Black Women in Horror: Fierce. Fearless. Female. by Tabitha Thompson

Fierce. Fearless. Female.

by Tabitha Thompson

The very first horror movie I saw was Maniac Cop when I was five years old. Since then, horror has always fascinated me. As the years went on, I found writing to be a great outlet for emotions and devoured writers such as Stephen King, Edward Lee, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jack Ketchum. But one day as I was looking through books at my local library for something new, an author caught my eye, her name was L.A.Banks. Reading her novels Minion and The Awakening, I fell in love with her writing style and how she incorporated dark fiction and horror into her work. She was the first black female that I’ve read who had an Anne Rice feel to her work, while her characters were relatable and interesting. Followed by Toni Morrison and her novel Beloved, I immediately became inspired by these women who were not just great dark fiction/horror writers, but who were also black.

Although I’ve never relished on the fact that I’m a black female writing horror, it felt good that there were women out there like me writing a genre that I loved. In the following years, I’ve also discovered Linda Addison, Pheare Alexander, Sumiko Saulson, and Jemiah Jefferson, and it was gratifying and inspiring. Since I was a teen, I’ve always loved the notion of doing and becoming something different, and horror was something that had turned from fascination to a passion and ended up becoming home for me. Being a black woman writing horror fiction is both an interesting and inspiring path that I wouldn’t trade for the world, I never thought that my writing would take me from my notebooks to being in an anthology that includes such creative women that are just like me. Women can already write horror, so it’s now time that us black women have a bigger platform, so we could tell the beautiful, scary stories that I know for a fact we can write. After all, we are fierce, fearless, and female.


Born in South Florida, Tabitha Thompson always had her roots set deep into telling stories from an early age, including a love for writing stories but at 16, she began writing horror and hasn’t stopped since. Her first short story “Heading West,” was picked up by Sirens Call Publications in 2013 for their online magazine issue #12 Dead And Dying. “West Nile” was released in 2014 also with Sirens Call Publications for their issue #16 Apocalyptic Fiction. For the past few years since
then, she has released several horror short stories and flash fiction. Tabitha Thompson is also the author of “Decency Defiled,” featured in Rejected For Content 6: Workplace Relations, and “Alternative™,” featured in the anthology Black Magic Woman. As long as she has coffee, metal, a pencil, and paper, there will always be some new stories to tell.

Advertisements

Book Review: Black Magic Women

Black Magic Women : Review of an Anthology of Horror

by James Goodridge

Mystical is how I like to label profound work and that’s how I label the work between the covers of Black Magic Women: Terrifying Tales by Scary Sisters, an anthology of well-crafted horror stories by a congress of well-established and up and coming group of women of color.

In recent years there has been a emergence or reemergence of black speculative fiction parallel to the Afro-futurist movement (I took the red pill and have been a creative member since 2013). This anthology will for years to come, be an important must-have book documenting the era.

A labor of love, the anthology is edited and curated by Sumiko Saulson and proof read by Jessica Glanville with contributions by: Valjeanne Jeffers, Kamika Aziza, Crystal Connor, Dicey Grenor, Nina Polina, Nuzo Onoh, Delizhia Jenkins, LH Moore, Kenya Moss-Dyme, Lori Titus, Kai Leakes, Rhonda Jackson Joesph, Cinseare S., Tabitha Thompson, Nicole Given Kurtz, Alledria Hurt, and Kenesha Williams. These women give you a buffet of different writing styles.

In the black community we have a saying that most people have heard and it applies to the contributors: “These ladies can burn!” True horror fans can appreciate horror in all its forms and sub genres. The horrific rush from a movie, web series, or television show. The straining of your hearing at the purported sound of a ghost caught on tape. The widening or squinting of your eyes at a just read gory part of a novel, anthology, or graphic novel. I’m a squinter, and this anthology didn’t fail in that department.

I’ll put it this way, there are no weak links in this anthology. I will not spoil things by going through all of the stories in the anthology, but I will comment on a few.

Valjeanne Jeffers “The Lost Ones” is a Werewolf/Love story/Crime noir story laced with Steam Punk/Funk set in an alternate time line United States, the progressive North America at odds with the conservative True America . The passion between characters Namia and Miles makes for a great read.

Kamika Aziza’s “Trisha & Peter” is a wonderful short story about two people forming bonds while fighting off swarms of bodies aka zombies. The child Trisha has to grow up fast and finds a mentor in Peter.

“Sweet Justice” by Kenesha Williams finds paranormal investigator Maisha Star on the trail of a serial killer and receives help from beyond the grave with a splendid plot twist at the end.

