Recently I heard a TikToke that really made me … frustrated.
It was about a Black woman recounting when she talked about her parents to a white friend. She talked about how they were rediscovering roots as much as they could, I can’t remember what organization it was but it was obviously a Black one. And then she mentioned how her mom was a Trekkie like she won a Ms.Klingon pageant and the other was a Star Wars fan.
And of course, the obvious question is, how do these people exist in the same house with having totally opposite views on sci-fi. But no, it wasn’t that.
Her response was she didn’t realize that the girl’s parents were white.*
Everything she said about her tracing her roots was instantly thrown out as soon as she mentioned DND and StarTrek.
If we are being honest we don’t really talk about Black people beign into sci-fi you certainly don’t see them being portrayed in shows. Lucas from Stranger Things is the only Black kid I’ve ever seen in a show doing something in relationship to sci-fi or fantasy.
And when I was growing up I saw nothing, but I had me. So although I didn’t see any Black people into sci-fi, I was one. I grew up watching StarTrek: TOS, Lost in Space, Quantum Leap, Stargate, Firefly, and so many others. If it was in space, had robots from the future(Sarah Conner Chronicles, I’m looking at you), or dealt with any type of aliens, I was all over it. So if I exist, as a Black sci-fi fan, there’s no reason for me to doubt the existence of other Black sci-fi fans. But what about Black people who aren’t into sci-fi? What’s their relationship to Black people who are into it?
So let’s make stories together.
This first one will be a regular romance scenario, with a man pursuing a woman. She’s really into sci-fi. She goes to conventions, owns every episode of Dr.Who, watches Discovery to lift her spirits up whenever she’s sad. He learns about sci-fi, and also about the many Black people that navigate that space. The longer he dates her, the more interested in sci-fi he gets.
We have a story about a girl who isn’t into sci-fi but finds a show from the nineties/two-thousands and starts watching it, but she can’t find the rest of the show. She goes to Reddit forums and makes loads of friends during her search. Only to find out the tragic fate that happened to most sci-fi shows on public television.
The show is about her growth in sci-fi especially concerning her and Blackness. And her evolving over time into a sci-fi fan.
We have a Black person in a show about a group of Black friends whose into sci-fi and we make it normal. The Star Trek, the Stargate, the Dr.Who references, are integrated into this character’s model, so much so that their friends know sci-fi facts just because of proximity. Maybe we do have an episode where someone tries to define their Blackness and then a strong moment of our Black cast coming together to point out that this person is not the authority on Blackness. And our friends will have a heart-to-heart conversation on concepts like oreo and how it affected their perceptions of Blackness as a child and as an adult.
*I would have a link to the original video, but I can’t find it. And I looked, if you know the creator, you can post it in the comments.