Griots (2011) is a 'sword and soul' anthology, edited by Milton Davis and Charles Saunders. The origins of the anthology - and the genre - are explained in the introductions penned by both authors. In a nutshell, both gentlemen are fans of sword and sorcery fiction, Robert E. Howard and the like, but grew increasingly exhausted with the racism and Western essentialism engrained in the stories. Saunders grants that Robert E. Howard and his contemporaries were 'products of their time', but also notes that 'racism... was an integral part of the popular culture of the early decades of the twentieth century, and as such it pervaded pulp fiction'.
At times, Saunders writes, he could 'let it slide'. But he was also motivated to show that the 'non-stereotypical Africa of history and legend was just as valid a setting for fantasy stories as was the ancient and medieval Europe that served as the common default'.
The editors of Griots describe how they went about, not just creating their own stories, but also finding those by other authors. "There must be more", Davis writes - with these four words kept propelling him both to seek out other authors and also to write his own adventures.