This anthology is an automatic read more than once gem released by Mocha Memoirs Press. Enjoy!


 jamesgoodridge headshot

Born and raised in the Bronx, James is new to writing speculative fiction. After ten years as an artist representative and paralegal James decided in 2013 to make a better commitment to writing.Currently, he is writing a series of short “Twilight Zone” inspired stories from the world of art, (The Artwork) and a diesel/punkfunk saga (Madison Cavendish/Seneca Sue Mystic Detectives) with the goal of producing compelling stories

Black Horror History: Son of Ingagi

A Forgotten Catalysis: Son of Ingagi

by James Goodridge

In 1940, a B-grade science fiction/ horror movie of high mellow drama flavor titled Son of Ingagi (ten years earlier Ingagi a B-movie staring Bela Lugosi a jungle horror movie seems to have been a vague influence) ran in black inner city neighborhood theaters and in segregated movie houses in the United States. At the time a movie produced by SACK’s attractions to occupy matinee theater goers time, Son of Ingagi faded from cinema memory soon after. But the recent emergence over the last ten years of the Afro-futurism movement which broadly has connected all black speculative mediums as a whole has brought the movie back into light.

Connecting the legacy dots, Son of Ingagi has the late honor of being the first black horror/scifi movie with an all black cast no less. Ingagi was directed by Richard C. Khan from a screen play by Spencer Williams who would go on–depending on your opinion–to later fame on the Amos n’ Andy television show. The cast : Zack Williams as N’Gina aka the monster (an actor of mystery in that no record or bio can be found of him), Laura Brown as Dr. Jackson, Alfred Grant as Rober Lindsay, and Daisy Bufford as Eleanor Lindsay. Spencer Williams does double as Detective Nelson. A break from the 1940’s mellow dramatic music soundtrack is provided by the Toppers.

Pete Hampton and Laura Bowman.

Having returned from Africa, Dr. Jackson has come home with secrets: a missing link creature she commands with the strike of a mallet on a gong named N’Gina and two sacks of gold. Tirelessly working on a mysterious chemical that will be a boon to mankind (we never get to know what the boon is) unfortunately, Dr. Jackson doesn’t get a chance to share her life’s work due to N’Gina’s developing a taste for blood mixed with the mysterious chemical, he murders the stern doctor in her basement lab which starts mayhem in the house. You really have to love Khan’s editing use of a bottle of ink signifying the spilling of blood  I won’t spoil it for the reader of this who may want to search for the movie online, so I’ll only go on to write that mellow dramatic sub plots involving lost love, an inheritance, and a visit from Dr. Jackson’s no good brother add to the suspense.

What I found just as interesting was the back story behind Miss Laura Bowman (Dr.Jackson) seems she had a  successful career as a performer in vaudeville and the chitin’ circuit (black vaudeville) with her common law husband Mr. Pete Hampton around the turn of the 20th century. Son of Ingagi wasn’t a great movie, but I (being a B-grade horror/scifi grind house fan) give it the Ed Wood award for passion and effort. Like W.E.B Du Bois’s science fiction short story The Comet (1925), Son of Ingagi is an important part of the black speculative time line.

Watch the movie now!

*********

jamesgoodridge headshotBorn and raised in the Bronx , New York James is new to writing speculative fiction. After ten years as an artist representative and paralegal James decided in 2013 to make a better commitment to writing. Currently writing a series of short twilight zone inspired stories from the world of art, (The Artwork) and a diesel/punkfunk saga (Madison Cavendish/Seneca Sue Mystic Detectives) with the goal of producing compelling stories.

Black History Month: L.A. Bank’s Bad Ass Black Vampire Slayer

Why television needs Damali Richards, L.A. Bank’s Bad Ass Black Vampire Slayer

by Sumiko Saulson

If someone were to ask me what horror by a black female author was most likely to wind up as a television series, I would say without a doubt, L.A. Bank’s Vampire Huntress Legend series. This extremely well-written paranormal suspense series combines elements of gritty urban fantasy and paranormal romance with outright, edge-of-your-seat, bloody, gory horror. If you like shows like Supernatural, Grimm, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Sleepy Hollow, you would probably love the Vampire Huntress Legend series, and if they made a television show out of it, you’d probably be instantly addicted.

The series revolves around Damali Richards, a young black woman whose main goal in life is to succeed as a musical artist. That’s until she discovers that she’s a Neteru, a vampire slayer, whose destiny is to defend humanity from creatures most still believe to be mythological fiction. In the first book of the series, Minion (2003), Damali is a rising star on a hip hop label with the enigmatic name Warriors of Light. Strange attacks against artists on the label and its rival, Blood Music, lead her into a mysterious web of intrigue. She learns that a group of rogue vampires are behind the attacks.

