“I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining.”
Welcome to Reading Black Futures, a site dedicated to promoting science fiction, fantasy, and horror by Black authors via book lists, blog posts, and research articles.
My name is Stephanie Renee Toliver, and I am an assistant professor of Literacy and Secondary Humanities at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Informed by my love of science fiction and fantasy texts as well as my experience as a 9th and 10th grade English teacher, my scholarship centers the freedom dreams of Black youth and honors the historical legacy that Black imaginations have had and will have on activism and social change. Specifically, I focus on representations of and responses to Black youth in speculative fiction texts to discuss the implications of erasing Black children from futuristic and imaginative contexts and to assist teachers in imagining how classrooms can use speculative fiction as a means to center Black joy and Black dreams.
You’ll notice an Afrofuturistic vibe to this site because Blackness and Black futures are at the center of the site design. The inspiration and visuals that foreground this site are from the work of Rufus Royster, an amazing Black artist whose work is so dope that I keep asking for more content (and paying for it, of course). Follow him on Instagram (@Artofrufus) and support more of his brilliant work by going to his website and buying all the things!