Reed’s Flight to Canada as a Manifestation of Afrofuturism


  • Hassanain Ali Hassaan, Hind Ahmed Al-Kurwy College of Education / Department of English/ University of Al-Qadisiyah/Iraq


Ishmael Reed, Flight to Canada, Afrofuturism, and Hoodooism


This paper deals with Afrofuturism as a literary aesthetic whereby African artists, such as Ishmael Reed, can anticipate a counter-reality through which they are able to practice their liberty. Afrofuturism represents the other voice of the marginalized blacks against the white authority and it is a reaction to the heavy use of technology by the whites to promote themselves over other races. It is a means at the hands of the black artists to recognize the inequality and oppression imposed over the Africans. The Afrofuturists often criticize the hegemony of the global status quo whether it is social, political or even technical. Thus, this movement came to existence due to the dehumanization that the Africans have faced since the Middle Passage, the slave trade case; the black nation which has no past, present, and even future from the Western perspective. The main goal that Afrofuturism is about to achieve is to imagine a good future for the Africans far from the white restrictions, and it shows how the blacks can use modern technology, or in general, how the black culture intersects with the twentieth century technological issues. The study discusses Reed’s Flight to Canada (1976), a novel that parodies the slave narrative and at the same time it draws a good future for its black slave characters, Raven Quickskill and Uncle Robin, as they plan to get their freedom away from the white supremacy. While Quickskill escapes to Canada to live in peace and getting his freedom, Robin stays under his slavemaster order plotting one day can manage himself freely.