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”

THEY ARE APOLOGISTS.

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 Examiner.com 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 Examiner.com 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 Examiner.com (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.

 

Following in Mom’s footsteps

•August 4, 2019 • 2 Comments
mom black renaissance
I made a decision not to try to be someone I can never be, and just to follow in my mom’s footsteps and do all of that homey-ass Chitlin Circuit level stuff my mom and her community organizer friends like
Doris Rowe, Sharen Hewitt and Bobbie Webb did. My mom and a bunch of the elders are gone now, and I was always trying to make everything “professional” and address all of that criticism about all the weird homey stuff the black community did but now I am 51 and I realize I do all of this shit that they did.
 
SFBayview SFBFF
Why do people who are involved in Grass Roots Community Organization do all of this sometimes disorganized shit we did and I still do? It is because we are poor. We are poor as fuck and doing community conferences like the African American Multimedia Conference and the San Francisco Black Independent Film Festival or Iconoclast Black Film Festival on a shoestring budget, with some food we got donated from a pantry somewhere.
 
When your events are neighborhood block parties with volunteers cooking up pantry food, that’s who you are.
 
black renaissance kay davey miki
I am past being ashamed of who I am. I am past apologizing for getting foodstamps at Eastmont Center. I am beyond pretending to be from some elevated, higher and more bougie class than I am. I am through being ashamed of our BBQs and our block parties and our free furniture off of Craigslist that we took home and repainted or glued together. I am going to be proud of who we are.
 
I love and I miss my mom so much.
SF Board of Directors 1997 tech committee
 
All I can do now is to honor all of the things we have built together, our little empire.
 
On her last birthday – the last one before she died – mom turned 70 and she stood up at Vik’s Wheelhouse in Vallejo and sang Deacon Blues by Steely Dan.
 
“They got a name for the winners in the world. I want a name when I lose.”
mom 4tay miki
 
Well, I would rather make sure my mom is remembered than to try to win whatever contest you guys are putting on, with so much put-on and pretense. I know a lot of you who are openly classist – mocking the homeless, the disabled, the poor, those you step over in your constant climb to the top. But we love each other and our lives and our families are real.

Writing While Black coming in August

•July 31, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Starting in August 2019, my column Writing While Black will start to appear in the San Francisco BayView. The San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper, founded in 1976, is a communications network for the Black community worldwide

Bestselling author Sumiko Saulson writes award-winning multicultural sci-fi, fantasy, horror and Afrosurrealism. Her monthly column Writing While Black follows the struggles of black writers in the literary arts and other segments of arts and entertainment. From #HugosSoWhite to #OscarsSoWhite, black novelists, short story scribes and screen writers are constantly up against an industry that excludes them and pays white people to tell black stories. How do black writers navigate a Convention and Conference Circuit that is so vital to up and coming writers but often has glass ceilings and exclusionary practices?

Writing While Black logo

Writing While Black – I have a racist MRA stalker

•July 31, 2019 • 1 Comment

I am living my best life as a black writer, it seems… having attracted my very own MRA trashfire, 4Chan forum troll, racist, sexist, and transphobic wannabe edgelord shitty stalker. Fortunately, he’s such a huge fucking wingnut the other trolls don’t take him seriously and his campaigns peter out quickly.

36ykgi

It has come to my attention that racist, sexist I am now learning transphobic MRA trashfire wannabe edgelord Chuck Stegall and his friends have been hassling black and/or trans women who post supporting comments on my posts. I apologize to anyone who has been harassed with crank calls, crank emails, and Russian trolls and other gross and disgusting behavior by racist Chuck. Chuck may have sockpuppet accounts so I am not sure how effective preemptively blocking him will be. Please feel free to spread the word.

Chuck, a racist cishet white male of the gothic persuasion, has been cracking up ever since the girl of his dreams decided not to be with him, but instead, to marry a black man. Chuck hates race mixing, black people, and a lot of other things and is a sexist pig. Some people don’t block him because they like to troll him. He is pathetic.

If you are reposting, commenting on or otherwise supporting my campaigns please do me a solid and preemptively block Chuck Stegall so as to discourage his harrasment of black women and transwomen on my timeline. Aforementioned harassment includes harassing email messages, harassing phone calls, and super distorted MRA “see? women are just as men” bullshit sexual harassment charges erupting from the MRA sewage tank he dwells in.

He and his friends are tenter bullies and will also post vague shitty double entendre posts that are supposed to be clever to bait you in the comments sections on your posts. These are irritating and a form of gaslighting.

I apologize to anyone who has been hassled by campaigns from this nasty person and his friends due to commenting on my posts.