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Afrofuturism in The Walking Dead
Transcript of Afrofuturism in The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead
-a small town sheriff who wakes from a coma in the midst of a Zombie apocalpse
-a fierce and self-sufficient fighter who carries a katana and forms a special bond with Carl
-Sasha's brother, the pair eventually joins Rick's group, but is separated. He helps care for several of the children.
-a tracker who eventually becomes a crucial part of Rick's group. Constantly defies the trope of a white, racist Southern male.
-Rick's son, he is the only child featured who survives from the beginning.
-Tyreese's sister, she is fiery and intense, making her very different from Tyreese.
-a former abused housewife who become self-sufficient, but still cares for the group's children.
-Daryl's extremely racist brother who ultimately saves Michonne and sacrifices himself in order to do the right thing.
The Walking Dead:
What is it?
The Walking Dead
is a television series developed by Frank Darabont in 2010 based on the graphic novel series of the same name. It focuses on a small group lead by Rick Grimes that is attempting to survive a zombie apocolypse in which all those that are bitten or scratched by zombies die and reanimate as undead beings, and those that simply die of natural causes do as well. The series, set in Gerorgia, focuses largely on the retainment of humanity in a society that is predatory in numerous capacities.
What is Afrofuturist about it?
The African-American Female Heroine
Michonne's Soft Side
Michonne as a Fighter
How a zombie apocalypse further affects gender roles
Survival and Racism
Following this scene, Rick disarms Merle and handcuffs him to the roof. When they go to leave, T-Dog goes to unlock Merle and accidentally drops the key, loses it, and leaves Merle for dead.
Prior to this scene Daryl knows that Merle is alive, but that he had to cut off his hand and is now separated from Daryl because of T-Dog. Here, a hord of walkers is approaching and T-Dog has just cut his arm and is bleeding .
It is set in a future society that has been drastically altered by a zombie apocalypse.
Technology is present, seen in the CDC center, but has largely returned to a cruder form. For instance, medical care and supplies are minimal, and knives and bows are better for killing zombies than guns.
Humans and human relationships have been altered, particularly in regard to the notions of family, gender, and race.
Race and gender focus primarily. The show is deliberately filmed and set in Georgia, a site of African-American enslavement, but also part of the Deep South, known historically and currently for racism and difficult race relations. The characters play into and act against these tropes.
Survival: who lives and who dies is not dependent upon race, but rather the ability to survive, which is a complex notion.
Family Dynamics: Who and what a family is
Michonne, Carl, & Rick
Carol, Tyreese, Judith (&Lizzie & Mika)
Michonne saves Andrea
Tyreese and Sasha; this pair demonstrates how some of the gender roles are affected by the zombie apocalypse. Tyreese is a larger, much more physically domineering figure than Sasha, who is thin with a fine bone structure. However, when it comes to shooting, Sasha is much more superior to Tyreese.
The Walking Dead's
What a Post-Apocalyptic Society looks like
Susana Morris: “the Afrofuturist feminism of the text illuminates epistemologies that do not suggest utopian panaceas but instead underscore the important of transgressive manifestations of family and intimacy”(147).
"Afrofuturist feminism is a reflection of the shared central tenets of Afrofuturism and black feminist though and reflects a literary tradition in which people of African descent and transgressive, feminist practices born of or from across the Afrodiaspora are key to a progressive future” (154).
Kent A. Ono’s proclamation in regard to Kendra in
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
: “one more instance of a woman (of color) who cannot be a hero” (149).
Ruth Salvaggio in regard to Octavia Butler: “[she] places her heroines in worlds filled with racial and sexual obstacles, forcing her characters to survive and eventually overcome these societal barriers to their independence” (78).
“we have women who must take the kind of action normally reserved for while, male protagonists” (78).
Morris, Susana M. “Black Girls Are from the Future: Afrofuturist Feminism in Octavia E. Butler’s
Fledgling.” Women’s Studies Quarterly
, 40.3&4 (2012): 146-166. Print.
Salvaggio, Ruth. “Octavia Butler and the Black Science-Fiction Heroine.”
Black American Literature
, 18.2 (1984): 78-81. Print.