Horror books and movies and the real-life horrors of racism that they depict
As Halloween approaches, we are exploring how real-life horrors from America's history of racism show up in horror books and films. Mark H. Harris, one of the co-authors of 'The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror Cinema from Fodder to Oscar,' talks about different eras of Black horror cinema and the origins of the famous racist horror trope referenced in his book's title. Author and academic historian P. Djèlí Clark discusses his story “Hide & Seek,” which was recently included in the collection 'Out There Screaming,' co-edited by Jordan Peele. He also explains how the idea of portraying the Ku Klux Klan as literal monsters in his book 'Ring Shout' was based on his research into interviews with formerly enslaved people. And Professor Kali Simmons exposes stereotypes about Indigenous people that date back hundreds of years and appear in some of the most popular horror works. She also gives examples of positive representation and offers her thoughts on 'Killers of the Flower Moon'.
If you're looking to dive deeper into today's discussion, or you're just looking for a good scare this season, we compiled this read-and-watch list from the show.
Horror Reading List
- The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror Cinema from Fodder to Oscar By Robin R. Means Coleman and Mark H. Harris
- Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror Edited by Jordan Peele and John Joseph Adams, includes the story “Hide & Seek” by P. Djèlí Clark
- Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark
- The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
- Shutter by Ramona Emerson
- Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
- Never Whistle at Night: An Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology Edited by Shane Hawk and Theodore C. Van Alst Jr.
Horror Watch List
- Night of the Living Dead (1968)
- Blacula (1972)
- Get Out (2017)
- Lovecraft Country (TV Series 2020)
- The Blackening (2022)
- Talk to Me (2022)
- Cobweb (2023)
- The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023)
- Mark H. Harris: entertainment journalist, co-author of 'The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror Cinema from Fodder to Oscar'
- P. Djèlí Clark: award-winning fantasy and horror author based in Connecticut. His works include 'Ring Shout' and next year’s 'The Dead Cat Tail Assassins.' His short story “Hide & Seek,” was recently included in the collection 'Out There Screaming,' co-edited by Jordan Peele and John Joseph Adams
- Kali Simmons: Assistant Professor of Indigenous Nations Studies at Portland State University
Special thanks to our interns Lateshia Peters and Joey Morgan.