Hey Mocha Girls!
I hope you all had a wonderful week and great Valentine’s Day!
I don’t know about any of you, but I am unbelievably excited to see Black Panther! The opportunity to see heroic, supernatural black people on the the silver screen for a major film franchise is such a gift. The movie inspired me to explore more art that includes heroic black folks, which led to a deep dive into Afrofuturism!
For those who don’t know, Afrofuturism refers to “a movement in literature, music, art, etc., featuring futuristic or science fiction themes which incorporate elements of black history and culture.” Often times, black folks are relegated to various stereotypes and tropes in cinema, that only show us in subservient or inferior roles. Afrofuturism allows us to imagine a world where we are at the forefront, telling our own stories, and saving ourselves while being technologically savvy. So if Black Panther leaves you wanted more sci-fi stories featuring people of color, I am going to recommend a few books and authors that willl quench your thirst!
When I researched must-read Afrofuturism books, Binti was at the top of most of the lists. Nnedi Okorafor’s novel follows an intelligent girl named Binti who has been offered admission to a prestigious university, the first of her people to do so. But before she gets a chance to study at the best institution in the galaxy, she gets caught in the cross-hairs of an evil force set on destroying the university. This first installment is a quick read, just 96 pages, but the series are sure to keep you coming back.
The author of this book is a familiar one for us, Colson Whitehead also wrote our June book of the month, Underground Railroad. But before he took us on Cora’s wild journey, he penned his debut novel, The Intuitionist. The book is about the saga of Lila Mae Watson, an elevator inspector in the “intuitionist” school that must learn to figure out what is happening in the world around her after one of the elevators she inspects catastrophically malfunctions. Whiteheads fictionional world is filled with skyscrapers and people are transported to and from through an intricate system of elevators.
3. Seed to Harvest (four part series)
This series was another popular selection among Afrofuturism enthusiasts. Octavia Butler is a celebrated science fiction writer who opened the minds of readers to a world they haven’t yet explored or even imagined. This particular series follows two African immortals, Doro and Anyanwu who concoct a plan to create civilization. But the malevolent one of the pair, Doro, “mounts a colossal selective breeding project, attempting to create a master race of telepaths. He succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, splitting the human race down the middle and establishing a new world order dominated by the most manipulative minds on Earth.” Fun fact, Butler was the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur fellow, which is another great reason to grab this book.
According to Atlanta Blackstar, Saunders is a Black Canadian journalist and Afrofuturist/sci-fi author. Some of his works include “Imaro,” “The Quest for Cush (Imaro 2),” “The Trail of Bohu (Imaro 3).” His most popular work is “Imaro” (1981). This story takes place on the continent of Nyumbani. Imaro is our hero who struggles to be accepted by his people. He goes on many adventures that put him through tests of mind and body in order to make a name for himself.
Steven Barnes careers crosses between books and TV. He’s written for Stargate SG-1 and The Outer Limits. Some of his well known books include, His works include: “Blood Brothers,” “Far Beyond the Stars: Star Trek Deep Space Nine,” “Firedance,” “Iron Shadows,” “Gorgon Child,” “The Kundalini Equation” and “Street Lethal.” Along with his passion for science fiction, he is also an accomplished martial artist.
Those are all the recommendations I have for now! Are there any sci-fi books or authors we should know about? Let us know in the comments below!
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