Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures

Price: $29.95
ISBN 13: 1588347400

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Product Description

This timely and gorgeously illustrated companion book to an upcoming Smithsonian exhibition explores the power of Afrofuturism to reclaim the past and reimagine Black futures

Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures explores the evolving and exhilarating concept of Afrofuturism, a lens used to imagine a more empowering future for the Black community through music, art, and speculative fiction. Sumptuous, beautifully designed spreads feature 100 gorgeous illustrations of objects and images that reflect Black identity, agency, creativity, and hope, including: T’Challa’s suit from Black Panther, Octavia Butler’s typewriter, Uhura’s outfit from Star Trek, Sun Ra’s space harp, costumes from Broadway’s The Wiz, handwritten lyrics by Jimi Hendrix, and Janelle Monae’s ArchAndroid dress.

Chapters include essays from a diverse group of scholars who reflect on themes such as legacy, alienation, and activism, with profiles on influential people and objects:  
  • Foreword & Introduction:Provides background on Afrofuturism 
  • Chapter 1 - Space is the Place: Reflects on space and its defining connection to Afrofuturism and its African cultural legacy 
  • Chapter 2 - Speculative Worlds: Explores short stories, Black speculative fiction and sci-fi, comics, and Black superheroes as bastions of Afrofuturist expression
  • Chapter 3 - Visualizing Afrofuturism: Analyzes the vast visual culture of Afrofuturism
  • Chapter 4 - Musical Futures: Explores Afrofuturism and music
  • Afterword
Afrofuturism offers a framework of radical potential to envision Black liberation and alternatives to oppressive structures like white supremacy. Afrofuturism comes at a time of increasing visibility for the concept, both in scholarship and in pop culture, and is a compelling ode to the revolutionary power of Black imagination.

CONTRIBUTORS: Reynaldo Anderson, Tiffany E. Barber, Herb Boyd, Ariana Curtis,Eve L. Ewing, Tuliza Fleming, Nona Hendryx, N. K. Jemisin, JohnJennings, Steven Lewis, Mark Anthony Neal, Alondra Nelson, DeNichols, Elaine Nichols, William S. Pretzer, Vernon Reid, MatthewShindell, Kevin M. Strait, Angela Tate, Michelle Wilkinson, Ytasha L.Womack, Alisha B. Wormsley, and Kevin Young

Author Information

The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Kevin Strait, and Kinshasha Holman Conwill
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. KEVIN STRAIT is a museum curator who has worked on the permanent exhibitions "Musical Crossroads" and the "Power of Place,” as well as leading the Afrofuturism exhibition. KINSHASHA HOLMAN CONWILL is deputy director emerita of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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