Leslie Esdaile Banks, the author behind the series, wrote it under the pen name L.A. Banks to distinguish it from her voluminous collection of primarily romance novels. The gritty tone of the Vampire Huntress series distinguishes it from those romances. However, some people may consider the series paranormal romance. Carlos Rivera, a Latino drug lord turned vampire, soon emerges as Damali’s love interest. He spends the first few novels pursuing her. While some might consider the romance central, most consider it secondary, like Buffy’s romance with Angel on the Buffy the Vampire Hunter television series. Like Buffy, Damali is clearly the star. This is her universe, and the rest of the character’s interactions center around her.

L.A. Banks died on August 2, 2011 of adrenal cancer at the relatively young age of 51. During her slightly more than half a decade on the planet, she created an impressive body of work, which includes close to fifty novels and novels, including the thirteen books in the Vampire Huntress Legend series.

The books are Minion (2003), The Awakening (2004), The Hunted (2004), The Bitten (2005), The Forbidden (2005), The Damned (trade paperback), The Forsaken (trade paperback) (2006), The Wicked (2007), The Cursed (trade paperback) (2007), The Darkness (2008), The Shadows (2008), The Thirteenth (2009), and a spin-off, The Shadow Walker: A Neteru Academy Novel (2010) . Thirteen books are quiet enough to keep any television producer busy for many seasons. She wrote all thirteen of the novels between 2003 and 2010. Fans like me were shocked to learn of her cancer diagnosis and devastated by her death shortly after. We were all expecting to see many more of these books by the marvelously talented Leslie Esdaile Banks. Although she isn’t here to see it, I think it is imperative that the world adapt her novel series for television immediately.

Some may think that the world isn’t ready for a vampire slayer series that features a twenty-something black female rapper as its star, and a thug as her Latino lover. I beg to differ. The success of supernatural television serials like The Originals and Sleepy Hollow, which feature prominent black characters, shows that the world is read for the Damali Richards Chronicles, or Neteru, or whatever they are going to call this television show when someone clever finally pitches it and gets it greenlighted.

How fascinated are people with Black Panther? How many people watch American Horror Story just so they can check out whatever characters Angela Basset and Gabourey Sidibe, are playing this season? How fast did Sleepy Hollow tank when they made it all about boring Ichabod Crane and his wife, denying that Abbie and Jenny Mills were the heart of the show? How many people would stop watching The Walking Dead if there were no Michonne? Why are there so many The Vampire Diaries Bonnie Bennett spin-off novels? It’s because strong black heroines sell.

Television desperately needs Damali. Can you see it? Empire meets The Originals.  It would be legendary.

If you are reading this article and you work in Hollywood in any way, shape or form, run out and immediately pick up the Vampire Huntress Legend series. You owe it to yourself, the black community, and America to make this a thing.

********

 About the Author: Sumiko Saulson is Sumiko Saulson is a horror, sci-fi and dark fantasy writer, winner of the StokerCon Scholarship from Hell and 2nd Place Carry the Light Sci-Fi Short Story Award. Born to African-American and Russian-Jewish parents, she is a native Californian and has spent most of her adult life in the Bay Area. She ranked 6th place in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest.

New Anthology Highlights Horror by Black Women

New Anthology Highlights Horror by Black Women

by Sumiko Saulson

Imagine horror where black characters aren’t all tropes and the first to die; imagine a world written by black sisters where black women and femmes are in the starring roles. From flesh-eating plants to flesh eating bees; zombies to vampires to vampire-eating vampire hunters; ghosts, revenants, witches and werewolves, this book has it all. Cursed drums, cursed dolls, cursed palms, ancient spirits and goddesses create a nuanced world of Afrocentric and multicultural horror. Black Woman Magic is a collection of terrifying tales by seventeen of the scary sisters profiled in the reference guide 100 Black Women in Horror. The anthology is edited by Sumiko Saulson and published by Mocha Memoirs Press.

Black Woman Magic is the natural spiritual root for our ancestral legacy in life. It is protection, warrior work, praise/worship, love or it is root-work meant to hex those who harm, cause mischief or to even bring about life lessons and mores. Black Magic Woman is badassness others want,” said Kai Leakes, author of the short story Sisters.

The new anthology runs the gamut from sleek urban fiction to hot horror erotica to gut wrenching terror to mystical dark fantasy. Within the urban fiction horror genre you’ll find Kai Leake’s story of vampire slaying siblings with a little something extra. Kenesha Williams’ Sisters is a tale of a magical detective hot on the trail of a serial killer who only seems to pick off the worse in society. Black and Deadly is Dicey Grenor’s epic Black Lives Matter revenge fantasy about a black goddess hellbent on justice.

“In the 21th century there are very still few characters like us, and out of this small pool many are post-modern “Step-and Fetchit” stereotypes. This is why speculative fiction is so important. This genre helps us to see outside reality, to say: what if? It helps us to imagine and create spectacular, wondrous realms, step back and find the beauty and wisdom there, and then transform our own space,” said Valjeanne Jeffers, author of the short story The Lost Ones.

