Whenever we envision a world without war, without prisons, without capitalism, we are producing speculative fiction. Organizers and activists envision and try to create such worlds all the time. Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown have brought 20 of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change.
"Octavia Would Be Proud"
Deidre Clark-Morris is a faithful Christian who has everything she could dream of - except the children her heart longs for. Kenisha Smalls has lived in poverty all her life. She has three children by three different men and has just been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. While the meeting between these two women appears accidental, it becomes their catalyst of hope. Neither woman expects the blessing that God has in store for her.
"What happened to the end of the story???"
While struggling with infertility, Candy and Frankie, a mixed-race couple living in Chicago, decide to adopt a black child. Despite objections from their wildly different families, who beg the couple to go the more "traditional route", Candy and Frankie schedule an appointment with the Department of Child Family Services in the hopes of finding not an infant, but a toddler - a child "no one else wants".
Jada Jackson is the most average of teenage girls. She, like the other girls, has never considered any option other than to attend the local, completely average high school. When the mysterious Miss Genevieve informs Jada that she has been invited to enroll in a seemingly prestigious, yet curious, school for young ladies, Jada hardly hesitates to accept the offer. But on her very first day, Jada learns that Miss Genevieve's promises are more fraught than they initially seemed.
"Watch What You Wish For"
In an increasingly polarized society, and in the midst of seemingly endless culture wars, our civil discourse appears to be in shambles. What are we to do? If a lack of conversation is the primary culprit of the current state, then perhaps intentionally engaging in debate and discussion will lead us in the right direction. From race and police brutality, to concepts of beauty and the body, to sex and dating, Let's Agree to Disagree is an endeavor to revive cultural dialogues from hostility to civility.