“In the case of the science fiction/horror/thriller genre, not only being present, and not being killed off (usually very early as an expendable character), sends an important message in itself: black people will be present in the future; they will survive; they may even be leaders. And the heroes will not just be black men as reflected in the characters played by Will Smith (Independence Day), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), Wesley Snipes (Blade) and Avery Brooks (Deep Space Nine) in films and popular television programmes. Also, black women as heroes in addition to playing the lone, kick-ass hero, mirroring the singular (male) gunslinger and the single shooter, can also represent characters who act in concert with others and organise collectively against oppression, domination and genocide in the struggle for the survival of humanity, not just against aliens and menacing extraterrestrials, but also against other humans who would sell out humanity, bargain with evil forces and indeed side with them in a Faustian deal. In addition to being warriors, they could also be skilled in diplomacy and war, having opportunities to play the roles of starship commanders much like the character of Captain Janeway in Voyager: the Next Generation, part of the Star Trek television franchise.”
— Sandra Jackson, Professor, DePaul University, from “Terrans, extraterrestrials, warriors and the last (wo)man standing,” a piece that explores the portrayal of female leads in the Alien and Predator franchises.
Nicole Sconiers, author of Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage, recently featured R. Phillips (the producer of The AfroFuturist Affair) on her blog with a guest piece on some of the history behind AfroFuturism and its use as a vehicle for telling the tales of Black folk. Please check out the piece and read other inspirational posts detailing Ms. Sconier’s journey to becoming a spec fic author and her amazing, trailblazing promotional tour from one side of the country to the other (and back again!) in the Beckyville Bookmobile.
I’ve never heard of this before today. Reminds me of difficult it is to get access to stuff or just see it in a collective space, whether it’s knowledgeable people, a group of artists to hang with, or simple information itself. As an artist, it really struck me. Read the rest of the source article if you can, it’s really short. Thanks for this, navigatingthestream.
“Tanekeya Word is an African American artist that lives and works in Washington, DC. Tanekeya considers herself part of a collective of people from the African Diasporans called Afrofuturists. She quotes Afrofuturrism as
‘a way of looking at the world; it’s a sort of canopy for looking at Black diasporic artistic production. It’s even an epistemology that is really about thinking about the future, thinking about the subject position of Black people and how that’s both alienating and about alienation and because the alien becomes to figure quite centrally in Afrofuturism—the outsider figure. It’s also about aspirations in majornity and having a place in majornity and it’s about speculation and utopia. Part of why it’s Afrofuturism in particular is that part of resilience in Black culture and Black life is about imagining the impossible, imagining a better place, a different world” (Alondra Nelson, 2010)’”
I’ve been just using the word “futuristic” to talk about some of my works in progress but this may be a more suitable term, considering the fact that my main characters are Black.
A throwback post by K. Tempest Bradford.