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December 4, 2020

Black Futures edited by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham ~ a Review

by MK French

Black Futures is a collection of artwork, transcripts of conversations, or essays written by Black artists and authors. They contemplate the nature of being Black and creative. The editors realize that the Black experience is varied and impossible to pin down with a single collection and see this volume as a jumping-off point in the conversation as a whole.
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Black Futures
December 2020; One World; 978-0399181139
audio, ebook, print (544 pages); anthology
Beginning with photographs and collages that reflect police shootings and the fear people have, we are privy to discussion regarding art, housing, the Flint water crisis, and even being part of the BDSM community. Politics is a natural topic in a volume like this, given how few Blacks are in positions of power compared to older white men. This means we have a thoughtful discussion about voting rights and election counting, and the need for elected officials to consider the needs of the people. I haven't thought of agriculture or composting as a topic of discussion, but we're presented with historical context as well as current attempts to create communal gardens. 

Not just a story about reclaiming Blackness, the essay "It's Time To Reclaim Our Skin" is a great look at how to appreciate your body and discuss consent. It's important in any context, but especially when many people feel that Black bodies are used without their consent. Other related essays in this section discuss self-care, religion, and relationships. These are topics that have been increasingly politicized, and the book certainly does its job of presenting different viewpoints and making the reader think.

Buy Black Futures at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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  1. I heard these authors interviewed today on NPR, but I only caught about 10 minutes of it and never heard the name of the book so thank you!