A Must-Read Visual Essay On Ethnicity, Color, And Colorism In Comics

If you read one comic today, make it "Lighten Up," Ronald Wimberly's short essay about an interaction with an editor who asked Wimberly to lighten the skin tone of a comic book character, which left him with a single, frustrating question: Why? » 3/19/15 3:40pm 3/19/15 3:40pm

The Great Internet Debate Over Not Reading White Men

Hello, dear reader, and welcome to The Kerfuffler! I'm your host, fantasy writer, essayist, and mad tweeter, Saladin Ahmed. Every other week I'll be looking at America's seemingly endless culture wars playing out online, tracing their fault lines, and wading hip-deep into comment sections so you don't have to. » 3/11/15 2:58pm 3/11/15 2:58pm

Many Whites Today Would Have Been Classified as Black in the 1940s

The U.S. has a long history of using pseudoscience to classify people by race. So what happens when we try to use a legitimate science? A new study of a large data sample from personal genomics company 23andme reveals that people's genetic backgrounds have little impact on their racial self-identification. » 12/26/14 4:55pm 12/26/14 4:55pm

​Among Millennials, Support For Obama Is Divided By Race

Several polls show that support for President Obama among the millennial generation has plummeted. Analysts have offered several reasons, including disenchantment with his healthcare initiative and declining trust in government. But one study says the actual fault-line among millennials is a familiar one: race. » 10/27/14 9:20am 10/27/14 9:20am

Fantasy Writer N.K. Jemisin Explains the Rise of Racism in Fandom

N.K. Jemisin was a guest of honor last week at the feminist science fiction convention Wiscon, and delivered a stirring speech about dealing with racism in genre fandom and publishing. She also told a very disturbing story about her own experiences of racism over the past year. » 6/04/14 2:30pm 6/04/14 2:30pm

Home Is the First 3D Animated Film Starring A Black Character

Zak Cheney-Rice at Policy Mic puts it simply: "Not one major Hollywood studio has released a 3D animated feature starring a black character." That's about to change with Home, a new DreamWorks Animation film hitting theaters in November. » 4/18/14 3:08pm 4/18/14 3:08pm

Scott Pilgrim author says it "sucks" that the story was "so white"

Bryan Lee O'Malley is the author of the incredible comic book Scott Pilgrim, which became a movie with Michael Cera called Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Now O'Malley has written a fascinating post about what it meant that the world of the comics looked so white in the movie. » 6/25/13 12:38pm 6/25/13 12:38pm

Is there a technological fix for racism? These scientists say yes.

Playing videogame or virtual reality avatars whose race is different from yours could reduce your racial biases, according to a new study. Now, scientists are using this insight to explore how technology could help build empathy and reduce tension between different groups of people. » 6/06/13 1:19pm 6/06/13 1:19pm

How big is Iron Man 3's "Fu Manchu" problem?

Now that the first trailer for Iron Man 3 is out, we've all seen our first glimpse of the Mandarin, Tony Stark's biggest adversary in the comics. The Mandarin is sort of a Fu Manchu knock-off, who was described as a "racist caricature" by none other than Shane Black, the director of Iron Man 3. So even if Iron Man 3 » 10/26/12 9:40am 10/26/12 9:40am

Do people of different races have different voices?

Is there such thing as a Caucasian, Asian, or African voice? And could you actually identify someone's race just by listening to him or her? Admittedly, the whole notion of race is nebulous to say the least — it's a concept that blends physiological and social differences indiscriminately. But there are still… » 7/23/12 8:00am 7/23/12 8:00am

More racial diversity in Dungeons & Dragons, please

Recently, an article over at Salon tackled the portrayal of race in Game of Thrones and the racial legacy of J.R.R.Tolkien. Now, Tor.com's Mordicai Knode notes that another high-fantasy favorite, Dungeons & Dragons, has its own racial issue, namely Eurocentric homogeny. And it's time for that to change. » 4/12/12 7:30am 4/12/12 7:30am

Which Batmobile would win in a race, the 1989 or the 1960s version?

The Batmobile has gone through more than a few changes over the years, but which Batmobile is the best in terms of raw speed? The new web series Super Power Beat Down pits Adam West's TV Batmobile again Michael Keaton's 1989 movie car. So which one wins the race? » 3/17/12 8:00am 3/17/12 8:00am

Postcolonialism and Science Fiction: An Introduction

Toronto scholar Jessica Langer has just published a fascinating book called Postcolonialism and Science Fiction. In this excerpt from the book's introduction, she defines what that means, and explores some of the major themes in postcolonial SF. Langer currently works as an adjunct professor in the humanities, and… » 12/20/11 4:00pm 12/20/11 4:00pm

Clothing can influence your perception of race

It turns out that something as simple as the clothes you wear can have a profound effect on how people see you, right down to what ethnicity you are. A newly published study chronicled an experiment where social scientists showed subjects pictures of faces that varied between different tones and ethnicities, either… » 9/30/11 7:30am 9/30/11 7:30am

NIH study reveals black scientists are systematically underfunded

Scientists may go to great lengths to eliminate bias from their research, but a study published today in Science is raising troubling questions about the nature of racial bias in the Ph.D. grant review process. » 8/18/11 12:57pm 8/18/11 12:57pm

Epidemiologists reveal that black men in America have a better survival…

Being in prison could save your life - depending on your racial background. A group of epidemiologists studying patterns of death among prisoners have discovered that black men in prison die at much lower rates than black men outside. » 6/23/11 4:56pm 6/23/11 4:56pm

10 of the most embarrassing racial and ethnic stereotypes in science…

Whether it's an alien who might as well be called a "space Jew," or an evil Asian ripping the hearts out of innocent victims in an exotic ritual, racial and ethnic stereotypes in SF often reach facepalm levels of fail. » 4/06/11 10:56am 4/06/11 10:56am

A scientific experiment that dramatically improved the grades of…

One of the big puzzles for education researchers is why students of comparable talents fall into a "racial achievement gap." On average, white students outperform black students when it comes to grades in college classes - even when the students are equally capable. Now psychologists have discovered a simple exercise… » 3/18/11 8:00am 3/18/11 8:00am

This is the city of Sydney morphed into a male and female

One hundred and sixty thousand citizens of Sydney, Australia had their faces photographed in order to make one set of composite faces for the city. See the faces of the city's neighborhoods below. » 11/06/10 11:50am 11/06/10 11:50am

Inside Tu Books, a new publisher focusing on multicultural SF and…

Science fiction and fantasy books for younger audiences are booming — but they still mostly feature white heroes and are aimed at white audiences. So Stacy Whitman is launching Tu Books, a new publisher of multicultural children's and young-adult SF. » 11/05/10 3:30pm 11/05/10 3:30pm