The story of ONYX Pages: A Booktube channel dedicated to Afrofuturism!

In August 2017, I took a leap and ventured into the world of Booktube.

(That’s okay, I had no idea what that was either.)

I discovered Booktube when I was browsing YouTube for videos of a book that I’d read. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a few people had read the book and had even uploaded videos with their reviews of it. In one video, the vlogger used the term “Booktube”, which got me curious.

Booktube, I quickly learned, is the term used to describe the community of people who create YouTube content about books. Similar to makeup bloggers who post videos of makeup tutorials, reviews, and related topics, Booktubers create content that consists of books, specifically:

  • “Hauls”: show-and-tell videos about a group of books purchased or borrowed from the library
  • “TBRs” (“to be read”): videos that contain a list or description of books that the Booktuber is planning to read in a given time period
  • “Wrap-Ups”: videos in which a Booktuber explains – and sometimes reviews – the books they read during a given time period – usually related to their TBR list
  • “Tags”: quizzes created by Booktubers that go viral, in which the Booktuber answers a set of questions based on any number of themes
  • “Challenges”: non-competitive games where Booktubers aim to meet certain reading tasks), and many more…

Delighted to find a community of readers, and hopeful to connect with lovers of Afrofuturism like myself, I brainstormed with my wife and we came up with the channel title “Onyx Pages” and the journey began!

It’s been quite a ride and continues to connect me with interesting and knowledgeable folks from around the world.

Take a look at some of the videos! If you’re interested in the content, you’re invited to subscribe.

https://youtu.be/AzRq9pflO4I

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Curious about Booktube generally? Here’s a very short list of the Booktubers I enjoy are:

Enjoy!

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2018 Reading List: SOULar Powered Afrofuturism Slow-Reading Group

ANNOUNCEMENT! 2018 READING LIST

March 4, 3-5: UNAKITE CIRCLE, hosted by Timm & Tina!
Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown

April 15, 3-6: SHUNGITE CIRCLE, hosted by Claire!
Parable of the Sower, Octavia E. Butler

May 27, 3-6: RUBY CIRCLE, hosted by Lequanne!
A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson

June 24, 11-2: LEPIDOLITE CIRCLE, hosted by Tina & Njeri!
Shadowshaper, Daniel Jose Older

Oct.28, 11-2: MALACHITE CIRCLE, hosted by Njeri!
Ascension, Jacqueline Koyanagi

Please borrow or buy your books early enough to join our discussions! If you have copies of any of these books you’re willing to give or swap, please let us know in the comments!

Stay tuned for location and login details.

We look forward to reading with you in 2018!

SOULar Powered 2018 . Reading List Poster-1

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We Need Afrofuturism Now.

We need to imagine responsibly.

If you doubt the power of the imagination, just turn on the news. Any channel, any day.

Now, more than ever, folks need to be making conscious choices about the images we consume, create and reproduce.

Afrofuturism is a genre that invites us to honour and explore the creative accomplishments and potential of Afrixan peoples. In my view, it provides explanations of and responses to the new face of anti-Black intersectional racism North Americans currently face.

What’s Afrofuturism?

The term Afrofuturism has been attributed to Mark Dery, who coined the term in his 1994 essay “Black to the Future”. He explains:

Speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth-century technoculture – and, more generally, African-American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future – might, for want of a better term, be called “Afrofuturism.”

The notion of Afrofuturism gives rise to a troubling antinomy: Can a community whose past has been deliberately rubbed out, and whose energies have subsequently been consumed by the search for legible traces of its history, imagine possible futures?

– Mark Dery, Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and      Tricia Rose, 1994.

Before this essay and since, academics, artists, musicians, fashion designers, architects and writers have contributed to our understanding of the word. A quick internet search will connect you to worlds of cultural production that provide further explanation.

About SOULar Powered Afrofuturism Slow-Reading Group

Established on January 15, 2015, SOULar Powered Afrofuturism Reading Group is a group of individuals interested in reading speculative, fabulist, magical realist, science fiction and fantasy texts from the Afrofuturism genre.

SOULar Powered Afrofuturism Slow-Reading Group is the expression of collective choice to support the cultural re/production of images, music, film and literary works that honour the innovation, beauty and power of Afrixan peoples.

The group meets in online monthly “Circles” to discuss a pre-selected text. Circles are co-hosted by group members and are facilitated ways that invite participation from those who have read the book, and those who have not.

Our 2017 Reads

Here’s our 2017 Reading Calendar:

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This year, we have also partnered with Glad Day Bookshop and Fresh Paint Cafe (Toronto) and we are looking forward to several exciting events. Stay tuned!

Come Read With Us!

If you would like to join our group, please search for us on FaceBook. We’re listed as “SOULar Powered Reading Group”.

We’re listed as “SOULar Powered Reading Group”.

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