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SYFY WIRE Strong Female Characters

Forgotten Women of Genre: Pauline Hopkins

By Sara Century
pauline hopkins

March is Women's History Month. And while here on SYFY FANGRRLS we celebrate women's achievements throughout the year, we're going above and beyond for the upcoming month with a limited podcast series called Forgotten Women of Genre.

Afrofuturism is becoming increasingly popular as of late with cinematic releases like Black Panther, but this subgenre of sci-fi has been around for well over a hundred years. As an alternate take on science fiction mythos by Black writers, focusing on characters hailing from secret African societies that have escaped colonialism and built technologically advanced utopias, there is no question that Afrofuturism is one of the most important movements in media of the last century. Its themes have laid the groundwork for everything from Sun Ra albums to Basquiat paintings and beyond.

Yet many of the originators of Afrofuturist literature and art are forgotten by the modern era. To whit, we have Pauline Hopkins, a former playwright and entertainer who shifted careers in her 40s to become a novelist and one of the cofounders of The Colored American, the first magazine known to focus specifically on the issues of Black Americans. Though she was to undergo much hardship in her career as a writer, she still gave us one of the earliest works of Afrofuturist literature with her book Of One Blood and is remembered today as the first Black woman to pen a sci-fi novel.

Science fiction, fantasy, and all associated genres have finally evolved from a niche interest into a mainstream staple. But the women who have been instrumental in creating and shaping the nerdverse have largely gone unrecognized. Until today. Forgotten Women of Genre tells the stories of the women who helped some of the most famous fantasy worlds become a reality.

New episodes of this series will be released each day in the month of March, in addition to regularly scheduled episodes of STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS.

Subscribe to STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS and get these amazing stories in your feed all month.