Teaching Black Speculative Fiction

Equity, Justice, and Antiracism
Edition number: 1
Publisher: Routledge
Date of Publication:
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Short description:

This book offers innovative approaches to teaching Black speculative fiction (e.g., science fiction, fantasy, horror) in ways that will inspire middle and high school students to think, talk, and write about issues of equity, justice, and antiracism.

Long description:

Teaching Black Speculative Fiction: Equity, Justice, and Antiracism edited by KaaVonia Hinton and Karen Michele Chandler offers innovative approaches to teaching Black speculative fiction (e.g., science fiction, fantasy, horror) in ways that will inspire middle and high school students to think, talk, and write about issues of equity, justice, and antiracism. The book highlights texts by seminal authors such as Octavia E. Butler and influential and emerging authors, including Nnedi Okorafor, Kacen Callender, B. B. Alston, Tomi Adeyemi, and Bethany C. Morrow.

Each chapter in Teaching Black Speculative Fiction:

  • introduces a Black speculative text and its author,

  • describes how the text engages with issues of equity, justice, and/or antiracism,

  • explains and describes how one theory or approach helps elucidate the key text?s concern with equity, justice, and/or antiracism, and

  • offers engaging teaching activities that encourage students to read the focal text; that facilitate exploration of the text and a theoretical lens or critical approach; and that guide students to consider ways to extend the focus on equity, justice, and/or antiracism to action in their own lives and communities.

"The editors KaaVonia Hinton and Karen M. Chandler have gathered an engaging book with voices that affirm and advance the teaching of Black speculative texts. Most importantly, they honor the creative minds of authors who contribute to young people's literature and scholarship of our colleagues in Black literary criticism. Their book is already groundbreaking in the areas of antiracism and justice and as an essential guide and reference for our current generation of readers and scholars and those in the making, too."

R. Joseph Rodríguez, St. Edward's University, Austin, Texas, former editor, English Journal


"Teaching Black Speculative Fiction is an indispensable tool that echoes the imaginative cosmology of the genre, providing educators with thoughtful applications to explore the rhetorical functions of speculative fiction as a critical literary analysis tool to understand and actively resist systemic racism and injustice."

Roberta Price Gardner, Kennesaw State University

Table of Contents:


Black Speculative Fiction as ?Anchor, Compass, and Sail?

KaaVonia Hinton and Karen Michele Chandler

1. Exploring the Complexities of  Environmental Disaster, Justice, and Racism in Ninth Ward

Julianna Lopez Kershen 

2. The Responsibility to Remember: India Hill Brown?s The Forgotten Girl

Saba Khan Vlach 

3. Reading and Engaging with Kacen Callender?s Moonflower through Intersectional Pedagogies

Meghna Prabir 

4. Illusions of Identity: Counternarratives in B. B. Alston?s Amari and the Night Brothers

Jessica Gottbrath

5. The Power of Voice and Choice: Examining Blackness, Black Girlhood, and Identity in A Song Below Water

Christian M. Hines and Jenell Igeleke Penn

6. Creative Disruptions: Protest Art and Alaya Dawn Johnson?s The Summer Prince

Amanda M. Greenwell 

7. Resilience, Resistance, and Healing in Tomi Adeyemi?s Children of Blood and Bone

Danielle Kubasko Sullivan 

8. Teaching Counterstorytelling in High School using Tomi Adeyemi?s Children of Blood and Bone

Tabitha Lowery

9. Using a Historical Lens to Examine Agency in Mother of the Sea

Tiffany A. Flowers 

10. The Monster or the (Wo)Man in Victor LaValle?s Destroyer

Jasmine H. Wade 

11. Race in the Zombie Apocalypse: Teaching Justina Ireland?s Dread Nation

Michael Patrick Hart

12. Nnedi Okorafor?s Lagoon: Classroom Projects from an Animal Rights Perspective

Rosa Maria Moreno-Redondo

13. ?Slavery Was a Long Slow Process of Dulling?: Octavia Butler?s Kindred as a Medium for Teaching Empathy, Social Justice, and Antiracism

Colin Enriquez

14. Slavery was a choice?: Lessons from Kindred by Octavia Butler

Mercy Agyepong

15. ?I Serve the Spirits and I Heal the Living?: Communities of Care as Sites of Resistance in Hopkinson?s Brown Girl in the Ring

Justin Cosner

16. Understanding by Design with Nalo Hopkinson?s Midnight Robber

Toni S. Stevens