Graveyard Shift Sisters supporter, avid horror fan, black girl nerd (!) all around wonderful and fine things make up our first fan participant in 5 Questions Ternell Jade. As an active social media consumer, we reached out to Ternell just to hear what she has to say about Black women and horror.
What is your first memory of being enthralled with horror as a genre?
My first memory of being enthralled with horror as a genre, was when I was around 7 or 8 and I found the Crestwood House Movie Monsters Series of books. The first horror movie I ever saw was either The Terror or Die Monster Die, I can’t remember which as I saw both at around the same age, 7 or 8.
I have more than one favorite for each of these. My favorite horror movies…The Howling, Fright Night, An American Werewolf in London, Candyman, The Blair Witch Project, Trick r Treat, again, there’s so many.
I have more than one favorite horror book/author too. I enjoy Tananarive Due (The Good House and The Living Blood Series in particular), a lot of Stephen King’s work, Joe Hill’s Locke and Key series, Laurell K. Hamilton (The Anita Blake books), Patricia Briggs (I enjoy both her Mercy Thompson series and her Alpha and Omega series), and Dark Corner by Brandon Massey .
Favorite horror television series that no longer run: BtVS (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and to some degree Angel, although they kind of lost me after season 3. Current favorites horror television series, I love Sleepy Hollow, AHS Coven, Grimm, The Walking Dead, and Supernatural. True Blood I’m on the fence about. But this is the last season I’ll be curious to see what they do with it.
Has there ever been a time you felt 'different' for enjoying horror?
Yes, and at times I still do. Mostly attitudes from family, co-workers, and acquaintances like “you should have grown out of that by now” or “We” don’t do that. The “We” in the sentence referring to Black people in general, not necessarily women in specific. But, it still annoys me, because I always wonder who makes these unspoken rules.
Are there any Black women in horror whose work you admire?
Tananarive Due would definitely be one; she’s branching out into film. I’m very excited about that.
How would you like to see the presence of Black women and women of color in horror change in the future?
I don’t know…I’d like to think if we saw more behind the camera (writers, directors, sfx, vfx), we’d see more in front of the camera also. In this day and age that it’s still so rare disappoints me. I watch for Black Women on things like Face Off and I only see maybe one contestant every now and again. In 2008, I also remember a reality show VH-1 had called Scream Queens, they had a Black Woman win one season on there. I think her name is Tanedra Howard. So few and far between, you know? It’s definitely an uphill battle, that’s for sure.
Follow Ternell on Twitter: @MizTification