White Men and Power in Space is the Place

In Space is the Place, I noticed the idea of material/earthly desires versus Sun Ra’s “altered destiny”. Although this was shown in many different ways, it seemed especially interesting that earthy desire seemed to be a majorly white concept. Sun Ra was on the planet to reconnect black people of Earth with the natural. He was only doing this for black people, which implied that this connection to naturality (shown partially through his music) is a black concept itself.

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Double-Consciousness of the Overseer in “Space is the Place”

As we discussed, the concept of “double-consciousness” refers to the sense of “two-ness” that comes out of a complex identity that often has features that seemingly contradict or integrate in an intersectional manner. In “Space is the Place” Sun Ra and other Black individuals not only are victim to white racist power, but also to black-on-black violence and exploitation as well – seen through the exchanges with character of the Overseer. Continue reading “Double-Consciousness of the Overseer in “Space is the Place””

Netflix’s Black Mirror: “Black Museum”

As this episode progresses you can really see the way that the futurism of Black Mirror in general coupled with the episodes use of neurotechnology, works to represent the way our society enslave and dehumanize people of color.  The episode opens up with a girl named Nish, who we later find out is there to get vengeance for her father – a convicted murderer – who was tricked by the museum owner (Rolo Haynes) into giving up his digital consciousness post-execution in exchange for money for his family. Continue reading “Netflix’s Black Mirror: “Black Museum””

“Death of the Author”: Lovecraft vs. Jemisin

While reading about H.P. Lovecraft and his racist and anti-Semitic beliefs in class, I was struck with the memory of a concept that I learned about in the first literature course that I took at Geneseo. “Death of the Author”  is an essay written by Roland Barthes in the mid-nineteenth century about his concept of the same name. As a short summary of Barthes’s points, he argues that the consumption of art does not need to be tainted or even affected at all by the beliefs and intentions of its creator. Instead, individual readers can exert their own agency over the work. Continue reading ““Death of the Author”: Lovecraft vs. Jemisin”

One thing I noticed when listening to the ” Writing Afrofuturism ” playlist is the beats and the sound of the songs. Each song has its own unique beat and sound to it, and for me that is a very crucial component to an afrofuturistic song. For example, the songs such as ” Zodiac Sh*t ” or ” Table Tennis ” by Flying Lotus don’t exactly have lyrics that stand out, or have no lyrics at all. However, that does not make the song ” less good.” It just allows the listener to focus more on the beat and make something out of that instead. Even for the songs that do have lyrics, for each song one can already feel the “mood” of the song when listening to its beat or sound. Whether the artist wants you to feel calm, angry or hopeful… one can be able to feel these things or know what the artist is feeling by simply listening to its beat, rhythm or tempo.

The Invisible Man

When first reading, Ralph Ellison’s, Invisible Man I didn’t think much of it as a afrofuturism novel. However, thinking back to it, I now realize that this novel goes into many interesting topics that touches on afrofuturism. I briefly want to talk about the title itself, Invisible Man, and the fact that the protagonist in this novel is nameless. As I was reading this book, in high school, I constantly wondered what the protagonists name was. I also found myself frustrated at the fact that the author does not give us any clue to what his name could be, even after he changes it. Then I realized, once you give someone a name, you have given them an identity and every issue or challenge that person goes through is specific towards them. That’s when I began to understand why Ellison decided to leave the protagonist as nameless, or at least came to an assumption. As the Invisible Man, the author was able to write about the issues and struggles African Americans go through as whole. In other words, the protagonist represented all African American men in America. Even by referring to the protagonist as the ” invisible man” says something, and emphasizes how black people in America are not taken serious, or even acknowledged. We even see the narrator being set up for failure since the very beginning, while trying to find a job, when it is revealed that the true purpose of his scholarship was to keep him running around and waste his time. To me this symbolized how our government system is, and how it was not made for African Americans, or any minority group, to succeed. I just found it very interesting and clever on how Ralph Ellison decided to tackle these issues during the time this novel was written. ( I’m not sure if im making sense, especially to those who have not read the novel yet)