AfroFuturism is a genre and a movement. It is science fiction and it is reality. It is past and it is future.
It is our time.
The AfroFuturism Book Club at the Last Bookstore launches on May 8.
This book club series, guided by Tyree Boyd-Pates (CAAM, TedxCrenshaw, Black Book LA), will explore AfroFuturism, focusing on newer titles. These are discussions, not lectures, so come prepared with your insights and questions.
*Please note, there is a fee for this event: “The book is included in the price of your ticket plus snacks and bevs. We’ll be tucked into our club nook, in the heart of our labyrinth.” —The Last Bookstore
First up, Freshwater from Akwaeke Emezi. This novel about identity, with a touch of autobiography, is the story of a Nigerian woman in North Carolina and the ogbanje spirits that are more than mere voices in her head.
“Ada has always been unusual. As an infant in southern Nigeria, she is a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents successfully prayed her into existence, but something must have gone awry, as the young Ada becomes a troubled child, prone to violent fits of anger and grief.
“But Ada turns out to be more than just volatile. Born ‘with one foot on the other side,’ she begins to develop separate selves. When Ada travels to America for college, a traumatic event crystallizes the selves into something more powerful. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these alters—now protective, now hedonistic—move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dangerous direction.
“Written with stylistic brilliance and based in the author’s realities, this raw and extraordinary debut explores the metaphysics of identity and being, plunging the reader into the mysteries of self. Unsettling, heart-wrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.” (Grove Atlantic)
Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist based in liminal spaces. Her debut autobiographical novel Freshwater is a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and an Indies Introduce Title. It received rave reviews from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and The LA Times, among others, as well as starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist. Freshwater was also recognized on 2018 best/most anticipated books lists by Esquire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Bustle, OZY, Electric Lit, and BOOKRIOT, among others. Emezi’s first young adult novel, Pet, will be published in 2019 by Make Me a World, Christopher Myers’s imprint in partnership with Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. Her short story “Who Is Like God” won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa. She was photographed by Annie Leibovitz and profiled in the February 2018 issue of Vogue Magazine, and her video art series The Unblinding recently premiered at Gavin Brown’s enterprise in Harlem.
Born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria, Emezi holds two degrees, including an MPA from New York University. In 2017, she was awarded a Global Arts Fund grant for the video art in her project The Unblinding, and a Sozopol Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction. She received a 2015 Morland Writing Scholarship to write her second novel, and is a 2016 Kimbilio Fellow. Emezi’s writing has been published by The Cut, BuzzFeed, Granta, Vogue.com, and Commonwealth Writers, among others. Her memoir work was included in The Fader’s Best Culture Writing of 2015, and her experimental short UDUDEAGU won the Audience Award for Best Short Experimental at the 2014 BlackStar Film Festival.
Tyree Boyd-Pates is a history curator, professor, writer, speaker, and influencer, with a passion for Black history, social justice, and community organizing. Boyd-Pates received his Master’s Degree in Africana Studies with an emphasis in Religion from Temple University. An avid lover and proponent of Black culture and digital engagement, Tyree founded his own radio show, The Corner, and launched his blog, fusing his love for race, faith, culture, and politics.
Tyree Boyd-Pates has worked as a professor at California State University Dominguez Hills and Pacific Oaks College. He has written for publications, such as The Huffington Post, Yes! Magazine, Fusion and has been featured in the LA Times, Ebony Magazine, and more. He recently delivered a TED Talk at TEDxCrenshaw on Black Male Achievement and serves as a mentor for young men of color with the California Endowment’s Brother, Sons, Selves initiative.
Tyree is currently the History Curator and Program Manager for the California African American Museum, where he recently opened No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992 – an in-depth exploration of the historical events that led up to the 1992 LA Uprising. He’s also the co-founder of the start-up Black Book LA.
5/8/2018 The Last Bookstore @ 7:30 PM:
The AfroFuturism Book Club