A new documentary is coming out by NYC filmmaker M. Asli Dukan. The documentary explores the relationship between speculative fiction and black identity.
I have never been a real sci-fi fan, but am finding myself continually intrigued by the genre, especially for its social implications. Science fiction has long been an imaginary space of projections into a near and sometimes plausible future. The same model of reconstructing the present in order to project to the future is fascinating in light of the current relationship between technology and thought/idea production.
Writers of black speculative fiction such as Octavia E. Butler, Samuel Delaney, George Schuyler have long been writing about the transportations of blacks into alternative environments resulting in personal and cultural transformations. As Walter Mosley write, “…the genre speaks most clearly to those who are dissatisfied with the way things are: adolescents, post-adolescents, escapists, dreamers, and those who have been made to feel powerless.” Speculative fiction allows for a space of freedom to imagine. What movements such as Afro Futurism are interested in is harnessing that space into a viable vehicle for actual social and cultural construction that is in effect “engineering feedback between its preferred future and its becoming present.”