BLACK PEOPLE EXIST IN THE FUTURE Book 5: Afropessimism, Current State & Critiques

BLACK PEOPLE EXIST IN THE FUTURE Book 5: Afropessimism, Current State & Critiques

BLACK PEOPLE EXIST IN THE FUTURE Book 5: Afropessimism, Current State & Critiques


It wouldn’t be right to present this series without mentioning the counter points. As we are living in the now, it’s pertinent to take a sober look at the current state of affairs across the black diaspora.


This series is built around afrofuturism. The first criticism of this topic is that the name was created by a wh*te man. Mark Dery used the term in an article where he wrote about his confusion around why so few black writers write science fiction. He also positioned himself as something of a front man into exploring black sci-fi 🥴. At this point, afrofuturism has eclipsed Mark Dery however it’s reminiscent of the ways wh*te society has placed identities upon us which leads us right into afropessimism.


“Afro-pessimism is a critical framework that describes the ongoing effects of racism, colonialism, and historical processes of enslavement including the trans-Atlantic slave tradeand their impact on structural conditions as well as the personal, subjective, and lived experience and embodied reality of African Americans.” - Wikipedia


“According to the 2018 Oxford Bibliography entry on Afro-pessimism written by Patrice Douglass, Selamawit D. Terrefe, and Frank B. Wilderson III, Afro-pessimism can be understood as “a lens of interpretation that accounts for civil society’s dependence on anti-black violence—a regime of violence that positions black people as internal enemies of civil society.”


Afropessimist thought believes that society is built and depends on the subjugation of black populations to function. This isn’t an incorrect assessment. Across the diaspora, black people continue to suffer.


Canada: May, 2021, interim report of the first-ever Black Canadian National Survey provided these bleak findings: “Almost all Black Canadians surveyed (96 per cent) say that racism is a problem on the job, with 78 per cent believing that it is a severe problem. In contrast, less than one in five white Canadians are of the same belief.


Brazil: In 2019, police killed 6,357 people, one of the highest rates of police killings in the world. Almost 80 percent of victims were Black. Police killings rose 6 percent in the first half of 2020. -human rights watch


US: With nearly two months left, 2021 has shattered the record of transgender homicides in a year with 45 to date — most of them Black or Latinx — according to the Human Rights Campaign. Last year held the previous record with 44 trans murders., story written in November 2021


UK: In 2018/19, the Social Metric Commission found that 46% of black African and Caribbean people and 32% of those with a mixed ethnic heritage were in poverty compared with 19% of white British people. Within disabled groups, 40% of disabled ethnic minority adults compared with 23% of white British disabled adults lived in poverty. -


Latin America & the Caribbean: In the recently-published Social Panorama of Latin America, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimates that the number of people living in extreme poverty in the region increased by around 5 million between 2020 and 2021, bringing the total number of people facing extreme poverty to a staggering 86 million. - Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)  


Africa: In Africa, 32 countries criminalized homosexual acts in private as of 2020, which translated to 59 percent of all African countries.


The arms of colonialism still stretch far and wide. Racism, capitalism, imperialism, colourism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, misogynoir, ableism & other forms of bigotry still have us in a chokehold. How can we consider being black in the future when the situation is as bleak as it is? Especially for those of us who are at the intersection of many marginalized identities.


The question now becomes where do we go from here & how do we go from here.


While writing this I came to the realization that afropessimism and afrofuturism are two sides of the same coin. As a visionary, I will always strive towards a better future for black folks worldwide. Afropessimism provides a sobering framework to work from. Acceptance is the first step to healing. Being present in the moment - good, bad & otherwise is necessary to begin imagining a better future for our generations. I don’t have all the answers but I know change begins with the self. I know that we need our community. I know that we must decolonize our minds. I know that we have to put an end to weaponizing anti blackness against ourselves. That begins with knowledge of the full scope of what is going on. Only then can we begin to peel back the layers and break our mental chains. This is the journey.

- eleven

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