#BookBingoNW2020: Afrofuturism

#BookBingoNW2020 is upon us!

One of the new categories this summer is Afrofuturism. If you saw Black Panther or watched Janelle Monaé’s emotion picture for their album “Dirty Computer,” then chances are you have already been exposed to Afrofuturism. But have you read any Afrofuturist books?

Dictionary.com defines Afrofuturism as (noun)
“a cultural movement that uses the frame of science fiction and fantasy to reimagine the history of the African diaspora and to invoke a vision of a technically advanced and generally hopeful future in which Black people thrive: this movement is expressed through art, cinema, literature, music, fashion, etc.” Here is a sample from the list to get you started!

Lilith’s Brood by Octavia E. Butler
Seattle author and MacArthur Genius award-winner Butler is considered an Afrofuturism visionary, and all of her work explores Black lives in a genre that had historically centered white and Euro-centric narratives. This omnibus edition of the Lilith’s Brood trilogy explores humanity in the aftermath of apocalypse and first alien contact, and Butler’s extrapolation of the concept introduced in The Parable of the Sower: “The only lasting truth is Change.” You can also read the Xenogensis trilogy separately: Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago.

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
The city of New Orleans in this alternate post-Civil War landscape is a neutral zone and open port. While slavery still exists in Confederate territory, Creeper is a teenage girl scraping her survival on the streets who dreams of commanding her own airship. But the African orisha may have other plans for her.

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin
Triple Hugo Award-winner Jemisin’s short story collection is the perfect introduction to this writer’s prowess and command of science fiction and fantasy stories that will expand your mind and perspectives, break your heart, and leave you breathless.

Futureland by Walter Mosley
While Mosley is most well-known for his Easy Rawlins mysteries, he has always written speculative fiction. These Afrofuturist tales plunge into a near-future American landscape that offers dark mysteries and possibilities.

Everfair by Nisi Shawl
What if the horrible reign of King Leopold in the Belgian Congo had been stopped and instead a utopian community had been created? This Seattle author’s debut novel explores a steampunk alternate history in which a community of freed slaves from the U.S. and Africa forge a collaborative community against the forces of colonial rule.

Also check out PBS’s It’s Lit episode on Afrofuturism!

For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2020 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2020 on social media. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures .

~posted by Misha S.

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