The American Supreme Court in Space: Samuel R. Delany’s "The Ballad of Beta-2"

by Isiah Lavender III

Participant(s)  Isiah Lavender III

In this talk, Isiah Lavender III investigates imaginary laws in African American science fiction. He does so to provide a counter-narrative offering a reassessment of American SF’s involvement in the dialogue on race and racism. He uses a new critical term—the noirum—to explore Samuel R. Delany’s underappreciated 1965 novella The Ballad of Beta-2. To that end, he gauges the robust creative response to the idea of colorblindness across time and the possible consequences of ignoring its embedding in our social structures.

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