Phil Knott

Black Futures

EDITOR’S LETTER: BLACK HISTORY X BLACK FUTURES

February 7, 2020
104 Picks

I wanted to write a novel that would make others feel the history: the pain and fear that Black people have had to live through in order to endure.” — Octavia Butler

Afrofuturism explores the history of effects of systemic racism, trauma and social injustice afflicted on Black people through the lenses of music, art, film, academia, style, activism and culture to construct a radically new future. In other words, Afrofuturism imagines a world were Black folks are free and empowered through technology, African mythology, and our own limitless imaginations — basically embracing and owning our supernatural powers.

This is exactly what science fiction writer and godmother of Afrofuturism Octavia Bulter is talking about. It is the idea that through pain, trauma and oppression, Black people endure and resist but are still able to lift themselves up, propel themselves forward, and create their own Black Futures. This is what the fearless, the courageous and the resilient Black genius of Harriett Tubman, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Madame CJ Walker, Toni Morrison, and Prince were all about — reimagining our existence. Our ancestors embody the idea of Strength in Struggle to envision the future.

While most people are celebrating Black History Month this February (the shortest month of the year), AFROPUNK will be looking forward to discovering and highlighting our Black Futures. From music to writing, visual arts to animation, TV/film to style, we will highlight the radical thinkers and revolutionaries who are pushing back against white supremacy, innovating across platforms, and forging a new path for future generations. Through this process, we are also embracing the idea of realizing our collective Black Joy as we continue to embark on this journey towards Black Liberation.  Welcome to our Black Futures.

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