‘Get Out’ Inspires New College Course Taught by Tananarive Due, Sci-Fi Author and UCLA Professor

(photo via elev8.hellobeautiful.com)

by Tami August via elev8.hellobeautiful.com

This fall, award-winning science fiction writer and UCLA professor Tananarive Due will teach a “Get Out”–inspired course called “Sunken Place: Racism, Survival, and Black Horror Aesthetic,” i09 reports. Jordan Peele‘s directorial debut, which couches America’s history of racist scientific experimentation in a romantic horror plot, continues to make waves months after it became a blockbuster hit. “Get Out” inspired Due to consider the history of Black horror in fiction and film.

In an interview with i09’s Evan Narcisse, Due calls herself a “horror head” who considers horror a subgenre of speculative fiction, where she reigns supreme. Winner of The American Book Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature, and the Carl Brandon Kindred Award, Due has published over ten novels since 1995. She told i09 that “Get Out” has given film executives a way to understand her own horror adaptations for the screen.

Prior to “Get Out,” Due noted, the most popular contemporary Black horror film was “Beloved,” the movie adaptation of Toni Morrison‘s novel that didn’t perform as well in the box office as it did in the bookstore. “Get Out” may have helped Due move forward in her screenwriting projects, but it also prompted her to look back at the genre’s Black history. Due said that for African Americans, the horror genre is “a great way to address this awful, festering wound in the American psyche, the slavery and genocide that was present during our nation’s birth.”

The professor mentioned film examples such as “Blacula,” “Def by Temptation,” and “Tales From the Hood.” She also plans to teach the short fiction of W.E.B. DuBois, whose story “The Comet” imagines a Black man and White woman as the sole survivors of apocalypse in the “era of lynching.” Due said, “These are two very different artists in two very different times, but DuBois’ story is a great companion, in a way, to what Jordan Peele was doing with the Black man and White woman in his movie.”

Source: ‘Get Out’ Inspires New College Course | Elev8

GBN Giveaway: Three Lucky Readers to Receive Free Copies of “Who We Be: The Colorization of America”

cover

Good Black News is getting into the holiday spirit early — by giving away three copies of acclaimed author Jeff Chang‘s latest book, “Who We Be: The Colorization of America.”

In this follow-up to the classic “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation,” which garnered Chang an American Book Award, “Who We Be” remixes comic strips and contemporary art, campus protests and corporate marketing campaigns, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Trayvon Martin into a powerful, unusual, and timely cultural history of the idea of racial progress.

I am currently reading this impressive, comprehensive work (the section on African-American comic strip artist Morrie Turner alone is worth the read) and can’t wait to share more about it once I’m finished, but why wait for a GBN review and recommendation when you can get the book for free right away?

To enter, simply send your name and email address with the subject heading “Who We Be Giveaway” to goodblacknewsgiveaways@yahoo.com by Saturday, November 8.  We will choose three winners at random and announce their names on Monday.

Onward and Upward… and good luck!

Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Founder/Editor-In-Chief

Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Founder/Editor-In-Chief

 

 

R.I.P. American Book Award-Winning Writer J. California Cooper

J. California Cooper in 1987. (Credit: Ellen Banner)

J. California Cooper, an award-winning writer whose black female characters confront a world of indifference and betrayal, but find kinship there in unexpected places, died on September 20th in Seattle. She was 82.  A spokesman for Random House, her publisher, confirmed her death. She had had several heart attacks in recent years.

Ms. Cooper won an American Book Award in 1989 for the second of her six story collections, “Homemade Love.” Her short story “Funny Valentines,” about a woman in a troubled marriage who repairs an old rift with a cousin when she moves back home, was turned into a 1999 television movie starring Alfre Woodard and Loretta Devine.

Writing in a vernacular first-person style, Ms. Cooper set her stories in an indeterminate rural past permeated with violence and the ghost of slavery. The African-American women she depicts endure abandonment, betrayal, rape and social invisibility, but they survive.

“Some Soul to Keep” (1987), her third collection, includes over-the-back-fence tales. One story tells of two women who become close friends after one woman’s husband dies and the other’s leaves. They learn that long-lived rumors of their dislike for each other had been fabricated by their husbands. Another story is about a blind girl who is raped by her minister, gives birth to his son and raises him alone because, she explains, he makes her forget she is blind.

Ms. Cooper’s 1991 novel, “Family,” one of five she wrote, is narrated by the ghost of a slave woman who committed suicide before the Civil War and who follows the lives of her descendants as they mingle and procreate in a new interracial world, marveling at how “from one woman all these different colors and nationalities could come into being.”

Ms. Cooper was clear about the religious values that informed her stories. “I’m a Christian,” she told The Washington Post in 2000. “That’s all I am. If it came down to Christianity and writing, I’d let the writing go. God is bigger than a book.”

In an interview on NPR in 2006, she said, “What I’m basically trying to do is help somebody make some right choices.”

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