…An Album By Its Cover: Fear of a Black Planet

As we near yet another doomsday date in December and with yet another revelation of the fears of seeing Black people talk to each other via the release of Obama’s speech at Hampton University right before the debates, here is a post about the album cover for Public Enemy’s 1990 album, Fear of a Black Planet. The original album artwork was designed by NASA illustrator, B.E. Johnson, who is still known today for his space art. While the album is a commentary on dangerous results of white supremacy, both the tracks and the apocalyptic cover are a reminder of how fragile our world and all the things in it, including our steadfast beliefs, are. At any moment it can all end; something unexpected can crash into it, destroying everything. Also, the cover reminds me of the Nibiru/Planet X “prophecies”, which are often linked to the 2012 doomsday prophecy. Although official scientists have declared it to not be true, it does make for great science fiction!

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