African Cultures and High Fantasy

Sunday morning, high fantasy fans were treated to a wonderful panel about African influences in the genre. At 10AM, eager fans filled Marriott A401–403. Panelists Milton Davis and Alledria Hurt delivered a spectacular panel that was packed with information.

They started off  with a brief history lesson that was informative and relevant, weaving more and more historical details throughout. Even though I learned more about African history in that hour panel than I ever did in school, it didn’t feel like a lecture.

Both panelists were well-versed in different African cultures. As they said, Africa is not a country. Egyptian culture is different from Mali culture, and both of them are different from Ashanti culture, and so on.

These cultures have similarities to each other, since they are in the same region, but they have many distinctions, too. For anyone planning to write a book set in one of those locales or based on their culture, you have a lot of research ahead of you.

The panelists also touched on European influences in African culture throughout history, as well as the various fairy tales, folk lore, and religions would influence books.

I wouldn’t even know where to begin to share the all knowledge they imparted on the crowd. If you ever have a chance to hear either of them speak, I highly recommend attending. You won’t regret it.

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