As part of this year’s Juneteenth Celebration at Tennessee State Museum (TSM), entitiled “Looking to the Past to Empower the Future,” the TSM will explore an anthology of thirty-two original stories from the award-winning editorial team of Sheree Renée Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, and Zelda Knight that showcases the breadth of science fiction and fantasy (SFF) from Africa and the African Diaspora. Sheree Renée Thomas, Co-Editor of Africa Risen (Macmillan) will be at the Museum on Saturday, June 10, 2023 for a reading and discussion from 10:30 am – 12:00 p.m., free and open to the public, the Digital Learning Center at the Tennessee State Museum.
In the anthology, there are many mind-blowing Afrofuturistic stories. A group of cabinet ministers query a supercomputer containing the minds of the country’s ancestors. A child robot on a dying planet uncovers signs of fragile new life. A descendent of a rain goddess inherits her grandmother’s ability to change her appearance — and perhaps the world. Created in the legacy of the seminal, award-winning anthology series Dark Matter, Africa Risen celebrates the vibrancy, diversity, and reach of African and Afro-Diasporic SFF and reaffirms that Africa is not rising — it’s already here.
Throughout the day, families can enjoy Storytime and craft activities. There will also be a dance, poetry and music hour followed by a special lecture. Check their website for a full schedule of events: TNMuseum.org/Juneteenth. The event includes an opportunity to purchase books through the Museum store and get them signed by the author.
Sheree Renée Thomas is an award-winning fiction writer, poet, and editor. Her work is inspired by myth and folklore, natural science and the genius of the Mississippi Delta. She is a co-editor of Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction (Tordotcom) and Trouble the Waters: Tales of the Deep Blue (Third Man Books). Her fiction collection, Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future was a finalist for the 2021 Ignyte, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards.
She is the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, associate editor of Obsidian, and also edited the two-time World Fantasy Award-winning groundbreaking anthologies, Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (Grand Central). She lives in Memphis, Tennessee near a river and a pyramid.
Before that, join the TSM Statehood Day Celebration on Thursday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m. For Tennessee’s 227th Statehood Day, the museum will have activities for families, a keynote lecture, cupcakes, print shop demonstrations, and so much more. The Museum is also partnering with Bicentennial Mall and the Tennessee State Library & Archives on activities throughout the day. Plan now to attend events at their neighboring institutions.
The Tennessee State Museum (TSM) also continues exploring the histories and legacies of Rosenwald Schools in the exhibition “Building a Bright Future: Black Communities and Rosenwald Schools in Tennessee” set to open June 16, 2023 and run through February 25, 2024.