Ain't I A Woman Collective

Centring the Voices of Women with African Ancestry

Editor’s Note

Our editor, Yossie, shares her thoughts on this month’s theme: BLACK WOMEN IN STEM + SCI-FI.

I cannot claim to be a woman ‘in tech‘, or, widely, the fields of STEM – I merely sit back and marvel at the work that various women, especially women of colour, are doing in these traditionally male-dominated industries. They are doing amazing work and challenging conventions one innovative initiative/project at a time. From ‘Lola Odelola, founder of Black Girl Tech, to Antonia Anni, UX consultant and Founder of Platforms for Women, women with African ancestry are literally bringing their folding chairs to the table and demanding a seat.

Even my youngest sister, who is 15-years old, inspires me. She has a keen interest in coding and what I call ‘computer‘. I know she has designed an app for a school project, and she has completed training courses on the web. When she talks to me about stuff she learns at school, I tease her by saying, “Stop speaking computer; speak English, please.” She knows I mean well. In fact, I have found myself thinking more and more about the future of information and communication technologies, albeit from a theoretical perspective, with thanks to my master’s programme. This year, I also learnt how to build websites out of necessity and emergency. My recent obsession is ‘learning design‘ as I wish to be master of many things. How successful am I? Let’s not talk about it.

In any case, in the creative industries, writers and artistes of all kinds are also challenging the ubiquitous whiteness and current notions of science fiction (sci-fi). At AIAWC, we particularly enjoy the work of Nnedi Okorafor and Nalo Hopkinson. We also acknowledge the influence of Octavia E. Butler, the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship.

Thus, it is only right that we celebrate these women and their achievements. During this issue, we will bring you writing and audio-visual work from/about various Black + African women in STEM and sci-fi. We will also feature interviews with some of them on our Spotlight series.

We hope you enjoy this issue.



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