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What is Afrofuturism? Part 3

12 Dec

Here are two posts expanding more on the term afrofuturism:

Afrofuturism: A Beautiful History, A Brave New World” by Nicole D. Sconiers

“We have a beautiful history, and we shall create another in the future that will astonish the world.”
— Marcus Garvey

AfroFuturism is a culture that has emerged to render a portrait of the collective history, the present happenings, and the future prospects of people of color, where heretofore our stories and our roles have been skewed, misrepresented, and diminished in the mainstream social narrative. Sampling from the visual, sensual, and literary pallets of science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, horror, and magic, Afrofuturism as a genre considers what it means to be of color throughout space and time, all while considering the present day influence of people of color upon the world, and our collective roles in shaping the eternally-unfolding future of humanity.

Many of us were Afrofuturists long before it had a name. The umbrella term for the Black presence in sci-fi, technology, magic and the like is a fairly modern creation, coined in 1994 by a culture critic named Mark Dery.  Although we apply this term retrospectively to encompass speculative fiction, film, art, and music created by people of color, we must recognize that the concepts and phenomenon fueling Afrofuturism have been around for as long as there have been people to observe it and communicate it.   Whether you call it mythology, ghost stories, parable, folktale, sci-fi, religious tale, or fantasy, people of color have always contemplated their origins in the same breath that they anticipated the fate of humankind. From the Dogon tribe to the Mayans, from the old negro spirituals to the tunes of Outkast, people of color have forever been passing down their accounts of what has come to pass upon our people and what is still yet to come. We will likely continue to do so until time the day that time leaves us all behind.

Afro-futurism” by Mark Rockeymoore

Afrofuturism is not science-fiction. It is not a mechanical, technology driven vision of the future because an afro ain’t never been about anything constricting or orderly, in the hierarchical sense. Rather, an afro is free-flowing, loving the wind. Changing, shifting and drifting on the breeze, bending this way, puffing out or just plain swaying gently from side to side, following the whimsical inclinations of the melanated person upon who’s head it is perched. An afro can be taken from, it can be added to, yet it still retains its own natural structure, its own spiral and bouncy nature. It is flexible, yet patterned. It is about synthesis and holism. It is about accepting the kitchens and working the waves on the crown. It is about dreading, locking and following the patterns of nature where they lead, yet following a laterally delineated order. It is about the interplay between dominant and recessive genes. It is about diversity. It is about knowing purposes and determining the placement of diverse variables within their proper context.

Afrofuturism is about knowledge. It is about intuitively understanding the harmonics of the Earth and solar system, their electromagnetic interactions: the effect of a butterfly in Brazil upon a hurricane in France, the weather patterns of the Earth, the living cycles of our days and nights and the stilling of the mind. The rotation and evolution of the galaxy and the oneness of the universe. The true, inner connectivity between each being on this planet. The simplicity of knowing truly, what love is. It is about the science of relationships, of clearing the mental and spiritual debris from one’s life in a healthy, systematic fashion. Of cleansing the body, not only our own, but that of the earth that we, as a culturally diverse people, have helped to subjugate. It is about shattering the walls separating the sciences and realizing the oneness of all creation. Knowing, and loudly declaiming its presence and purpose in the larger scheme of creation. Afrofuturism simply is!

 

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2 responses to “What is Afrofuturism? Part 3

  1. Mr Thumblewaddle

    December 13, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    Good Post….Afro-Futurism is beginning to sound like a new religion…..

    I just came across this scattin’ through the interwebs, makes me wish I lived in New York:

    http://finearts.parsons.edu/home/?q=node%2F82

     
    • Aker

      December 18, 2011 at 5:08 PM

      I think Afrofuturism might me my new religion lol. Yeah, I went to Kodwo Eshun’s lecture at Parsons. It was very interesting and very dense (a lot to process). I wrote a post on it a while back. I wish I could have attended more of them, but school kept me busy.

       

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