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