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The Dreamer and the Dream: Afrofuturism and Prophetic Visions of Blackness
A talk by Dr. Roger Sneed: Afrofuturism as a way of Black people expressing
their identity through speculative fictions is fairly new, and yet it is not new. We
can trace the Black use of speculative fiction to articulate visions of Blackness
and critique white supremacy back to W.E.B. DuBois’s 1920 short story “The
Comet.” However, Afrofuturism has made a resurgence, due in part to the
phenomenal success of Black Panther, ongoing interest in the work of Octavia
Butler, and the rise of the “blerd” (a portmanteau of “black” and “nerd”).
Today’s talk uses an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a focal point for
investigating the intersections of Afrofuturism and Black Religious Thought.
Roger Sneed is the Dorothy and B.H. Peace, Jr. Associate Professor and chair of the Religion Department at Furman University. His first book, Representations of Homosexuality: Black Liberation Theology and Cultural Criticism was a critique of the representations of homosexuality within Black liberation and womanist theologies as well as in some forms of Black cultural criticism. He is now writing a second manuscript titled “The Dreamer and the Dream: Afrofuturism and Black Religious Thought” that will be published by the Ohio State University Press. This talk is sponsored by the UCLA Sociology Department and co-sponsored by the Department of African American Studies and the Center for the Study of Religion.