Junot Diaz, with just a few simple words, framed my entire childhood of science fiction themed comics, books, movies and television shows in a new and nearly frightening light:
Look, without our stories, without the true nature and reality of who we are as People of Color, nothing about fanboy or fangirl culture would make sense. What I mean by that is: if it wasn’t for race, X-Men doesn’t sense. If it wasn’t for the history of breeding human beings in the New World through chattel slavery, Dune doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the history of colonialism and imperialism, Star Wars doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the extermination of so many Indigenous First Nations, most of what we call science fiction’s contact stories doesn’t make sense.
Without us as the secret sauce, none of this works, and it is about time that we understood that we are the Force that holds the Star Wars universe together. We’re the Prime Directive that makes Star Trek possible, yeah. In the Green Lantern Corps, we are the oath. We are all of these things—erased, and yet without us—we are essential.
I’m the PRIME DIRECTIVE, the reason why the Fremen of Dune (and the entire universe) needed the Kwisatz Haderach, we're why the FRACKING mutants of the X-Men needed both Magneto (Malcom-X) and the Professor (Martin Luther King).
This is why Sci-fi always spoke to this home-girl’s spirit. It was a dialogue on/for/about race, gender issues, identity, “othering”, and the ongoing battle for representation; to be acknowledged and accepted as a member of a society I was born into.