History notes that the socialized race system we adhere to has played a role in disadvantaging people of color on this quest. In comes Afrofuturism; re-rooting the past to mark a place for those of African descent and their rightful place in science, technological advancement and the relationship, delightfully complex as it is, with artistic expression and building culture on terms that makes us the purveyors of our own destinies, transcending space and time limitations.
Afrofuturism is a word I've familiarized myself with just this year. In the not so distant past, I've heard it thrown around but never put forth the effort to investigate its history or deeper meanings. I felt that I had "gotten it" and LaBelle were some of, if not the first female group to take on the cultural aesthetic. But with the advent of #SciFiSunday on this site and Twitter, I allowed room to expand my knowledge of this productive space. Considering the intimate relationship with science fiction and horror, it was inevitable.
|Painting by John Jennings. Image courtesy of the |
Tubman African American Museum
From Ytasha L. Womack's comprehensive read, Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture, I understand the totality of its existence and its necessary viral influence our community's consciousness. Interestingly enough, her chapter "The Divine Feminine in Space" completely blew me away:
The build up to this statement challenges Black women artists to "create their own stories" by refraining from borrowing. To conceptualize "a postapocalyptic world in which only black women and white men survived" and sister shape shifters as examples.
The work produced by these women: uncategorizable.