Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L. Womack

By Ytasha L. Womack

Comprising components of the avant-garde, technology fiction, state of the art hip-hop, black comix, and picture novels, Afrofuturism spans either underground and mainstream popular culture. With a twofold objective to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists try to collapse racial, ethnic, and all social barriers to empower and unfastened participants to be themselves. This booklet introduces readers to the burgeoning artists growing Afrofuturist works, the background of innovators some time past, and the wide variety of matters they discover. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and NK Jemisin to the musical cosmos of solar Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am, to the visible and multimedia artists encouraged by means of African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, themes variety from the "alien" adventure of blacks in the US to the "wake up" cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism. Interviews with rappers, composers, musicians, singers, authors, comedian illustrators, painters, and DJs, in addition to Afrofuturist professors, supply a firsthand examine this interesting stream.

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AP Photo/The Canadian Press , Nathan Denette Gender—one’s sense of being masculine or feminine as conventionally defined by ­western societies—is a central part of everyone’s identity. It is also the main focus of sociological feminism. Because clothes are one of the most important means of expressing gender, feminist sociologists have done a lot of interesting work on fashion. Traditional feminists think fashion is an aspect of patriarchy, the system of male domination of women. They note that fashion is mainly a female preoccupation, that it takes a lot of time and money to choose, buy, and clean clothes, and that fashionable clothing is often impractical and uncomfortable, sometimes even unhealthy.

And so the questions multiplied. As if it were not enough that the professor’s sociological evidence upset many of my assumptions about the way the world worked, he also challenged me to understand sociology’s unique way of explaining social life. He defined sociology as the systematic study of human behavior in social context. He explained that social causes are distinct from physical and emotional causes. Understanding social causes can help clarify otherwise inexplicable features of famine, marriage, and so on.

The Industrial Revolution now presented social thinkers with a host of pressing social problems crying out for solution. They responded by giving birth to the sociological imagination. Founders Durkheim French social thinker Auguste Comte coined the term sociology in 1838, but it was not until the end of the 19th century that the first professor of sociology was appointed in France. He was Émile Durkheim (1858–1917), generally considered to be the first modern sociologist. Durkheim argued that human behavior is influenced by “social facts” or the social relations in which people are embedded.

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