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5+ Best Afrofuturism Books That Can Help You Connect to Your African and Black Diaspora

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> 5+ Best Afrofuturism Books That Can Help You Connect to Your African and Black Diaspora

Due to a multitude of factors, different races had to spread across continents, and there is no denying that people of color have had worse (or even the worst) reasons as to why they are the ones who have had to suffer and undergo such unfortunate circumstances. Of course, there is nothing wrong with culture spreading from one place to another, but sometimes, that really is not the reason. To be specific, people of color, specifically Africans, had to go through the apartheid system and/or the slave trade.

Now while that is all part of history books, some, unfortunately, feel more lost and disconnected than others. This is quite normal especially if a person has not had cultural influences that would have taught them their culture and ancestry.

This is where Afrofuturism comes in.

What is Afrofuturism?

Coined by Mark Dery in 1993, Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic that explores African-American experiences through mainly science-fiction, history, and fantasy. It also aims to connect people, particularly those from the African and black diaspora, to their forgotten African ancestry.

The term is also highly connected to technoculture and science fiction, and it is generally used in art, music, and literature to show the roles of slavery and how it affected the African-American community.

So with Afrofuturism being on the rise in the world of literature, there are now some books that welcome everyone into being part of this cultural sci-fi niche. Let us take a look at some of the best Afrofuturism books right now.

Binti

Binti

Author: Nnedi Okorafor

Year published: 2015

The first installment to the “Binti” series starts with a woman named Binti. She is the first ever person from Himba who is offered a spot at Oozma University, the finest higher education institution in the galaxy. However, if she chooses to pursue her education, she will miss the chance to be with her family and travel across the stars.

Knowledge always comes at a cost and that is something Binti is willing to pay for, although she knows her journey will not be an easy one. The new environment she wants to enter has been in a long standing battle with Meduse, an alien race that is the very definition of nightmares. Oozma University has offended and Meduse and Binti’s travel to the university is a ticket to death in itself.

If Binti wants to survive through the war, she needs the wisdom and knowledge she could get from her people and from the university, and for her to do this, she first needs to make it there alive.

The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season

Author: N.K. Jemisin

Year published: 2015

The world is about to end this way— again.

Three terrible things are happening all at once. First, Essun, an ordinary woman comes home to find out that her husband murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Second, Sanze, an empire whose innovations built the bedrock of civilization for thousands of years, collapses as its people are murdered due to a madman’s revenge. Lastly, the heart of the continent, the Stillness, has a tear into its heart, spewing ash that can darken the skies for years or even centuries.

Essun now must strive to find her family amidst a deadly land without sunlight, water, and other resources. A war is about to happen in the Stillness. A battle royale for basic resources to get through the long unending night. Essun does not let the crumbling world around her affect her. She does everything she can to save herself and her daughter.

Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower

Author: Octavia E. Butler

Year published: 2000

It is the year 2025 and the world is falling into madness and anarchy, but one woman begins her journey to a better future.

In one of the safely remaining neighborhoods outside of Los Angeles. Lauren Olamina and her family try to survive. Lauren’s father is a preacher who, along with other citizens, try to salvage what is left of their culture that has been plagued by diseases, drugs, war, and water shortages. While her father is too busy trying to save others, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy which makes her vulnerable and extraordinarily sensitive to other people’s pain.

A fire ravages their compound and Lauren’s family gets killed, with her being the only survivor. With this, she and other strangers must find their way to the north for their safety while crafting a plan that could possibly be the salvation for mankind.

Who Fears Death

Who Fears Death

Author: Nnedi Okorafor

Year published: 2010

Genocide plagues a region in post-nuclear-holocost Africa. The Nuru (aggressors), have decided to exterminate the Okeke, as ordered by the Great Book which they religiously follow. However, when the only surviving member of Okeke is brutally raped, she escapes, wandering into the desert. There, she gives birth to a baby girl whose hair and skin are said to be the color of sand. She is different and is named Onyesonwu, which means “Who Fears Death?” in an ancient African language.

Under the guidance of a shaman, Onysonwu discovers her destiny is to end the genocide of her people. In order to fulfill this destiny, she will be challenged to face nature, tradition, history, love, mysteries, and eventually meet death itself.

An Unkindness of Ghosts

An Unkindness of Ghosts

Author: Rivers Solomon

Year: 2017

Aster is known to be the eccentric, obsessive, and withdrawn, which leaves her little to nothing today back to people when she is called an ogre a freak. The words are nothing to her, but she wishes that there is some truth to it. If it were, then she would have already had the power to destroy everything in her world.

She lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel. The Matilda has ferried the last members of humanity to the mythical Promised Land. On its journey, the ship’s officials implemented harsh moral restrictions against dark-skinned people like Aster, who they consider less of a human being.

Aster discovers that there is a link between the death of Matilda’s former leader and her mother’s suicide so she retraces her mother’s steps. Holding a grudge against the villainous leaders of the ships, she learns that there may be a way off of it, but she has to fight for it.

Did you notice a pattern among the books? Did you notice how Afrofuturism revolves the future and how we, as humans, are destined to save humanity or the very essence of being human?

If we think about it, it is quite scary that these scenarios might actually happen in years. Let us just hope that it does not. But if the time comes that we have to defend our lives against other entities, we can only hope that we retrace our steps back to our culture and what brought us together in the first place: love, life, and being human.

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