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Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture Paperback – October 1, 2013
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"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
"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
More About the Author
Her book Rayla 2212 is a sci fi/ Afrofuturist novel that follows Rayla Illmatic's travels through space and time. The book inspired the Race in Space Conference at Duke University October 2013 and debuted at the 2014 Chicago Comic Con.
Ytasha is also author of the critically acclaimed book Post Black: How a New Generation is Redefining African American Identity and 2212: Book of Rayla. She is also the coeditor of the hip hop anthology Beats, Rhyme & Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip Hop.
Her films include Love Shorts (writer/producer) and The Engagement (director).
Ytasha is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and studied media management at Columbia College in Chicago. She resides in the Windy City.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Afrofuturism is described as,
“…going back to ancient traditions so that we can move more correctly into the future.”(pg.116).
A shining example of an afrofuturist is Octavia E. Butler, author of many science fiction novels such as Kindred,Parable of the Sower, and Xenogenesis, among many others. Her books feature brown skinned people who have amazing abilities. Kind of like X-Men.
In some African societies there were shamans, midwives, wise men and women. Slavery is a part of the past. People taken from their homeland, forced into a land not their own and working for free. This stuff can be turned around into science fiction. And Octavia Butler's Pattern Master series does just that.
Ytasha’s interviews and research digs even farther into black history. She explains the Dogon, mermen and mermaids, and time traveling. Afrofuturism is about more than black geeks and anime watchers to Ytasha and other afrofuturists. It is about training our mind to shift into a gear that has not been programmed.
My reflection on Afrofuturism:
At first when I saw the amazing book cover and read the subtitle, I thought I would read about people who were black, geeks and watched Japanese animations like me. But this treasure trove of information burst open my ignorant box and expanded my mind.
Womack credit artists such as Prince, Janelle Monet, Missy Elliot, Outkast and others as afrofuturists and afrosurrealists. Her conversations with black professors, artists and others involved in Afrofuturism is uplifting, inspiring and every word, every page is a call to embracing who we really are and what we can contribute to the world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The essays are a bit over simplistic and there are several grammatical choices that needed to be fixed (run-on sentences especially).Published 10 days ago by Ismael Galvan
A very good source for reference material relating to Afrofuturism. This is a well written book that get directly to the point of what Afrofuturism is considered and what... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
An EXCELLENT reference as a catalog for All "AfroFuturism" books by authors of color. A great addition to any collection to keep track of past, present and future... Read morePublished 17 months ago by C. Hoskins Jr.
It came like they promised it would, and I really appreciate when the product lives up to the expectations of the dealer, and me.Published 22 months ago by Curtis likes