Recently I received a copy of Octavia Butler’s Kindred graphic novel, which was adapted by Damien Duffy and John Jennings. Reading the story in graphic novel form gave me a chance to see aspects of the book that I didn’t pay as much attention to as before. One was the mechanism by which Dana traveled back in time. On her second trip back to the past, Rufus mentions to Dana that he had seen her in the water right before she came traveled back to the past to rescue him. Rufus tells Dana that he saw her with his eyes closed and that he had stepped into a “hole” in the river where he saw her in a room full of books. He also heard both Dana and Kevin before the second time Dana came back. Rufus, although problematic, has inklings of visionary insight, but does he because of his connection to his future legacy in Dana (Rufus only has black descendants as he only had children with Alice) or because he was at the edge of imagining a different society but the slaveholding, racist, sexist, generally oppressive society around him impeded that?
One of my favorite mottos is to find the magic in the mundane because in doing so you realize how interdependent we all are to each other and to the universe. When we look at the sun and moon, we are so normalized to them that we can easily forget how we are dependent on them for our existence and how much they shape our existence. It has been our ability to use our imagination to see the world beyond the mundane and search for knowledge and meaning as well as our creation of technologies to observe the universe that has allowed us to see that. As I was reading Wendy Hui Kyong Chun’s “Race is/as Technology, or How to Do Things to Race,“she writes that “According to Martin Heidegger in his 1955 ‘The Question Concerning Technology,’ the essence of technology is not technological. Indeed, by examining tools, we miss what is essential about technology, which is its mode of revealing or “enframing.” So how does the creation of technologies to look and observe also reveal ourselves? Who is watching who and who is creating who at the same time?
Warning: some spoilers ahead!
Hey everyone! I am back after taking a short needed break. Last week marked the third year that I have been running this blog! Yay! Happy Anniversary!
Today I return to highlight a few writers I found out about after reading Bilphena Yahwon’s post on Africa Is Done Suffering, “The Writers I Never Learned About.” In this post, Yahwon writes about mainstream literary establishments and education systems lack of inclusion of black women writers in their canons. Her pieces is an addition to a growing critique of these institutions, like Junot Diaz’s “MFA vs. POC” and “We Need Diverse Books Campaign.” Besides listing writers I already knew, she did include ones I did not know as well and wanted to show their work here. The two women and their books I want to feature are Nigerian writers and activists Catherine Acholonu and Molara Ogundipe.
Dr. Acholonu, who passed away in March, was a essayist, playwright, poet and published several books of her own anthropological and scientific research into African cultures, specifically Igbo, and gender studies. Some of her books include “The Gram Code of African Adam: Stone Books and Cave Libraries, Reconstructing 450,000 Years of Africa’s Lost Civilizations, which earned her the award of Professor of African History and Philosophy from Pilgrim’s University and Theological Seminary, North Carolina; The Earth Unchained – A Quantum Leap in Consciousness, A Reply to Al Gore; Motherism – The Afrocentric Alternative to Feminism and The Igbo Roots of Olaudah Equiano”
The Gram Code of African Adam is the first book in her African Adam series and explores the history behind the ancient stone inscriptions of Ikom, Cross River State, Nigeria and contributions of ancient Africans to the world in that they possessed systems of writing. The sequel to the book, They Lived Before Adam, delved into prehistoric origins of the Igbo and that “Igbo oral tradition is consistent with scientific research into the origins of humanity.” She said in a lecture at a Harlem book fair, “Igbo oral traditions confirm the findings of geneticists, that by 208000BC – 208000 BC – human evolution was interrupted and Adam, a hybrid, was created through the process of genetic engineering. However, our findings reveal that the creation of Adam was a downward climb on the evolutionary ladder, because he lost his divine essence, he became divided, no longer whole, or wholesome. All over Africa and in ancient Egyptian reports, oral and written traditions maintain that homo erectus people were heavenly beings, and possessed mystical powers such as telepathy, levitation, bi-location, that their words could move rocks and mountains and change the course of rivers. Adam lost all that when his right brain was shut down by those who made him.”
Her last book and last book of the series, “The Lost Testament of the Ancestors of Adam: Unearthing Heliopolis/Igbo Ukwu – The Celestial City of the Gods of Egypt and India,” theorizes West Africa as a place of origin for other Eastern cultures, like Egyptian culture and hieroglyphs.
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“Speculative Fictions By Women Writers I’m going to Read This Year” on Ladies Finger including works from NK Jeminson, Nnedi Okorafor and Karen Lord.
*”Whitewashing reproductive rights: How black activists get erased” on Salon: “Many in the black community have fought for reproductive justice — but we’re often left out of the story”
*Omega Sirius Moon Interview on Slash ‘Em Up.
*”Astroblackness Conference Co Creator, Adilifu Nama Speaks” on iAfrofuturism.
*“Tunde Olaniran on Otherness, Archetypes, and Activism” Interview on AudioFemme and his Flint: A Sci-fi Love Story feature on MLive..
*”Steven Klein’s Surrealist City Aliens” on Okay Africa featuring Sudanese Model Ajak Deng.
*”The Incoherent Backlashes to Black Actors Playing ‘White’ Superheroes” on The Atlantic: “Comics have a history of altering characters’ races and ethnicities, but outcry over Michael B. Jordan’s next role illustrates that, in American racism, only certain differences matter.”