Afrofuturism Book Club Recap

2017 has been rushing by and honestly it’s tough to keep up but I’ve been reading to keep some semblance of normality and routine. I may write a separate post later about the phenomenal novels I’ve been reading lately (check out my Goodreads), which include books by Nnedi Okorafor, N.K. Jemisin, and Cixin Liu. The club took a break for February but we’ll be starting back strong in March. Get a preview of what we’re discussing below and send me a message if you want to join us!

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A young reader hanging out after last month’s meeting!

March (upcoming reads!)

Aye, and Gomorrah… (PDF) – Samuel Delany 
DEAR IJEAWELE, OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

January

Black Panther Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet – Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze
A whole new look at a Marvel superhero that has been around for a long time. Awesome in how it centers queer black women and focuses on the internal politics of Wakanda. In the world’s most technologically advanced kingdom, what sociopolitical conflicts do they still face?
Amnesty – Octavia Butler
A not-so-subtle extended metaphor for colonialism. Reminiscent of Lilith’s Brood for those familiar with Butler’s work. Especially rich in how it addresses the question of how an oppressed group moves forward in the face of demonstrably insurmountable oppression.

December

Screamers – Tochi Onyebuchi
A completely novel horror story exploring a question that I’ve been hearing a lot recently: how is all of the injustice we’re experiencing affecting us? I love that he outlines distinct roles and experiences for Black Americans and African Americans.
The Book of Martha – Octavia Butler
An old question of how you would improve the world if you were God. More important than Martha’s ultimate decision, the most interesting part is Martha’s relationship with God and how it changes over the course of the story.

November

Luke Cage Season 1 – Cheo Hodari Coker
Everyone was watching it and it definitely fit the genre, so why not?! We see a fully-formed Harlem complete with considerations of Black music, politics, history, and culture, although the titular character is a bit stiff. I’m personally offended that Luke seems incapable of meeting a beautiful woman and not inviting her to coffee.

October

Binti – Nnedi Okorafor
Winner of two of science fiction’s biggest awards, this novella took me by surprise with its exploration of cultural interaction in a galactic community told from the perspective of a young black girl from an extremely insular tribe.

September

Bitch Planet Volume 1: Extraordinary Machine  – Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine DeLandro
Many club members found the transition to comic book format difficult as they hadn’t read any comics since childhood (if ever). For that reason the discussion was especially rich because while the text was fairly direct, the accompanying imagery created a whole new layer of complexity to this story speaking of the follies of patriarchy.
Ark of Bones – Henry Dumas
An older story with deeply religious undertones that I honestly don’t remember much. There was a male-centered discussion of the abandonment of Afrocentric understanding and adoption of Christian beliefs and values through slavery.

August

The Evening and the Morning and the Night – Octavia Butler
Rain – Maya Glick
See blog post.

July

Bloodchild – Octavia Butler
See blog post.

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