Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Afrofuturism

Hey guys, this is John Weaver, bringing you info on Afrofuturism.

One course I would love to teach is on Afrofuturist science fiction. I am a big fan of African-American fiction, not because I'm trying to be politically correct, but because so much of African-American fiction is geared to people who grew up in religious, working class and lower middle class homes. Among Afrofuturists, I particularly like feminist Octavia Butler. Butler's works are some of the most radical in the science fiction genre. Even when she gets a little doctrinaire, as in Parable of the Sowers (kind of the Handmaid's Tale of Afrofuturism), her characters always have more complexity than those found in white feminists works, like Margaret Atwood. I also have Brother from Another Planet, the first Afrofuturist major film (so far the only one, though there were a couple of minor blacksploitation entries in the seventies), which is interesting but the sound quality makes it slightly hard to understand. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the classic of all Afrofuturist works, Black No More by George Schuyler. Black No More is a hilarious sendup of racism in which all blacks are turned into whites through a scientific process and a one of these new whites becomes a member of a KKK-like organization. Unbelievably, impossibly politically incorrect, especially in the racist thirties, Black No More is the ultimate in science fiction's exploration of race.
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1 comment:

theblackphoenix said...

Hello, and thank you for the post!

If you do end up teaching a course, it might be remiss if you were to leave out discussions of Space is the Place! Perhaps this is what you allude to when mentioning blaxploitation entries, but Sun Ra's contributions could easily be argued as being the strongest pillars (if not THE foundation) to the field. Also, another seminal film for consideration is John Akomfrah's Last Angel of History.

Just some suggestions, and thanks again for your posts!