Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and Writing Black Futures #BlackHistoryMonth

 N.K. Jemisin’s first short story collection has a bracing title: “How Long ‘Till Black Future Month?” The question of black futures is the focus of afrofuturism, speculative fiction that addresses African-American concerns in the context of technology and futurism. Samuel R. Delany, Octavia Butler, and N.K. Jemisen have all been thought of as afrofuturist writers, but it was the Marvel movie Black Panther that brought some of the afrofuturist visioon to the main steam. Here’s more from The Portalist:

Afrofuturism was a term coined in 1993 by Mark Dery in his article “Black to the Future: Interviews With Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose“. Dery laid out the questions driving the philosophy of Afrofuturism:

“Can a community whose past has been deliberately rubbed out, and whose energies have subsequently been consumed by the search for legible traces of its history, imagine possible futures? Furthermore, isn’t the unreal estate of the future already owned by the technocrats, futurologists, streamliners, and set designers ― white to a man ― who have engineered our collective fantasies? […] Speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth-century technoculture — and, more generally, African-American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future — might for want of a better term, be called ‘Afrofuturism.’

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