I mean, sure, she’s got a major label record deal, is one of only a handful of black women to run her own record label, is one of the most critically acclaimed artists working, and is making a good living while making art according to her own vision and nobody else’s, but her best-performing album only hit #5 in the charts, so obviously she’s doing something wrong. And looking at her work and her career, I think I know what her problem is: she’s never had a white male science fiction fan whose only credentials for writing about music are having co-authored a book about They Might Be Giants write a detailed guide to her work.Philip Sandifer writes A Short Guide to Janelle Monáe and the Metropolis Saga.
Sofia Samatar: It’s on the internet (laughter). It calls itself a pan-African writers collective. There’s currently in process an issue on Afro-futures, and I’m one of the guest editors, and it’s exciting to see, because the majority of the writers we’ve received stories about are based in Africa, though there are also some African diaspora writers involved. I think that once we get ourselves in gear and get the issue out, it’s going to be very exciting. I think it’s something that going to be very important as an intervention in the discourse on Afro-futurism, because it’s very much coming from the African perspective.Pan-African writers collective Jalada has released their second anthology: Jalada 02: Afrofuture(s). [more inside]
This was the official inauguration of indigenous futurism. The movement is in part about speaking back to the SF genre, which has long used indigenous subjects as the foils to stories of white space explorers hungry to conquer new worlds. Given these continuously re-hashed narratives of “the final frontier,” it is no coincidence that western science fiction developed during a time of imperial and capitalist expansion. Science/speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson, known for her use of creole languages and Caribbean oral stories in her works, writes that people of color engaging with SF “take the meme of colonizing the natives and, from the experience of the colonizee, critique it, pervert it, fuck with it, with irony, with anger, with humor and also, with love and respect for the genre of science fiction that makes it possible to think about new ways of doing things.”
Black Empire: George Schulyer, Black Radicalism and Dieselpunk "Sometime in the 1930s, a black journalist is kidnapped in Harlem by the charismatic Dr. Henry Belsidius, leader of the Black Internationale—a shadowy organization determined to build a Black Empire and overthrow the world of white racial hegemony with cunning and super science." [more inside]
Black to the future: science fiction writer Tananarive Due talks about afrofuturism and why it's important. [more inside]
A New Wave of Black Filmmaking: Experimental and Black Speculative Indie Films "A brief survey of the contemporary Black independent film scene yields a long and ever-growing list of experimental and Black speculative (including horror, Afrofuturism, sci-fi, fantasy, fan fiction) short cinema, film trailers, music videos and other projects. (/The Atlanta Black Star) [more inside]
HELLO TO ALL YOU SATURNIANS, THIS CHANNEL IS DEDICATED TO JAZZ, TO SUN RA AND HIS JAZZ SPACE MUSIC. SPREAD THE WORD, PLEASE, BECAUSE THE SATURNIAN CULTURE ALWAYS HAS TO REMAINS ALIVE INSIDE US, SHARE MY VIDEOS, VOTE AND COMMENT. I HOPE YOU'LL ENJOY IT ALL.It's Ascension Day in the Netherlands and what better way to celebrate a four day weekend than by watching a great slab of Afrofuturist jazz extravaganza, courtesy of Youtube channel Sun Ra Soul: the complete 1974 Sun Ra movie Space is the Place?
The Black Fantastic: Highlights of Pre-World War II African and African-American Speculative Fiction: pulp historian Jess Nevins attempts to shine a light on a long neglected part of science fiction and fantasy. [more inside]
Brother from Another Planet (Pts. 2, 3, and 4) is a documentary about Sun Ra and his Arkestra(s) on YT. It features interviews with Archie Shepp, Amiri Baraka, John Sinclair, and several members of the Arkestra as well as several live clips and scenes from the 1974 movie Space is the Place. (previously) [more inside]