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I Want To Believe

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Beloved Vs. Midnight Robber

Beloved by Toni Morrison and Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson are both wonderful examples of how versatile Afrofuturism can be. In Midnight Robber you are taken to the planet Toussaint where the world is so futuristic that they are actually de-evolutionized.  In Beloved you are on earth in the 19th century after the civil war. There are many ways you can write the Afrofuturistic genre.

One thing that makes these books alike is the language. I think both books have a very patchy version of english in them. In Beloved it’s from not having education but in Midnight Robber it’s because of the slang and accent they have on that planet. It’s interesting to get books that have adapted there own language and slang vs when authors write there universe with the english we use today. It adds and extra detail that most writers don’t want to bother with but if you put the extra time in it’s more immersive.

I think in terms of creatures that habit Toussaint vs earth, earth has the animals and humans we are most accustomed to but in Toussaint there are creatures from Caribbean folklore and we don’t know what happened to other races except  that white people aren’t on the planet anymore.

The characters (Tan Tan and Sethe) are both strong women who overcome the restraints that people put on them (Antonio and Beloved). I think that these stories show us that you don’t always have to be strong to get through things alone. Such as Sethe had Denver, and Baby Suggs while TanTan had Melonhead, Abitefa, and Chichibud who helped her.

Also Motherhood played a important role in both of the stories. Sethe loved her daughters Beloved and Denver and Tan Tan had a child at the end of Midnight Robber which she named Tubman. I think both of them would do anything for their children. But both of the children have negative things about them. Such as Beloved was murdered by Sethe and Tan Tan was raped by Antonio.

I also think both endings left room for hope. It seems that both families moved on and kept living their lives even thought the past kept coming up. This was the case for Janisette and Beloved who hunted and kept appearing in Tan Tan and Sethe’s life.

I also think both books have a spiritual element about them. You have Beloved the ghost and yet you also have all the folklore and spiritual creatures of Toussaint.

These stories are helping me shape my world by showing ways I can use language and spirituality in my world. Though I’m only focusing on one place in my world I still have to think of the background for how this place was made and how culture effects the people in this area. I think it’s also interesting how different places have different jokes, and names for things and so it’s going to be interesting for me to have to think of how these people in my world will also think and act 50 years in the future.cv

 

 

My future

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The future I would like to live in would be were everyone is treated equally. I think we can do this if we invest more into our education and outreach programs to educate people on things they are ignorant about. I also think legalizing same-sex marriage in all countries and having a world wide constitution that states human rights like the U.S. Constitution would further lay out that we are all humans and deserve basic human rights no matter where we are.

Another thing I would like to see would be more renewable energy like solar panels and wind turbines. I read in a article that scientists are in the process of making roads, not out of concrete, but out of solar panels that could easily be replaced if broken and are weather resistant. I think if we replaced the oil plants with the wind turbines it would be safe for wild life, so birds don’t get caught in the turbines, and it would get rid of the oil plants to prevent oil spills, because there are other places to get oil besides the ocean.

Here is a article about solar roadways: http://www.solarroadways.com

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I also think we need better mental health, homeless, or drug-addicted human health care. Theres no reason for anybody to be homeless and I think if we can provide homes for homeless people where they can have a stipend of money given to them every month till they get back on there feet and then also a place to clean they can actually go find jobs. I think also that we should look more into our mental health and everyone should be able to see a doctor and get the medication they deserve. I know sometimes when a certain medicine comes out and there is only one kind that works the company can get bought out and the new owner can amp up prices to a new extreme where people can’t afford them. I don’t know if this is illegal now but it should be. People deserve the medication they need and nobody should be able to stop people from getting it. I also think we need to legalize drugs. I know this sounds like a bad idea due to people getting addicted, but marijuana isn’t a harmful drug and has helped many people. There shouldn’t be people in jail for 20 to life just because they got caught with some in their pocket. I also think if you make drugs legal it will be better to put laws on those drugs and be able to police them a little more, because people are going to do them regardless of them being illegal or not, but maybe someone won’t get life in prison for them. I also think we need to use hemp more often for things like making paper or clothes.

I also think we should invest more money into our space program. I think if we want a future and to be able to expand our knowledge we have to go into space. We need to see what is out there and be able to write about it and see it.

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How are “isms” addressed in Afrofuturism?

In a world where people are treated equally, resources are plentiful, and poverty has been eradicated for years. This world would only be possible if everyone was scientifically altered to think the same. This society would be against the constitution and against human rights. So how else can we shape and show society with these ideas. We can use a topic called afrofuturism. Afrofuturism is the idea that fantasy and sic-fi are mixed together with afro centric ideas and characters. When you’re writing afrofuturism books you can show society in ways not possible in other forms of literature. Afrofuturism has no restraints and lets the writer freely choose how they want to make their world and characters. Afrofuturism can show us the future of our society and how to possibly combat ideas that can destroy the world we deserve to live in and take care of.

I think Afrofuturism is a place where you can address topics such as racism and prejudice in a way that addresses the topic but also gives you more freedom on how you want to address it. When you write about racism in the world you are limited by time periods and restrictions our society has put on groups of people. But if you write about racism in a afrofuturism book you are able to choose everything about the world, since you are now not restricted by our society. You can interchange the two though if you wanted to talk about an event that happened in our world. You can reflect it in yours by writing a similar event with your characters.

Afrofuturism gives writers more freedom and creativity to write about topics that have held them back in their lives. The writers have no limitations now and they are able to write characters that can overcome the limitations they would face in our world. Writers are also able to write about their predictions for our world in their writings. For example Pumzi was written because the filmmaker didn’t like the fact we had to buy natural resources.

I think also writers can show readers worlds and people that our society wouldn’t be able to make because of how we aren’t super technologically advanced, or how we are white centric. In afrofuturism you are able choose how far the society is technologically advanced, and how people think. I think the mixture of sci-fi and fantasy is pretty fascinating. The fact that you don’t have to choose one but can incorporate both into your writings and include real world problems in there as well is awesome.

I think this will make some people be more willing to read about history and know some of the events people based their works off of. This is a way to connect to others through story telling and imagination. This is also a way to connect to minorities that our society doesn’t feature in main media and get them to be main characters in their own stories and get rid of the restrictions society has placed on them.

First Week of Afrofuturism

This week in Afrofuturism I found out that I think the subject is more interesting then I thought. I never thought about the spiritual aspect of the sci-fi genre. When Wanuri Kahiu talked about the vision of the train and how it was imagined as a black snake made of smoke in her Ted Talk, I realized I never really thought about connecting spiritual with sci-fi or even the future. When I think of the future I see a world where everybody is less spiritual and connected to nature but I would like to change that view and make the world more connected to nature. I think being connected to nature and the outside world is important. We live on this world and should take care of it.

I did a African Dance class last year for a semester at stephens and we learned certain dances that connected to aspects of nature. Which just iterates the fact that we should be more connected spiritually and emotionally to the east hand nature.

I also noticed in my perspective point about time. I think relating to time is an interesting aspect. Theoretically I’m always in the present and always overlapping in my past to come to my present point which all leads up to my future. I think it’s interesting to stand outside and realize where I was, there might be a building that used to be there or will be there and somehow I’m overlapping with this object and idea that was in the past and could be in the future.

I like in Afrofuturism is the way the writers can show their struggles and wants/needs in a future perspective. Humans I think and hopefully will always be able to make choices for themselves and act upon their feelings. So the ideas being introduced that maybe we wont always be able to do this and how we are powerless to certain people or feelings is represented a lot in Afrofuturism from what I can see.

I’m excited to start reading the stories and seeing how things progress and are represented in the books.

 

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