Future Utopias

We’re nearing the end of 2017’s black history month, so why not simultaneously look backwards AND forward by reading a marvelous essay by SF author Phenderson Djèlí Clark about early African-American utopian speculative fiction and the ways it tried to help readers and authors process and move forward from historic racial trauma?

I am particularly intrigued by Clark’s description of a serial which Pauline Hopkins wrote and published in 1902-03, Of One Blood; Or, The Hidden Self:

“Raised on the racism so pervasive in America, Briggs has come to believe in his own inferiority and has little concern of the black past. This changes when he travels to Ethiopia and finds the lost 6000 year old ancient city of Telessar, which uses futurist technology based on crystals, suspended animation and a means of telepathy.”

Sounds pretty great.