary Dome is fast-paced zombie sci-fi on a prison planet of the dying and the undead.”

-Stephen North, author of Beneath the Mask


Read more excerpts and see behind the scenes of the PLAGUE MASTER trilogy.

Twitter: @hroulo



Author Central:

Plague Master: Sanctuary Dome (Book 1):

Plague Master: Rebel Infection (Book 2):


San Francisco has an anti-Blackness problem

•August 30, 2019 • 1 Comment

San Francisco’s Black population reduced by more than 50% to 6.1% from 12.7% between 1980 and 2010. In 2016 the Black population was only 5.7  Comparatively, 13.4% of the National United States population is Black.

37% of San Francisco’s homeless population are Black.  My family and I were homeless in San Francisco in late 2005 and early 2006, before we like so many Black families moved out of the City. We moved up to Vallejo, where my brother Scott still lives. My mom moved to Berkeley in 2013 where she lived out the remainder of her life. I have lived in Oakland since 2010. My brother’s older daughter moved back to San Francisco in 2011.

Black people are 7.75 as likely to be arrested in San Francisco as white people. Black women, 5.8% of San Francisco’s female population, represent 45% of the women arrested in that City.

San Francisco’s Police Department has been under investigation for racial profiling repeatedly and is currently the subject of an ACLU suit filed in October 2018 about the racial profiling. (Case No. 3:18-cv-06097)

But most San Franciscans deny the blatant anti-Blackness in that City. A condition that has progressively worsened with the rise of tech concerns.

Apologism… #WritingWhileBlack

•August 26, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Writing While Black logo

Beware of people who sit in places of privilege and constantly ask people who are disempowered for accountability, White cishet and het-passing people who are in authority and insist that marginalized people need to admit to what THEY did wrong because we “all need to be accountable”


An apologist is busy looking for ways to tell you that you have no right to protest. No right to complain. That you can’t complain. And that you have to be worried about how you asking for basic equity, human rights, or representation hurts their feelings.

Sometimes there is no representation – as in, where they literally have only white cis people in power in their organization as their entire board or most of it is white, and their management is almost all white and cis and the people who are not white and cis have roles with no actual authority

And these people are touchy as hell every time you mention it. And you have to be careful about their paper thin ego. And you have to now be asked to APOLOGIZE for rocking the boat.

APOLOGISTS think that someone else’s feelings being hurt when you mention that they hire like 95% Cis White People and/or their Management and Boards are 95% Cis White People is MORE IMPORTANT or EQUALLY IMPORTANT to the actual lack of diversity. Now we aren’t talking about the GLASS CEILING or LACK OF DIVERSITY we are talking about someone’s hurt fragile white feelings and how the marginalized people didn’t politely ask for change without offending anyone for another 80 or 38 or 31 or 27 years until they get around to any real change.

So the vested interests stay in place, we get one Black president (Token) and everyone else a White Cis Het-or-Hetpassing Male and this goes on forever and ever in the White House and everywhere else while we tell the rebels to be silent and not rock any boats because it’s rude.

It’s Back! African American Multimedia Conference

•August 20, 2019 • Leave a Comment

After 3 years writing arts and entertainment pieces for the as an Arts and Culture reporter for the Oakland Art Scene, I am now writing serious investigative reporting for the award-winning Black Newspaper the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper. The was an online extension of the Hearst newspaper owned that allowed people to report nationally from cities that didn’t have their own print edition of the Examiner. I learned how to write for an online news blog there. But the pieces I wrote were non-controversial, arts-centered, and uplifting works that centered on how creative the Bay Area is.

SF Board of Directors 1997 tech committee

I went anywhere where there were Oakland artists, including to all of the local fairs and festivals and conventions. I had to adhere to their journalistic standards and link all kinds of reference materials. To this day, I am affected by the experience.

Now I work at Search Magazine – a local neighborhood style paper like the Sunseter – writing those kinds of uplifting feel good pieces – and writing much more seriously political works for the SF BayView. Both papers are black owned, but have a multicultural editorial staff. It amazes me how much I am a part of the black writing world, from the black owned Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC that published Black Magic Women and where I do proofreading work for their horror division, to the Black Women in Horror project. I am touched and honored.

That is why it is very important to me to restart the African American Multimedia Conference in San Francisco and give back to the community once more.

black renaissance kay davey miki

Iconoclast Productions is a grassroots San Francisco Bay Area based community media arts non profit organization, producers of the African American Multimedia Conference and the Iconoclast Black Independent Film Festival. We were established March 19, 1993. Our programs included computer literacy workshops, plays, and our public access television program Stagefright, which was on Access stations in San Francisco, Vallejo, Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Dayton Ohio, and New York NY from 1993 to the present, although it is only on in Vallejo as of this writing. It ran in Vallejo and Berkeley up until 2017. It was  a variety show that included community issues and local artist and entertainers. It focused on the African American community and the disabled community, including the homeless, as artists. Because our band Stagefright was a crossover multiethnic black-centered Goth band, we worked with a lot of disabled goth artists, many of whom were queer.

Black and Queer are not Trends

•August 14, 2019 • Leave a Comment
2006 with lil4Tay

Rapper Lil 4Tay and author Sumiko Saulson. Black and queer.

Black and queer
Are not just trends
Fashion or make-up
You share with your friends
You feel persecuted as a goth?
Are you for real?
The identities of the marginalized
Are not for you to steal

When they said put away
Childish things
I didn’t know they meant
Childhood friends
When achieving dreams
For your community
Means your childhood ends

When you love and you care
But there is nothing there
That can replace the fact
That you have been back and forth
And here and there with them
To find in the end
You gotta stay black

Gotta stay black,
In the face of injustice
You gotta fight back
They tell you to use
Your inside voice
And feel under attack

They don’t understand
Your motivation
And you gotta know why
When they see racism
And social injustice
They just turn a blind eye

Black and queer
Are not just trends
You appropriate for a season
Until your need for them ends
They are on you for life
With out any choice
Your skin-deep
Your soul-deep
Your kin-deep
Your voice

Debut in SF BayView Newspaper Writing While Black

•August 6, 2019 • Leave a Comment
As a Charon Dunn said, “Sumiko Saulson usually writes horror fiction, but sometimes reality is even more horrifying.” This is my debut into the world of hard-hitting journalism after 6 years of writing upbeat puff pieces praising the arts and culture scene for the (since 2013) and Search Magazine (since 2017), 3 years as a music critic writing for the rock magazine RockHEAD (1988-1991) and two years on my high school newspaper The Daily Bugle. I am so proud to be working for the award-winning nationally acclaimed Black Community paper the San Francisco BayView. This is my piece on the connections between a series of recent mass murders, white supremacy and certain bigoted internet forums where racists congregate.

I will also have a series on the writing convention scene called Writing While Black (about the Hugo Scandals and more) coming out in the SF BayView.