February 5, 2019

11.1: Brown Girl in the Ring pre-read w/ Mendez Hodes: The History of African Religion in Diaspora

This month on Spectology, we're reading Brown Girl in the Ring (https://amzn.to/2G9dqqZ) by Nalo Hopkinson, a classic of Caribbean SF & Fantasy. A young mother must outwit a warlord in post-apocalyptic Toronto in order to save her community, but to do so she'll need the help of that community & its gods.

Adrian & Matt are joined by Mendez Hodes (https://jamesmendezhodes.com), a writer & cultural consultant who works on RPGs and education curricula, who has an academic background is in African Religions. Together, they discuss how African religions found their way to the Americas through the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the details of that religious practice, how to respectfully think & talk about race & non-Western religions, and why rap is the ideal translated form for the ancient Homeric epics. We also talk about science fiction books! 

Some of the books & resources mentioned in this episode:

* Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson (read the book, it's great!)
Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed 
* Black God's Drums by P. Djeli Clarke 
* The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson 
* Xenogenesis series by Octavia Butler 
Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh 

And some nonfiction resources to learn more about Western African religions in the Americas:

* Our episode with Tobias Buckell discussing Caribbean SF in depth. 
* Flash of the Spirit by Robert Ferris Thompson 
* The Serpent & the Rainbow by Wade Davis 
Black Magic by Yvonne Chireau 

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And if you like the episode, subscribe at spectology.com or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

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