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African American Studies: Afrofuturism

Key resources and assistance for research in African American Studies.



"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." The notion of Afrofuturism gives rise to a troubling antinomy: 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?"

--Mark Dery, Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose. 
In Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture (1994), pg. 179-222.  
View the full-text essay:
Art by Manzel Bowman:



SELECTED AUTHORS -- search the catalog! 

Tomi Adeyemi (b. 1993, Nigerian - American) 
Octavia Butler (b. 1947, American) 
Toni Cade Bambara (b. 1939, American) 
Ta-Nehisi Coates (b. 1975, American) 
Samuel R. Delany (b. 1942, American) 
Tananarive Due (b. 1966, American) -- Florida author! 
Kodwo Eshun (b. 1967, British - Ghanaian) 
Nalo Hopkinson (b. 1960, Jamaican) 
Kelvin Christopher James (Trinidadian - American) 
N.K. Jemisin (b. 1972, American) 
Walter Mosley (b. 1952, American) 
Nnedi Okorafor (b. 1974, Nigerian - American) 
Ben Okri (b. 1959, Nigerian) 
Nisi Shawl (American) 
Colson Whitehead (b. 1969, American) 

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