Escaping From Slave Ships To Space ShipsSpinning out of an off-hand comment at Comic-Con from Grant Morrison about how "artists tend to draw white guys," comic critic and commentator David Brothers offers up an insightful essay about what science fiction can represent with regards to black cultural identity.Considering the concept of Afro Futurism and the way in which cultural history propels a pride and belief in a better tomorrow, Brothers writes,
Slavery stripped blacks of almost every possible form of identity. National, familial, religious, and tribal identity were completely wiped due to the slave trade. At that point, what history do you have left? Not much of one, right? What do you do when you don't have a past? You embrace the future. I can't speak to the specifics of Afro Futurism, but it's a common trait amongst a lot of black thought. Boiled down, it's all about being more than what you are, because what you aren't isn't that much at all. We aren't slaves– we're kings and queens. We came here on slave ships, but we're gonna leave on space ships.
The essay draws links between Morrison's Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle series, the music of Sun-Ra, the alternate personas of the Wu-Tang Clan and even references Kanye West to draw up a parallel history of science fiction that may not necessarily identify as such, but is ultimately as inventive and forward-thinking (if not moreso) than something like Meet Dave. It's well worth reading. I Call My Brother Son 'Cause He Shine Like One [4thLetter]