Last week, I read a post about time travel in Black Nerds Network. While we have not reached physical time travel yet and I am not sure I would want that, let’s consider mental and spiritual time travel. The imagination is probably our first vehicle of time travel. Through media, art, artifacts, symbols, stories, traditions, memories and speculations, we move back and forth through time in our minds, exploring our relationships to the past, present and future. Our present environments are gateways to recapturing experiences from previous periods of life, imagining experiences of the next ones and even existing outside of time. As we already know, for people of African descent now, time travel is difficult for us given our histories of slavery, colonialism and racism, but we still time travel despite them, often in hopes that the societies we live in honestly take a look at themselves and their pasts and in hopes of a better present and future. Below are a few time traveling thinkers (BTW, I may update this later):
Ngwatilo Mawiyoo uses poetry as a way to return home and make the future look back at itself. She quotes Robert Pinksy who said, “and as poets too, one of our responsibilities is to mediate between the dead and the unborn.”
Mshai Mwangola is a storyteller and orator who believes in the importance of storytelling for imagination and connecting back to the past and moving into the future.