This post originally appeared on AfroERA.com.
The term Afrofuturism is linked to Mark Dery who coined it in his 1994 article “Black to the Future.” He defined it as
speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of 20th-century technoculture — and more generally, African-American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future.
The term only managed to classify a concept that had been around for so long. Sun Ra, a famed jazz musician, composer and bandleader is often the first name that comes to mind when describing the term Afrofuturism because of his fantastical aesthetic, ideas, and space-themed music.
Fast forward to May 18, 2010. Janelle Monae’s Archandroid album is released and immediately the artistic representation of Afrofuturism has evolved for all to see and hear. This intensively creative work manages to capture Afrofuturism in its full form with Monae’s story centered around the future and a messianic android.
From art to music to writings, Afrofuturism does not conform to a single medium. Rather, it seeks to celebrate black culture far from the usual depiction of pain, suffering, and retelling of stories about slavery.
2018 has seen the release of Black Panther, a Marvel Studios movie based on the 1966 comic character of the same name created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The movie features a dominantly black cast, Ryan Coogler (a black director) and Ruth Carter (a black costume designer) and tells the story of an African prince turned superhero king. This dominance of people of African descent in huge roles has been virtually unheard of in Hollywood and the commercial success of the movie has brought Afrofuturism into the spotlight with even greater intensity.
Continuing reading the full post at AfroERA.com.