Sometimes things are both scary and sexy, such as in The Lost Ones, Valjeanne Jeffers’ hot tale of a love-crazed werewolf, his soulmate, and a case of mistaken identity with a wayward succubus. Or Cinsearae’s Killer Queen, the story of a mysterious lady in yellow with a trail of dead would-be lovers and the detective who can’t seem to decide whether to nail her or “nail her,” and Dark Moon’s Curse, Delizhia Jenkins’ story about a player who meets a deadly supernatural femme fatale who is more than his match and may be the end of him.

“It’s always an honor to be included in a project like Black Magic Women. Most of us are in our own corner, writing and promoting, so this project gives us a chance to catch up on each other,” said Return to Me author Lori Titus.

Love gone wrong haunts Return to Me, Lori Titus’ tale of a newly empowered witch and the woman who asks her to cast a love spell on her wayward husband. Family love is found in the zombie apocalypse in the bittersweet story Trisha and Peter by Kamika Aziza. Grandma’s gift comes with unexpected consequences, usually found in the darkest corners of the Twilight Zone, in Crystal Connor’s Bryannah and the Magic Negro, and a young sorceress must learn to control her powers or risk destroying those she loves in Nicole Givens Kurtz’ magical tale Blood Magnolia.

“In a world where Black Women are portrayed to either be mammys, angry, or sassy, I’m so happy for a project like Black Magic Women where we get to be the heroes and maybe even the villains. So many times, because of our lack of portrayal in the media, it seems as if all Black Women characters must be paragons of virtue lest we “shame the community”. Embracing both sides of someone’s humanity, the good and the bad, is to allow them to be fully human. We shouldn’t have to be one end of the spectrum or the other, like all people, we are varying shades of gray and I think this anthology will show that,” said Kenesha Williams, author of Sweet Justice.

Some stories are not for the faint of heart. Sumiko Saulson’s Tango of a Telltale Heart is the story of an African drum engraved with Welsh incantations by the slave daughter of a plantation owner, giving it but one power – to avenge rape, but at a terrible cost. Left Hand Torment by R.J. Joseph tells the tale of Dominque, a young woman who’s marriage prospects at the Quadroon Ball soon turn into the darkest of imaginable horrors. Alternative is a work of horror-science fiction by Tabitha Thompson about a new miracle birth control with grisly and unwanted side effects. Labor Pains by Kenya Moss-Dyme pits a mystical madwoman against her sociopathic killer husband.

And sometimes you just don’t know who to trust. In Nuzo Onoh’s Death Lines, a young woman born with no lifelines on her palms trusts no one, because death is clearly stalking her. Here, Kitty! by L.M. Moore is the story of a sweet old lady, her beloved pet and a friendly stranger. The Prizewinner by Alledria Hurt is about a domestic, her employer, a strange, enticing woman, and a garden of surprisingly unique prizewinning flowers. Last, but certainly not least, is Mina Polina’s Appreciation, a story about an office crush that turns into something more painfully intimidating than anyone could have expected.

Black Magic Women, a horror anthology showcasing eighteen stories by different black female authors, is an outgrowth of a five year old project called Black Women in Horror Fiction originally organized by Iconoclast Productions for Women in Horror Month (2013). Originally a blog series consisting of interviews with and biographies of black women who write horror, in 2014 it became a reference book called 60 Black Women in Horror. February 2018 marks the release of a new, more comprehensive list, 100 Black Women in Horror. The new list is also slated for a February 15 release.

********

 About the Author: Sumiko Saulson is Sumiko Saulson is a horror, sci-fi and dark fantasy writer, winner of the StokerCon Scholarship from Hell and 2nd Place Carry the Light Sci-Fi Short Story Award. Born to African-American and Russian-Jewish parents, she is a native Californian and has spent most of her adult life in the Bay Area. She ranked 6th place in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest.

HorrorAddicts.net 089, Julianne Snow

Horror Addicts Episode# 089

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

———————————————

julianne snow | the raven | edgar allan poe

http://traffic.libsyn.com/horroraddicts/HorrorAddicts089.mp3

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

| dan – raven medley | mimi – fashion | band poll |

| after the fire | raven quiz | horrific history |

| the raven live baycon | free fiction friday – matters of blood |

| david – books | black magic | kbatz – cat people |

| cassandra curtis – ghosts | kbatz- gothic tea society |

| marc – events | saph – julianne snow | mental ward |

———————————————

BayCon 2013 Raven voice work:
Marc Stephenson, Davey Mollander,

Lynette Raygoza, Cathy Raygoza,

Heather Stephenson, H. E. Roulo

& Emerian Rich

———————————————-

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

Sapphire Neal, David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz, Mimi

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

http://www.horroraddicts.net

m u s i c

http://www.graveconcernsezine.com