"Futurity is, for me, not a question of “hope”though it is certainly inescapably intertwined with the idea of aspiration. To me it is crucial to think about futurity through a notion of “tense.” What is the “tense” of a black feminist future? It is a tense of anteriority, a tense relationship to an idea of possibility that is neither innocent nor naïve. Nor is it necessarily heroic or intentional. It is often humble and strategic, subtle and discrimi- nating. It is devious and exacting. It’s not always loud and demanding. It is frequently quiet and opportunistic, dogged and disruptive.
The grammar of black feminist futurity that I propose here is a grammar of possibility that moves beyond a simple definition of the future tense as what will be in the future. It moves beyond the future perfect tense of that which will have happened prior to a reference point in the future. It strives for the tense of possibility that grammarians refer to as the future real conditional or that which will have had to happen. The grammar of black feminist futurity is a performance of a future that hasn’t yet happened but must. It is an attachment to a belief in what should be true, which impels us to realize that aspiration. It is the power to imagine beyond current fact and to envision that which is not, but must be. It’s a politics of pre- figuration that involves living the future now—as imperative rather than subjunctive—as a striving for the future you want to see, right now, in the present."
Listening to Images, Tina M. Campt