I. CALL TO ORDER: DUST: Missy Elliott Descends from Planet Rock

Little Simz, Missy Elliott & The Genius Of Afrofuturism | @littlesimz @missyelliott

Listening/viewing Salon: videos by Missy Elliot

 

            Music Lab – Missy Elliott Playlist

-The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)

-She’s a Bitch

-Beep Me 911

-Sock It 2 Me

 

I’m Better

 

Sock It 2 Me

II. N.K. Jemisin

 

We celebrated N.K. Jemisin’s unprecedented Hugo Award for Best Novel three-peat by watching her acceptance speech for The Stone Sky, the final volume in the Broken Earth series. The series began with The Fifth Season (2015) and is followed by The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky. The Fifth Season takes place on a planet with a single supercontinent called the Stillness. Every few centuries, its inhabitants endure what they call a “Fifth Season” of catastrophic climate change.

 

The society of the Stillness is broken up into many “comms”, “use-castes”, races and species. Such as orogenes, people with the ability to control energy, particularly that of the ground (directly) and temperature (indirectly). In a prologue, an extraordinarily powerful orogene discusses the sad state of the world and laments the oppression of his race. He then uses his enormous power to fracture the entire continent along its length, threatening to cause the worst Fifth Season in recorded history. The story then follows three female orogenes across the Stillness from different time periods.

 

In August 2017 it was announced that The Fifth Season is being adapted for television by TNT

 

N.K. Jemisin’s speech – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lFybhRxoVM&feature=youtu.be

 

Shockingly, there was a lot of backlash to her speech which was a whole lot of racist nonsense. However, of note, was N.K. Jemisin’s recent twitter rant answering the question “why do we have to mention her race?”

III. Binti: Home

In probably our most intense and personal discussion, we covered a lot of ground:

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Binti’s journey involves a lot of losing who she thinks she is and the idea of being exposed to things outside of yourself: Okwu, Binti’s otjize, her time at the metropolitan university, her time with the Desert People, her pilgrimage because she thinks she’s unclean. How can we, as she puts it, grow “beyond your cultural cage”?

 

  1. On page 125 Binti says “It’s wrong that I don’t even know of my own … my own people.” To know who you are, under what circumstances do you have to return home? What does it mean to learn of your own people (what does that look like for us)?

 

  1. “When you face your deepest fears, when you are ready,” [her therapist had] said, “Don’t turn away. Stand tall, endure, face them. If you get through it, they will never harm you again.” Binti’s PTSD is an on-going theme of the story. How do we walk through our past and the stories that both formed and hurt us?

 

  1. How do we balance the expectation community has for us (you have a gift) vs. what we want to do (in Binti’s case, dance)?

 

  1. “What we can’t afford to do is let one story keep us from participating in other stories. Maybe this is where reconciliation can begin.” Meduse and Khoush. Himba and Khoush. We have this idea of warring tribes. What does it take to put aside ancient angers, hatreds, and tribal histories of violence?

 

 

Also, we’ve been compiling a list of materials and resources for our Afrofuturism library. Feel free to post any of your suggestions.