Black and Brown PlanetsThe Politics of Race in Science Fiction

Black and Brown PlanetsThe Politics of Race in Science Fiction

Isiah Lavender

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9781628461237

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

Black and Brown Planets, edited by Isiah Lavender, III, signifies a timely exploration of the Western obsession with color in its analysis of the sometimes contrary intersections of politics and race in science fiction. The contributors, including De Witt D. Kilgore, Edward James, Lisa Yaszek, and Marleen S. Barr, among others, explore some of the possible worlds of science fiction (literature, television, and film) to lift blacks, Latin Americans, and indigenous peoples out from the background of this historically white genre. In two sections, this collection considers the role that race and ethnicity plays in our visions of the future. The first section emphasizes the political elements of black identity portrayed in science fiction from Black America to the vast reaches of interstellar space framed by racial history. Analysis of Indigenous science fiction in the second section addresses the effects of colonization, assists in discarding the emotional and psychological baggage carried from its impact, and recovers ancestral traditions in order to adapt in a post-Native-apocalyptic world. Likewise, the second section explores the affinity between science fiction and subjectivity in Latin American cultures from the role of science and industrialization to the effects of being and moving between two cultures, effectively alienated as a response to political repression. Black and Brown Planets considers how alternate racial futurisms reconfigure our sense of viable political futures in which people of color determine human destiny and, therefore, adds more color to this otherwise monochrome genre.