OPINION: How Long Til’ Black Future Month?


Clarice Dombeck

Not only should we reflect on Black history this month, but we need to make change in our community for Black futures. Graphic by Hailey Stessman/The Gateway

This past summer in the midst of the social uprising of Black Lives Matter protest, I read a book that changed my outlook on the Black Lives Matter Movement, and my outlook on life.

The book was ‘How Long Til’ Black Future Month’ by N.K. Jemisin. It was the first time that I had read science fiction as an adult. When I read this book, my intention was to use it as an escape from the world, and everything that was going on around me.

What actually came of it was a deeper understanding of the Black Lives Matter Movement, hope for Black futures, and activation of my creativity, and imagination in a way that hasn’t happened in years.

Something about futuristic stories of alternate universes, utopian societies, magic, witchcraft, and technology got me thinking about my future, and about Black futures.

‘How Long Til’ Black Future Month’ showed me the true meaning of the Black Lives Matter movement. It showed me that Black futures matter. That Black thriving futures matter, and that Black thriving futures are possible. That thriving Black futures is what we are fighting for.

Reading this book showed me to act towards creating thriving Black futures in real life, and in my community.

This Black history month I hope we all take the time to learn from and reflect on Black history.

However, we must also take the time to imagine, to celebrate Black history, Black culture, and Black people, and take action toward creating thriving Black futures.

Want to read “How Long Til’ Black Future Month”? Look at Black-owned bookstores from across the country to see if they have it in their collection!