The month of October is known for the spooky, the costumes, the open interpretations of characters and rituals. It is also the month to observe “Black Speculative Fiction”.
The term “black speculative fiction” was coined by Robert Heinlein in 1947, and it was mostly used to signal a difference between what was considered “popular” fiction from “serious” fiction. Not all fiction has to be considered speculative to fall under the term, however it is important to note that it can encompass all types of art. Black speculative fiction is a term to denote science fiction, fantasy and, horror and all its sub-genres, as seen through a Black lens. It uses all types of art forms, starting from literature, music, movies and even architecture to describe a history, diverse cultures and languages and to spread political, social and philosophical messages. Speculative fiction itself means the ability to re-imagine all you know and transform it into new creative and innovative ideas that may pave the way for new ways of expression and cultural change.
Uniting people through this holiday
Black speculative fiction is an important holiday because it unites people with its diversity. It includes such a wide range of cultures and history that its significance goes beyond any barrier. It allows us to experience situations through the lens of others, to be a part of more inclusive community that overall enriches our history together. The most meaningful purpose of black speculative fiction is to create narratives that express emotions, society and human reflection in a deep and cultural way. It is important that black speculative fiction resonates with the world as it shares its history and cultural diversity for all to experience with of sense of heart and integrity.
The term “Afrofuturism” goes hand in hand with black speculative fiction. The term “Afrofuturism” was first used by Mark Dery on 1994 in Black to the future: interviews with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose. However, it is said that Martin R. Delany was the original with his book Blake; or the Huts of America. It is a novel that chronicles a massive, multi-continent slave revolt. Afrofuturism is a term that is used in science fiction that uses technology, philosophy and art to express the African diaspora in different parts of the world, which uses as an example the different versions of reality they want to create for themselves.
Afrofuturism- Su Ra, Uhura, George Clinton, Jimi Hendrix, and Missy Elliot