Afrofuturism A history of black futures by Nat’l Mus Afr Am Hist Culture Foreword by Kevin Young Edited by Kevin M. Strait and Kinshasha Holman Conwill Contributions by Vernon Reid

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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 expressionChapter 3 - Visualizing Afrofuturism: Analyzes the vast visual culture of AfrofuturismChapter 4 - Musical Futures: Explores Afrofuturism and musicAfterwordAfrofuturism 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, John Jennings, Steven Lewis, Mark Anthony Neal, Alondra Nelson, De Nichols, Elaine Nichols, William S. Pretzer, Vernon Reid, Matthew Shindell, Kevin M. Strait, Angela Tate, Michelle Wilkinson, Ytasha L. Womack, Alisha B. Wormsley, and Kevin Young
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