A F R O F U T U R I S M
To see more of Manzel Bowman's Illustrating Us Black to the Future, click HERE
According to Louis Chude-Sokei, Chair of African American Studies at Boston University, "Afrofuturism isn’t about forgetting the past, but reshaping the past towards the future.” Afrofuturism blends science fiction, fantasy, and tribal tradition to imagine a future without non-African influence. (Alyssa Mercant, What is Afrofuturism? An Illustrated Guide from SUN RA to T'Challa)
"Since the 1990s we have seen an explosion of speculative art rooted in the black diasporic experience. Spanning media and crossing borders, the speculative work offered by these voices has coalesced into a movement broadly defined as Afrofuturism.... Afrofuturism is an evolving theoretical framework that seeks to reframe how we think about the past and future of race and identity, colonial legacies and our approach to science and technology." (Dr. Julian Chambliss, course description of IAH221C Fall 2019 syllabus)
Photo Credit: Third Stone
A Curated Reading/Viewing List from Dr. Julian Chambliss' Introduction to Afrofuturism course syllabus: Afrofantastic: Race, Power, and Gender in the Black Imaginary (IAH 221C - Michigan State University, 2019)
Lisa Yaszek, “Afrofuturism, Science Fiction, and the History of the Future,” Socialism and Democracy 20, no. 3 (November 2006): 41–60.
Samuel R. Delany, “Racism and Science Fiction”
Mark Dery, Black to the Future
Reynaldo Anderson and Charles E. Jones, “The Rise of Astro-Blackness” from Afrofuturism 2.0 (Book order requested)
W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Comet”
Sun Ra Interview (see Interviews)
Sun Ra's Full Lecture & Reading List From His 1971 UC Berkeley Course, “The Black Man in the Universe,” or “The Black man in the Cosmos”
Erik Steinskog, "Blackness, Technology and Changing Same” (Request via ILL)
Lee “Scratch” Perry - Studio Black Ark (see Music); Lee "Scratch" Perry Interview (see Interview)
George Clinton and Parliament – Mothership Connection (see Music); Clinton and P-Funk Interview (see Interview)
Grace Gipson, “Afrofuturism’s Musical Princess Janelle Monae” (in Afrofuturism 2.0)
Janelle Monáe - Q.U.E.E.N. feat. Erykah Badu (see Music); Dirty Computer (see film)
George E. Lewis, “Foreword: After Afrofuturism,” Journal of the Society for American Music 2, no. 2 (May 2008): 139–53.
Pumzi by Wanuri Kahiu (see Film)
Brother from Another Planet (1984) Movie (full run time 1 hr. 48 min.)
Reynaldo Anderson, “A Case Study in Visual Rhetoric, Sequential Art, and Postapocalyptic Black Identity,” From The Blacker the Link: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art (see Books, Chapter 8; ILL from JSTOR)
Dwayne McDuffie and Gregory Wright, Deathlok: The Living Nightmare of Michael Collins (Marvel, 1990) (Book order requested)
Sheena C. Howard, “Black Panther and the Politics of Black Heroism,” Black Perspectives (blog), March 10, 2018. (To locate similar articles use #comicsandrace to search for items on Black Perspectives (see Websites))
BET’s Black Panther, Episode 1 (see Television)
Documentary -- The Last Angel of History (1997)
Andre Carrington, “Space Race Woman” from Speculative Blackness (Book order requested)
Reynaldo Anderson, AFROFUTURISM 2.0 & THE BLACK SPECULATIVE ART MOVEMENT Notes on a Manifesto
Reynaldo Anderson, "On Black Panther, Afrofuturism, and Astroblackness: A Conversation with Reynaldo Anderson", The Black Scholar
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
Zora Neale Hurston Festival | Afrofuturism Conference | January 30-31, 2020 | Orlando, Florida
Black Perspectives serves as the blog for the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). "Today Black Perspectives is the leading online platform for public scholarship on global Black thought, history, and culture."
ICONOGRAPHY: An assignment created by Dr. Julian Chambliss
For this project, you will create a visual set that explores the themes and highlight transformative ideas linked to Afrofuturism. These posters can be created using desktop tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft PowerPoint, or online tools such as Canva.com or Ease.lly.com.
The ICO posters are a different methodology to explore the contributions and perspectives linked to Afrofuturism you have read about throughout the course. All posters will be submitted electronically. These posters will be included in an online gallery governed by a creative commons license. You should sign each poster to ensure attribution.
Each student will complete a set of three (3) posters. The poster themes will be:
Your ICO set will be accompanied by a creator statement. In the creator statement, you will discuss why you made the decision you did in creating your images, describe your inspiration, citing specific ideas from the class readings that shaped your choices, and talk explicitly about other works that inspired your approach. This creator statement will be 500 words.
Link to Julian Chambliss
MAFANIKIO: Land, Industry, and Information across the African Diaspora - An assignment designed by Dr. Walter Greason