Tananarive Due is the Cosby Chair in the Humanities at Spelman College. She also teaches in the creative writing MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles. The American Book Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient is the author of twelve novels and a civil rights memoir. She recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. In 2010, she was inducted into the Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University.
Due’s novella “Ghost Summer,” published in the 2008 anthology The Ancestors, received the 2008 Kindred Award from the Carl Brandon Society, and her short fiction has appeared in best-of-the-year anthologies of science fiction and fantasy. Due is a leading voice in black speculative fiction.
Due collaborates on the Tennyson Hardwick mystery series with her husband, author Steven Barnes, in partnership with actor Blair Underwood. Due and Barnes also collaborate on a young adult horror/science fiction series including the novels Devil’s Wake and Domino Falls. She and Barnes wrote and co-produced a short film based, Danger Word, based on Devil’s Wake—starring Frankie Faison (“The Wire,” The Silence of the Lambs).
Due wrote The Black Rose, a historical novel about the life of Madam C.J. Walker, based on the research of Alex Haley – and Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights, which she co-authored with her mother, the late civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due. Freedom in the Family was named 2003’s Best Civil Rights Memoir by Black Issues Book Review. As a screenwriter, she is a member of the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA).
From Ashlee Blackwell’s Black Girl (Horror) Nerds excerpt:
A “Production Chick” by trade, Kristina Leath-Malin is also a CG artist, animator, published writer, blogger and Brooklyn, New York dweller. Her passion for horror extends to her published book, Objectification Repackaged: The Women of 21st Century French Horror, a very active New York-based meet-up group for female horror fans, and her upcoming documentary tracing a period in film history notable for African American female participation in the horror genre with My Final Girl: The Black Women of 70s Horror Cinema.
Serving as her Master of Fine Arts thesis, My Final Girl focuses on “the black female characters of 1970’s to early 1980’s horror cinema. The intent of this film is to show how these women were the 1st feminist game changers in horror, before Creed and Clover’s Final Girl-Ripley.” From my reading of Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman’s book, Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890’s to Present (an upcoming part of this series) and the phrase the “Enduring Women” that she uses while discussing the Blaxsploitation era’s re-imagining of classic macabre stories, Leath-Malin makes a compelling argument for the importance of and to celebrate the Black women in these films. The point is furthered through her discussions with women of color scholars, the actresses in these body of films, even female fans “who looked to these women as role models in their youth.”
The statement she makes by titling her documentary My Final Girl is a powerful one. There is an overwhelming sentiment that goes unspoken in horror fandom that people of color, particularly Black women aren’t interested nor active participants. For those of us nerdy enough to cross state lines for horror cons and dedicate serious, academic projects on the genre, it’s not hard to imagine these thoughts from the vantage point of women of color are far-fetched. The use of my is a stern reclamation that pulls Black women from the cliff of the margin and inspires visibility for Black women in horror both in front of and behind the camera.
With enough recognition, my hope for My Final Girl is that it sparks a movement amongst all women of color to claim that visibility in present horror cinema images and share similar creative works with each other in social media and those outside of our racial groups to show the progression that 21st century actually has made and pick up where the 70s left off.
Tune in Sunday 11/3/13 to the Black Girl Nerds Podcast to hear these ladies speak about the topic of Black Women In Horror!