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What Is Afrofuturism? Part 15: Proto-Afrofuturists

02 Oct

Here are two articles that present previous movements and writers who influence current Afrofuturism and Black Speculative Fiction:

Afrofuturism as an Extension of the Black Arts Movement:”

…Tracing Afrofuturism back to its roots, several familiar names stand out.

One of those is W.E.B. Dubois, who with his 1920 short story “The Comet” may be the father of Afrofuturism. In “The Comet,” a valued black bank messenger emerges from a vault deep beneath the city to discover that he and the beautiful daughter of a white millionaire are the only people alive after poisonous gasses from a comet’s tail have killed the entire population of Manhattan, Harlem included. Written in, what was for DuBois, middlebrow prose, the story’s ending brings these two handsome people almost together as man and woman: “Silent, immovably, they saw each other face to face, eye to eye. Their souls lay naked to the night.” The story toys tantalizingly with sex across the color line, the great American fictional taboo. Suddenly, rapture is pierced by the honk of a car horn as the millionaire father and fiancee arrive from the uncontaminated suburbs. “I’ve always liked you people. If you ever want a job, call on me,” says the father as he hurries his daughter away from desecration and the city…

Click the link above to read the rest.

“The Black Fantastic: Highlights of Pre-World War II African and African-American Speculative Fiction:”

Africans, and those of African descent, have not been treated well by speculative fiction, both inside its texts and in real life. Anti-African racism is a fact of life in Western culture, and was even more pronounced before 1945. Not surprisingly, the number of works of speculative fiction written by black writers is low. But that number is not zero, and it’s worth taking a look at the fantasy and science fiction stories that black writers produced before 1945….

Click the link above to read the rest.

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Posted by on October 2, 2012 in Afrofuturism/Afrosurrealism, Books

 

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