Why Black Women Write Horror Stories
A not-quite-fictional survey of Black female horror writers in the US
by Les James
"I’m thinking a lot about how I use Afrofuturism in terms of processing trauma as a horror writer … The piece of it that most attracts me is how to take evil … and create sort of a funhouse, mirror-image of it that is not the thing itself but a visual or written expression of a thing that is frightening or frightful ... and creating survivors."
– Tananarive Due
"What Was, What Is, and What Will Be:
A Cross-Genre Look at Afrofuturism"
Black women write horror stories because: US history should be told as a scary story because: Slavery was a living nightmare because: Generations of Black people survived mass kidnapping, physical and psychological torture, rape and murder, and systematic dehumanization because: Look at where we find ourselves today
Black women write horror stories because: Black people still fear for their lives because: White people are still afraid of their own shadows because: Most folks refuse to actually look in the mirror because: They want good and evil to be black and white
Black women write horror stories because: We have to exorcise these demons because: It isn’t just all in our heads because: The monsters we have to face are real because: This country fed upon the flesh and blood of our ancestors to bring itself to life
Black women write horror stories because: Black women have seen some scary shit because: It isn't safe to be black or female because: The past isn't dead even if it’s been buried because: The future could be even scarier
Black women write horror stories because: These are the lessons that Black kids need to learn because: What you don't know can get you killed because: Happy endings don't tell the hard truths because: There’s no sense in lying about it
Black women write horror stories because: We are the hopes of our mothers because: We are the mothers of hope because: We know how to find our way in the dark because: We’ve done this before
Black women write horror stories because: It’s time to right the wrongs that have been done to us because: This is how we help our people make it out alive because: We have always been our own greatest heroes because: Telling our stories has the power to change history