I'm talking about Zora Neale Hurston and AfroFuturism on Jan 14th. I should caution you before it happens. I'm not a Hurston scholar. I study the real and imagined city. Through that lens the possibility of future landscapes appeals to me. We can see the impact of future oriented thinking in urban narratives in any media.
My concern with Hurston has everything to do with the black socal world informed by urbanization and community building that occurred after 1880 across the South. This is the world that shape her and this is a world ripe with fantastic possibilities and real dangers. Eatonville and the aspirations it represented are crucial parts of this story. I'm thinking of Hurston context of black imaginaries that helped to shape the black experience. While Afrofuturism was coined in the 1990s to discuss black science fiction, there is a historical fantastic narrative tradition that begins in the nineteenth century we should linked to the modern experience. This tradition has much to teach us about black agency in the sociopolitical landscape of the late nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. This is the len I believe offers a way for us to reconsider Hurston's story.