Speaking of Race
This item in Slate about race addresses the intent of those who collect racial information, and also recent discussions of who "gets" to claim a racial identity like "African-American." It reminded me of a post to a listserv to which I wanted to reply, but didn't, because I didn't want to stir up trouble. The poster offered us a list of "African-Americans" as main characters in fantasy and science fiction works.
On the one hand: great list! I felt sheepish lately offering up white wizards or the Pevensie kids to the Teens of Color in the local 7th grade who had a fantasy-S/F assignment.
On the other: "African-American"?! The list included Wizard of Earthsea, and while I do know that Ged is described as brown-skinned and dark-haired, it's not because he or his folks came from Africa or America. He came from Gont. It's a made-up place, kids!
Now, Walter Mosley's 47 is on the list, too, and that makes sense. My review-reading understanding of it is that it's about time travel and an African slave in America.
I wish more people felt comfortable with "people of color," because it feels applicable more often. (Though I gather I am meant to be offended as a color-less person.)
New Hot Thing, Maybe? The Secret