Tag Archives: Afrofuturism

Celebrate Black History Month With These Quick Reads

2 Feb

Black History Month

Happy Black History Month!

If you’re like me, you celebrate Black history, present, and future all year. But February is special because the rest of the nation celebrates with us.

Though we all know Stacey Dash will be right around the corner with self-hating, Faux News check-cashing, moronic antics about how celebrating black people is racist *rolls eyes*, we’ll celebrate anyways.

I have a few articles in my editorial calendar to publish for the month of February (Yes, I’m back to blogging regularly), but I had to lead with this link-roundup. Here are some of AWW’s top Black History Month Posts:

So You Haven’t Heard of Afrofuturism?

So you haven’t yet heard of Afrofuturism?

AFROFUTURISM

Please, allow me to upgrade your life to a plateau of awesomeness where time travel is the norm, Androids reign supreme, and Janelle Monáe happily twerks in the mirror wearing, of course, black and white.

Picture a cultural meta-genre that encompasses some of the most incredible artists, musicians, entertainers, filmmakers, philosophers, and scholars—an aesthetic where Octavia Butler, Grace Jones, Janelle Monáe, W.E.B. Dubois, Will Smith, Michael Jackson, and Erykah Badu all take center stage with a common inspiration. Read more…

7 Unexpected Travel Destinations to Learn About the African Diaspora

Globe

After studying abroad in Argentina for several months where black people are few and far between and the porteños point, stare, and want to touch your skin because it’s much darker than their own, I was desperate to find a face that looked like mine. There weren’t many in Buenos Aires, other than the study abroad students like myself and a few Brazilians here and there. However, I did find blackness in the mammy figurines in a few restaurant kitchen windows. This made me curious about the countries past and relationship with people of African descent. Read more…

Uncovering Black History in a Seemingly White Nation

Mammy

On a jog one morning through the streets of Buenos Aires, where I’d been studying abroad, I caught a glimpse of a small black figure in the window of a bakery. I stopped and stared into the window for a while, until one of the workers in the shop came to see what the problem was. I couldn’t explain it to her, because I didn’t think she would have fully understood my feelings of shock and disappointment about the figure. Other than the two I’d traveled to Buenos Aires with, that ceramic mammy was the only black face I’d seen in weeks. Read more…

My Top 10 Novels for Black History Month

Novel image

(Written by incredible women writers)

1.      Beloved (Toni Morrison)

This Nobel Prize winning novel touches on issues of stereotypes in the media, a mothers’ limitless love, and the dehumanizing aspects of middle passage and slavery. A desperate mother slays her daughter in an attempt to escape her slave master; however, the daughter never dies. Her ghost rises and takes on human form to haunt the town. Trust me: “This is not a story to pass on.” Read more…

Enjoy Black History Month.

Photo courtesy of Enokson Flckr.

So You Haven’t Heard of Afrofuturism?

21 Feb

AFROFUTURISM

So you haven’t yet heard of Afrofuturism?

Please, allow me to upgrade your life to a plateau of awesomeness where time travel is the norm, Androids reign supreme, and Janelle Monáe happily twerks in the mirror wearing, of course, black and white.

Picture a cultural meta-genre that encompasses some of the most incredible artists, musicians, entertainers, filmmakers, philosophers, and scholars—an aesthetic where Octavia Butler, Grace Jones, Janelle Monáe, W.E.B. Dubois, Will Smith, Michael Jackson, and Erykah Badu all take center stage with a common inspiration.

A meta-genre, an ideology, an aesthetic, a movement…

AFROJANLLE

Welcome to Afrofuturism 101

Imagine a near or distant future beyond the African diaspora. Afrofuturism combines black history, present, and future to envision liberation from “otherness” and oppression through a sci-fi lens.

In less fancy words, Afrofuturism is black science fiction that is deeply interested in liberation, cultural celebration, and breaking down barriers of oppression. It provides a geeky medium for social commentary.

Afrofuturism creates a world where the black experience exists outside of the typical go-to image of thug-life (which even Justin Beiber is claiming now), “the struggle,” and hopelessness, where black people can be scientists, nerds, superheroes, aliens, and more.

Finally, the movement is inherently feminist. It creates a space for women to exist outside of the negative “isms.” It accepts women’s bodies of all shapes and sizes. Most importantly, it promotes equality.

AFROWMAN

I recently picked up the book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by filmmaker, author and comic book writer Ytasha L. Womack (Yes, black women write comics…are you surprised?). The book is the perfect handbook of Afrofuturism. It’s sure to be a favorite of comic book-lovers, star-gazers, sci-fi freaks, techies, cosplayers, and everyone else in between or on the outskirts. The cover alone will draw you in.

AFROME

It’s definitely a book to check out for Black History Month, or any other month really. You’d be surprised at how this ideology makes its way into even the most unsuspecting places: middle school and university classrooms, community development plans, and grassroots movements.

Or, check out  iAfrofuturism and afrofuturism.net, 2 websites dedicated to the movement.

And by the way guys: A Womyn’s Worth just got a Facebook page (I know—long overdue). So for all of you who can’t follow on WordPress, go ahead and like it on Facebook, share it with your friends, and enjoy.

P.S. This article is part of the Top Posts. Check out the Best of A Womyn’s Worth.

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