In his article The Ships Landed Long Ago: Afrofuturism and Black SF, Mark Bould discusses the general color-blind nature of science fiction. Many pieces of science fiction portray a world where race does not matter because those issues are a thing of the past. Often this results in a general lack of black character representation and a marginalization of their struggle and story. Often there are not black main characters, and are only represented as small parts of the story, and that representation affects the public’s view of them. It is assumed by science fiction writers “that America’s major problem in this area — black/white relations — would improve or even wither away (Bould, 4, Scholes and Rabkin).

Afrofuturism aims to acknowledge in their pieces that this struggle has happened, and likely isn’t going to just go away, especially with the under representation in typical science fiction. It nods a bit to Gil Scott Heron’s Whitey on the Moon, which is mentioned in Bould’s article as well. The space race represented America moving forward, but in doing so they were ignoring the racial discrepencies in their own country, and leaving many black families impoverished. Science fiction mirrors this in a lot of ways by trying to be progressive past racial issues. By doing so they are leaving many stories untold. Bould says,

It is the contention of this issue that sf and sf studies have much to learn from the experience of techno culture that Afrofuturist texts register across a wide range of media; and that sf studies, if it is to be at all radical, must use its position of relative privilege to provide a home for excluded voices with forcing assimilation upon them.

In other words, Afrofuturism does not aim to replace science fiction, but aims to show science fiction writers how to create a world that does not marginalize a population of people. Science fiction, as he describes, has to recognize that they ignore major issues by pushing a color-blind agenda. Megan Halpern described in her writing Feminist Standpoint Theory and Science Communication, that “everyone’s views are partial, incomplete, and unique.” By ignoring the stories of black people, science fiction ignores that they hold a unique perspective. Instead of trying to ignore race all together, they must come to a place where they can allow their voice to be heard and their perspective to be shown.

Fall 2020 LB 492 011