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Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture Paperback

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Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture + Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond + So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613747969
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613747964
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"At last! A real book about a deeply elusive topic—Black people and the possibility of what Sun Ra used to call the Alter Destiny. Ytasha Womack takes us on a quantum romp through the Afro-Multiverse: she explains some of the biggest,  brightest, fastest, heaviest and loudest things in the known world—and beyond!  At heart, Afrofuturism gives you a vast and intuitive feel for some of the most pressing issues facing young progressives in the early 21st Century.” —DJ Spooky

“Ytasha L. Womack’s book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture is one of the most comprehensive and relevant reads in the black science fiction realm to date. I highly recommend this book as it masterfully covers the genre’s humble past, its flourishing present and promising future. This is definitely a fantastically, engaging read. I couldn't put it down.” —Jarvis Sheffield, The Black Science Fiction Society

“When I coined the term "Afrofuturism" in 1992, who knew young cultural critics like Ytasha Womack would make it their own? Accessibly written, with an emphasis on the politics of the here and now, Afrofuturism beckons us through an intellectual wormhole, into a universe where dark matter is, at last, visible.” —Mark Dery, cultural critic, author, lecturer

“This book is the gravity that holds the universe of ideas that define Afrofuturism. Finally, the starting point for our welcomed explorers.” —King Britt, universal sonic architect

"A smooth blend between a personal memoir and a reference source for those interested in delving into the world of afrofuturism." —Futuristically Ancient

"Provocative and highly detailed, accessible to both geeks and laymen... a fascinating glimpse into what Sun Ra called 'the Alter Destiny.'" —Smooth Magazine

About the Author

Ytasha L. Womack is a filmmaker, futurist, and the author of Post Black: How a New Generation Is Redefining African American Identity and 2212: Book of Rayla. She is the creator of the Rayla 2212 sci-fi multimedia series, the director of the award-winning film The Engagement, the producer and writer of Love Shorts, and the coeditor of Beats Rhymes and Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip Hop. She has written for many publications including Ebony and the Chicago Tribune and has appeared on E! True Hollywood Stories: Rappers Wives.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stafford Battle on October 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading Ytasha L. Womack's book AFROFuturism is like having a fascinating conversation with a knowledgeable friend while sharing a generous cup of Earl Grey tea, hot.

For anyone who has not heard of AFROFuturism, Womack's book is an excellent starting point. For those of us who have been involved in AFROCentric speculative fiction, photography, art or multimedia with a futuristic feel, Womack's book is a delightful confirmation that we are not alone in the universe. Womack did considerable research and her notes at the end provide helpful guidance for readers and writers of speculative fiction who want to get more involved.

Womack tell us that AFROFuturism is much more than sci-fi stories about starship captains bouncing throughout the galaxy on sexual conquests. Literature, music, art, dance, politics are all linked to inspire us to create a new future. People of African descent are seeking to go were no "person" has gone before. Each chapter explores a different aspect of AFROFuturism. She manages to meld together anecdotal material, research facts as well as personal insight without being too preachy or lofty. This is not a dry "thesis" written for academic credit, nor smoky, whimsical abstraction. It is a thoughtful document crammed with personal insights.

She suggests that the word "AFROFuturism" is fairly new to the cultural scene. It was first mentioned in 1992 by a writer named Mark Dery. But George Clinton's Mothership had landed long before Dery popularized the term. Sun Ra had been creating music that talked about space and other planets in the 1950s and 60s. Samuel Delany was winning awards for his sci-fi writings in the 1970s. The Dogon nation in Africa had revealed discoveries that puzzled modern scientists long before NASA had been created.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CMKennedy on November 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a self proclaimed Afrofuturist author and artist, I found Ms. Womack's work to be both informative and inspiring. Growing up in the inner city of Cleveland, OH, I often felt alone and isolated while watching Star Trek and dreaming of a better and diverse future. I now feel a sense of community...I have truly found my tribe. :D Many thanks to Ms. Womack for her thought provoking and well researched work. Power Up!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Leonard on November 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
"Afrofuturism" was an incredible read and opened my mind and eyes to a whole culture I never recognized existed. Ytasha definitely did a lot research into this world and engaged me with a plethora of references that kept my interest and made me want to explore this culture more. I will recommend this book to all of my historical enthusiast friends and those who are unaware of that this culture exists in many forms.
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