Story and Photos By Carlos Ochoa/Staff Writer/@carlosochoaLBCC
A panel spoke to an audience of around 70 students and employees on Tuesday, March 29, about the
significance multicultural novelists in “today’s diverse cultural world.”
Bill Campbell, who co-authored “Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond” with Edward Austin
Hall, used that phrase during the discussion.
Novelist Lisa Bolekaja, who wrote “The WisCon Chronicles Volume 8: Re-Generating WisCon” joined
Campbell and Hall to talk about their collective experiences as novelists, included their stories of how
they started and overcame discrimination and financial challenges. Due to the nature of their work, the
panelists described their struggle releasing controversial material and their struggles simply as African
After the presentation, students were encouraged to ask questions. One person asked Campbell for
advice as a writer and he responded, “In writing, success doesn’t come to the most talented, it comes to
the most persistent.”
Sandra Armenta, 18, a fashion design major, said, “I liked Lisa Bolekaja’s short story and the celebration
of the novelist communication.”
After the public questions, students were encouraged to speak to the panel members individually.
Quinton Henderson, 24, a music major, said, “This was for students who wanted to be empowered and
given a chance. It makes the yeses feel a lot better and the no’s more tolerable. It was very personal,
and made me feel proud to be who I am. It is all starting to resonate higher for me.”
Denzel Harris, 24, an Africana studies major, said, “It taught artists they shouldn’t settle for corporate
America. The inspiration was worth it.”
Maya Chisem, 23, an African studies major, said, “It was really dope, I liked the novelists’ perspectives
on diversity. I love the idea of Afrofuturism,” She is interested in public relations and thinks
multiculturalism is an important aspect of it.
Bolekaja gave advice for aspiring novelists. She said, “There is no magic formula but read, read, read and
widely. Reading graphic novels and different styles of writing is very important to gain a broad
perspective.” People can follow her on twitter @lisabolekaja.
Hall said, “Write 20 minutes every day.” Hall said he believes the value of persistence is important when
it comes to writing.