Rewind: Retrofuturism of SteamFunk, DieselFunk, Rococoa, Black Medieval, and Black Westerns


When it comes to depictions of black people in history from the Medieval era to the 20th century, the tendency is to show us only as slaves or to downplay stories outside of that narrative. But black people have existed in various forms throughout these periods of time within and outside the narrow scope of slave narratives. Many contemporary creatives have explored and are exploring these times to reconstruct and highlight those histories. Through speculative and historical revision stories in steamfunk, dieselfunk, rococoa/black medieval, and black westerns, they are showing us in a broader light, opening the door for everyone to revisit those times to include more of our faces and stories. Below are a few examples and resources to learn about and enjoy:

SteamFunk/DieselFunk

Panel discussion featuring Kevin Sipp (David Walker Blackstone), Balogun Ojetade (Chronicles of Harriet and Rite of Passage film), Milton Davis and Mark Curtis at the Alien Encounters IV Atlanta 2013 conference:

Steamfunk & Rococoa: A Black Victorian Fantasy

Silver Goggles blog

Wilhemina Thomas Interview

Adopted by Aliens’ “Black Victorians: African Americans in Steampunk and Historical Fiction”

Steampunk World: A multicultural steampunk fiction anthology

Steamfunk comic

Steamfunk anthology

Steamfunk pinterest

Tim Fielder’s Matty’s Rocket

Fabiola Jean-Louis’s Photograpy

T-Pain’s “Never Leave Her” from Steampunk-influenced album, Revolver.

Will Smith’s “Wild Wild West

Nicki Minaj and David Guetta’s “Turn Me On

Props!’s “The Taste of Heaven

Alex Cuba’s “Are You?

The Harlem James Gang

Phenderson Djèlí Clark

Black Speculative Fiction Tumblr

Rococoa/Black Medieval

Medieval Poc tumblr

Dru Hill’s “These Are the Times

S. Ross Browne’s Self-Evident Truths

Yinka Shonibare’s “A Masked BallPhotography

Kehinde Wiley Artwork

Frohawk Two Feather’s Artwork

Black Westerns

Kool Moe Dee’s “Wild WIld West

Marlon Ladd’s short film, Bass Reeves (The Real Lone Ranger)

Trailer for another Bass Reeves film

They Die By Dawn

The Parkers‘ Episode: “The Good, The Bad and the Funny

Joshua, The Black Rider and other Black Westerns

Gang of Roses: While I agree that this wasn’t the best movie ever, I liked the concept and the actresses, and included it especially after reading one reviewer’s opinion that Black and Asian women as gunslingers is unrealistic. Obviously the person did not hear about Stagecoach Mary Fields!

Now can we just need a full film on Mary Fields, not just a part in a hallmark film:

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