Yesterday, I talked about the ongoing projects of the Speculative Literature Foundation, and I’m about to go on to what we’re planning for in 2020. But I wanted to pause for a moment and point out that sometimes, we do spontaneous acts that expand gorgeously.
When Black Panther came out, many of us in the field were talking about how great it was that Black kids could finally see themselves on the big screen as superheroes. It was groundbreaking. But I was also very aware that in the neighboring Chicago community of Austin, there were plenty of low-income schools full of Black kids who wouldn’t be able to go see the movie in theaters. I thought we could do something about that, so the SLF started a little fundraiser — “Let’s raise $1000 to send some of those kids to see Black Panther!”
We didn’t know how the community would respond, but with the help of Scott Woods, Columbus arts organizer extraordinaire, the effort succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. We ended up raising $5000 in a week for those kids, sending classes from four different Austin schools (along with their teachers) to see Black Panther on the big screen. We even added in a little money for their library budgets, so they could buy some more graphic novels and SF/F stories to inspire future creators.
One week, $5000, over 400 kids having an incredible experience, thanks to the generosity of the SF/F community. That’s the sort of thing we can do, together.
That’s why we’re asking you to join us as annual members, to extend our reach — there’s so much more we can do.