One of the things that isn’t really talked about enough is the fact that when people walk into a bookstore or a library, they tend to gravitate towards books with people who look like them on the cover. This isn’t necessarily wrong or bad, but it is a concept called “implicit bias”, defined by the Perception Institute as the “attitudes towards people or associate[d] stereotypes with them without our conscious knowledge,” The good news is that it’s something that we can change, and something that we must be willing to change. By making the deliberate choice to choose a book written by or about someone who doesn’t remind you of yourself, you are making the conscious effort to debias your actions and as a result – expand your world.
In her book “Biased”, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt writes, “our experiences in the world seep into our brain over time, and without our awareness they conspire to reshape the workings of our mind.” By reading a book written by someone who isn’t like you, you’ll learn about the struggles and triumphs of others and how deep down, we’re all human and we all have the same basic instincts and desires. Through the process of broadening our perspectives, we learn new ways to approach problems which can lead to innovation as well as a greater understanding of the human condition, each other, and ourselves.
Black Speculative Fiction is one of the easiest and (these days) most effective ways of broadening your perspective, if you aren’t a BIPOC individual. Black people (particularly in the United States) have undergone centuries of a very particular kind of hell that we as a nation are still struggling to deal with even now, which means that the stories of Black authors are not written from the same place as others. It’s important that we, as non-Black people, actively seek out these stories so that we can see ideas and events through the Black lens, especially since this is a group of people who have often been pushed out of mainstream media, or spoken over.
If you’re a regular follower of Mocha Memoirs Press, you already know that we endeavor to bring these kinds of stories to the light, and provide you with a wide range of Black Speculative Fiction to choose from. From Fantasy titles such as ‘The Windshine Chronicles’ books by Todd Sullivan and the ‘Kingdom of Aves’ books by Nicole Givens Kurtz to Horror titles like ‘Telecommuting’ by L. Marie Wood, we have just about anything you might be interested in checking out during your journey through Black Speculative Fiction and hope that you find something new and interesting to excite you and share with others.