Response to N. K. Jemisin's Walking Awake
I grew up in a very Black and very Christian household. My maternal side of the family all attended missionary Baptist churches. When I read this story, it reminded me of the story of Joseph in the Bible, and more specifically, the animated movie about him, “Joseph, King of Dreams”. In the story Walking Awake, dreams were an artifact for Sadie. In her dreams, she could communicate with Erni, and in doing so, she planned a revolution. Similar to Joseph in the Bible, Sadie was told to free those that were enslaved. Both hesitated to do so at first, because they knew the consequences of such actions could lead to death.
This also made me think about the role of dreams in my family. When someone dies, you feel comfort when they “come to visit you” in your dreams. It’s a sign of peace, and that they’re okay. When an older woman in the family has a dream about fish, that means someone is pregnant. (They’ve all been 100% in the predictions, as far as I know).
Overall, this piece made me think about dreams as artifacts, and not just something that’s in the background/world building.