Moving on the Wires: Cutting Back + News, Posts and New Music

“There Are Black People in the Future” by Alisha B. Wormsley

*For the next six months, most of my time will be invested in a big project, so I will be cutting back on posting here to probably once or twice a week, or a few times a month. But if you would like to be a guest blogger or help moderate this blog, you can email me at

*Wonder why there is a perception that black people experience less pain or why Darren Wilson described Mike Brown the way he did? Well, one reason may be the Magical Negro stereotype. According to a recent study, many white people have a “superhumanization bias,” where they think black people have superhuman abilities. While some may think that is positive, it actually works against us as I mentioned before Wilson described Brown like he was The Hulk.

*Media Diversified’s “Inside Afrofuturism: This movement is not for co-opting:” “Afrofuturism is a topic that we have addressed on numerous occasions on Media Diversified. Now, it makes its way to the BFI. Film critic, journalist, and film programmer, Ashley Clark has curated Inside Afrofuturism; a short season of movies, brought together under the afrofuturism rubric. I spoke with him about his inspiration for the programme, and afrofuturism’s place in the cultural firmament.”

*The Toast’s “Wave My Freak Flag High: Afrofuturism, Imagination, and Impostor Syndrome:” “I’ve only been familiar with the term afrofuturism for the past few years. It didn’t exist for me when I first read Octavia Butler more than a decade ago, or when I read the first Dark Matter anthology while I was still an undergrad in the late ’90s. Somewhere along the way, I saw the short film anthology Cosmic Slop, bought a copy of Sun Ra’s Space Is the Place on DVD, and noted that music videos from the likes of Tupac and Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes included post-apocalyptic, space, and robotic themes and elements. In hindsight, I can apply an axiom about porn to afrofuturism: I know it when I see it.”

*The Link Newspaper’s “Re-Remembering The Future:” “Alisha B. Wormsley Brings a Mythical Perspective to the Narratives of the African Diaspora”

*”The sister is in space:” Black to the future: science fiction writer Tananarive Due talks about afrofuturism and why it’s important.”

*An und für sich’s “The uncomfortable origins of ‘Afrofuturism:” The writer analyzes why it is problematic that the term afrofuturism is associated with Mark Dery and having him discuss black science fiction. Although I am sure this has been discussed before, maybe we do need a new term.

*Shameless Magazine’s “Black to the Future: Nalo Hopkinson, Toronto and Afrofuturism:”

*Read the new Nigerian-based speculative fiction magazine, Omenana!

*New Orleans Review is accepting submissions for its special Science Fiction issue, Deadline is December 31st.

*Call for Papers for African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association’s conference, African and Diasporic Spiritual Soundscapes, in April. The deadline is December 17th.

*Musician Toshi Reagon will be presenting from January 10-18, Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower: the Concert Version, an adapted opera based on Butler’s book and written with Bernice Johnson Reagon. The Public Theater’s Under the Radar along with Joe’s Pub will host the concert.

*On January 22 and 23, BRIC Arts Media will be presenting Aisha Cousins and Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber’s Brer Rabbit The Opera: A Funky Meditation On Gentrification (Work-in-Progress). It “is an exploration of tricksterism, techno-animism and urban survival techniques, that tackles the modern dilemma of gentrification through the lens of legendary black folklore hero, Brer Rabbit, and his birthplace, the Briar Patch.”

*Columbia University is hosting an exhibition featuring Romare Bearden’s Black Odyssey until March 15, 2014 as part of The Smithsonian traveling exhibitions. “In 1977, Romare Bearden (1911-1988), one of the most powerful and original artists of the 20th century, created a cycle of 20 collages and watercolors (miniature variations of his collages) based on Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. Rich in symbolism and allegorical content, Bearden’s “Odysseus Series” created an artistic bridge between classical mythology and African-American culture.” The exhibition has 50 pieces and several programs throughout the year accompanying it.

*Brooklyn Museum opened an exhibition, called Double Take: African Innovations, an experimental installation that celebrates ” Africa’s continual dynamism and long tradition of artistic creativity” and comparative narratives from past to present. “Double Take is an offshoot of the 2011 installation African Innovations, which focused on the aesthetic, social, political, and cosmological problems and solutions explored by African artists through their work” (Source: Okay Africa).

*Longreads’ “Sci-Fi Is for Everyone: Six Stories About Marginalized Groups in Science Fiction:“Genre literature has power. Mainstream science fiction, historically, has a representation problem. (Why are there no black people in the future? Or, better yet, why is there only one black person in the future?! Did LGBTQ people disappear, too?) Where does that leave us? When I see a white-dominated cast in a sci-fi movie, or read a novel laced with not-so-subtle homophobia, it’s hard for me to believe that our imaginations cannot see beyond the basic power structures influencing our lives today and create something new. That’s why I’m intrigued by African sci-fi and Afrofuturism. I’ve included essays about women in sci-fi, as well as queer representation in the genre, because it’s a thrill to see traditionally marginalized groups take on a genre that has so much to offer them. Sci-fi should be for everyone.”

*Makers did an interview with Katherine G. Johnson about her work as a NASA mathematician.

*Recently I finished reading Toni Cade Bambara’s futuristic/mythic book, The Salt Eaters, and what again for me is a synchronous moment, The Feminist Wire did a tribute forum to Bambara and her work. Read the pieces here and I might do a write up about the book myself at a later time.

*Frances Bodomo (Afronauts) will be part of a new project, collective: unconscious web series where various filmmakers will adapt each other’s dreams into film. Here is the Kickstarter page.

*Trailer for Spike Lee‘s Ganja and Hess inspired film, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.

*For Harriet’s “Why We Should Be Celebrating Willow Smith and Not Tearing Her Down” and the T Magazine article that this piece references. I appreciate how these two think outside the box, but as we all know that those who are considered different or steps outside of what most consider is normal throughout history are immediately seen as weirdos, demonized, persecuted, cast out and/or attacked.

*New Music:

Thee Satisfaction‘s “Recognition” from their upcoming album, EarthEE

WolfHawkJaguar featuring Nedra T. Williams’ “Egungun”

Aeon Fux’s “4get U” (her Soundcloud page)

Ras G‘s “Take It Slow,” from his upcoming album, Down to Earth Vol. 2 (December 9th).

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