AFRICAN AMERICAN SCI-FI often focuses on the history of race relations in Western society — including slavery, the African Diaspora, and the Civil Rights Movement.
OCTAVIA BUTLER, the first black woman to gain widespread acclaim as a speculative fiction writer, is known for works like her standalone 1979 Time-Travel novel Kindred — that explores what would happen to a ‘modern’ black woman who is thrust back into slavery.
An emerging genre author: AGNES GOMILLION, based in Atlanta, Georgia, whose 2019 Dystopian Sci-Fi novel The Record Keeper is set in the aftermath of World War III with the planet in ruins. The main character, training for the titular role, soon discovers the truth behind the racist and oppressive tactics keeping her people in bondage.
Amazing, compelling, and entertaining Black Characters have been part of the SCI-FI genre for decades. TV shows, movies and books can enable us envision a Future when Skin Color does NOT control Human Relationships. Examples include:
Lt. Uhura, (Star Trek), played by Nichelle Nichols. While her role was limited in most episodes, Nichelle Nichols was a fixture on the Star Trek bridge. Because of her casting, many more opportunities opened up for black actors.
Morpheus, (The Matrix), played by Lawrence Fishburne. The elusive Man of mystery, with all the answers to our questions about “the real world”.
Detective Del Spooner, (I, Robot), played by Will Smith. To solve the mysterious death of his mentor, Spooner must overcome prejudice geared towards the world of robots around him.
The POINT is Profound: After seeing Uhura on the bridge of a starship, or rooting for Will Smith to save the world against rogue androids … or zombies … or aliens, it becomes easier for fans of SCI-FI to relate to Black Characters, which in turn makes it easier to relate to Black PEOPLE.
AFRICAN AMERICAN SCI-FI and Afrofuturism go hand-in-hand. The term “afrofuturism” — originally coined by cultural critic Mark Derry in a 1993 essay entitled “Black to the Future”– refers to “the science fiction, fantasy and horror created by or featuring the children of the African diaspora (people of African origin living outside of the continent).” Its importance in part comes from its ability to connect people of African descent not only to their origins, but to each other. It has recently soared to commercial success with the release and critical acclaim of the movie Black Panther.
As Award-Winning Authors who write Sci-Fi for Young Adult readers, we believe that reading Science Fiction can EXPAND your horizons, and OPEN your mind to new ideas. A short, one minute video expressing this notion appears on Dailymotion:
Inspired by Hopi mythology, each volume of THE SURVIVAL TRILOGY explores Native Beliefs and Mythology pertaining to Alien Life — from a unique cultural point of view — book one: Native American, book two: Asian American, and book three: AFRICAN AMERICAN. All are connected … through Hopi prophecy.
Readers’ Favorite on May 9, 2019 described Book Three, BEYOND THE WORLD: “Connecting ancient cultures and wisdom to modern day ideas of aliens and other intelligent life provides a great hook for this inviting and exciting read … recommended for science fiction fans of all ages.”
AFRICAN AMERICAN SCI-FI shows that “Black Lives Matter”. It can help us realize: as Americans, our Need to come together on RACE matters more to our Future … than ever.