#48 We Can Make the Cities Levitate (with Tochi Onyebuchi)
Tochi Onyebuchi is the award-winning author of several works of speculative fiction. His most recent novel, Riot Baby, strikes at the heart of our collective reckoning with systemic racism. It is a searing, powerful, and deeply insightful take on what it is to be Black in America, on our prison industrial complex, on what it is to have power and freedom.
The title of this episode is a subtle nod to the science fiction that influenced Tochi’s own writing. It also evokes the powers of Ella, one of the book’s main protagonists. Riot Baby explores the question of what a young Black girl like Ella would do if she grew up to discover she had powers far beyond what most of us could imagine. It's an incredible work of fiction that brings to life the moment in a way that no other book I've read right now is doing.
Tochi is a deeply thoughtful human being who has some real wisdom to share on how we move in this world of ours. On how we live, on how we connect. If you care at all about questions of systemic racism, systemic injustice, on what it is to reach reconciliation - if that's even possible as a country as a result of our long history and legacy of slavery and racial oppression - then this conversation is for you.
p.s. and be sure to look for Tochi’s forthcoming work of non-fiction (S)kinfolk, which speaks to Tochi’s own emotional and intellectual journey through his own education in Blackness. You can pre-order it here.
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EPISODE #48 NOTES
Check out all of Tochi’s writings here
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie