African American is an esoteric phrase. It is understood yet applied by a small interest of people. Does the black population identify as African or Black? It depends on one's need to claim their African heritage or place of origin. This need becomes more important when economically beneficial in receiving benefits, contracts or reparations. Reparations is an esoteric phrase understood by few yet impacting all Americans. The people who deserved reparations lived 150 years ago. Today's American population is still bothered by the lost causes of the South and Reconstruction. We ought to acknowledge them and move forward but not with statues or relief packages. I am proposing a virtual economy for these lost causes. How much is being an American worth to you?
Our brand solves the problem of having no job, no money but plenty of time to indulge in someone else's art; watching television, movies, social media, reading books, attending shows, conventions, playing games. Is the problem unemployment? boredom? debt? mental illness? Regardless, there is a solution! Owning Ultimate Voyages: The Comic Gaming Adventure Brand. For the price of reading comic books, certain customers get exclusive rights to residuals. Equity crowdfunding is risky. At least $100 must be invested with hundreds, thousands or more investors needed to bring the venture full circle. Why not participate in a limited liability corporation as a member sharing your enthusiasm with others over social media? Own something that improves race relations rather than ignoring them and expecting legislation to make them better. Being a person of color is never going away.
Black Americans have a need to relate to themselves better, more articulately. We need to change the branding, the storytelling to reflect our desires, ourselves. Constantly venturing into White spaces yet pulled back into Black spaces due to lack of recognition. When White spaces refuse to see the value and Black spaces refuse to see the value, what have I done? The solution is to create a space that de-stigmatizes White spaces and Black spaces; a space where Whites can pull Blacks into a Black space venture. We want to eradicate the n-word. Yet, without understanding it, we lose our American identities. We did not come from Africa as industrious immigrants. We were shipping containers filled with creativity, skill and culture and not allowed to reap the rewards. Our culture was stripped from us, our skill was in-sourced and our creativity was micromanaged. But, today, there are more people who come from Africa in America than were exported in the all the years of slave trading. They actually are immigrants excelling in business, sports, entertainment and political circles. They have a different story to tell. Ultimate Voyages is the story I tell because I never want to lose focus on what makes me uniquely American and African.
After a two year run on a corporately run hosting site, I am back returning to simpler roots. It had expanded as much as it could. But, it was too costly to maintain. The suite of games were developed and couldn't be played online after switching to a much less costly programmer. Anyway, they will be made available for download periodically as interest becomes apparent. Just click on video game on the homepage for the download.
I am submitting a hero and villain to the exhibition in Chicago at the Southside Community Arts Center, home of the Black Age of Comics for September 11th - November 8th to be included in a photo book with prints offered for sale.
I attended a production of the stage play Fairfield about a fictional elementary school's disastrous post-racial attempt to celebrate diversity during Black History Month. The play was not offensive but rather poignant. It ended in chaos with the administrators fighting each other, parents egging on their children to overthrow security and dressing up as the racist stereotypes that they were trying not to become during the First Annual Celebr-Ethnic Potluck and singing We Shall Overcome. There was even a speech by a former Black Panther that brought down the house highlighting just how much he was out of his time. It was a very funny monologue that reminded me of how distant segregation, civil rights, slavery and chivalry are in today's society.
Black Comics Day is August 29 from 1-5 pm at the College Hill branch of the Hamilton County Public Library in Cincinnati, Ohio sponsored by the Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance. I will be distributing free copies of Ultimate Voyages through Language and History and my cosplaying collector cards. Hope to see you there!