Mumia Abu-Jamal is a Sci Fi nerd…?

One thing I didn’t know, which I shall now add to that teetering mountain populated by all those other things I don’t know, was that imprisoned political activist Mumia Abu-Jamal is a sci fi nerd.

Yes. Seriously.

So the best thing that happened to me this weekend was my “Sci Fi in Living Color” event this past Saturday at Pages Bookshop where I was joined by my friends and fellow Detroit Ink Publishing colleagues Cornelius Fortune and Dr. Robert McTyre to talk about the relationship between the African American Experience and science fiction. We had a relatively small, intimate crowd (I think partially because the Saturday afternoon weather was almost too perfect after such a rough winter), but it was an engaging and enjoyable group that left me feeling pretty uplifted once the event came to a close. I also managed to sell some books, which is always a good thing, right?

The second best thing this weekend happened later that same day when my wife and I attended the Detroit leg of the “Octavia’s Brood” book signing tour, which was incorporated as part of the three-weekend-long Detroit Art X  festival activities at the Garden Theater on Woodward just outside of downtown. Listening to the various contributing authors whose pieces were included in the anthology read from their works was the perfect followup to my event and a lot of fun. I also got to meet some more local Detroit sci fi types such as adrienne maree brown, one of the two editors of Octavia’s Brood. Walidah Imarisha, the other editor, happens to be a writer based in Portland, the same town as my step daughter Samiya Bashir, who herself is a remarkable and internationally renowned poet. And yeah, I’m braggin.

But what really stole the show for me on that night was the video of Mumia, who it turns out is a huge Star Trek fan. Which, to me, is a further reminder in this age of sound bytes and rapid fire character assassinations and judgments that folk truly are multidimensional. Somewhere out there is a button-down Tea Party conservative who loves jazz. Somewhere in Idaho is a young white kid who idolizes Malcolm X.

You just never know about humans.

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Writer and musician.

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