AfroFuturism Isn't All About The Future and Cool Outfits
Afro-Futurism has been a topic that I’ve been especially interested in; since my roommate explained to me that it involves seeing a future with black and brown people in it. At the Quick center on Fairfield University’s campus, Ms. Angela Davis spoke- she said, “The goal is not inclusivity, because the goal is to not be included, but to break down existing systemic barriers that inhibit our people from living peacefully- and reconstruct a future where we matter” Well said, Ms. Davis.
Ms. Davis’s statement reminds me of a comment my friend Afrikuh (@kingafricanmack) made to me on how his experience was as a young boy moving to Brooklyn, NY from Ghana. I would be called, “African Booty Scratcher, etc.” The comments are dehumanizing. In the film, Black Panther; where Afro-Futurism was reintroduced to the world; Wakanda, is prized because of the amazing resources, and intelligence that is inherited from the land. Afrikuh states, after watching Black Panther,
“Now everybody wants to be an African Booty Scratcher.”
This movie specifically shows the weight that media plays in molding the perception of the people. In our most recent non-cable television commercials, and national geographic- the continent of Africa is wild and beautiful, but a place where poverty exists in mass, and because of the climate and environmental dismay; diseases like malaria exist that are not spreading in the U.S.A. Interestingly enough, in Black Panther-the white man (colonizer) was shot, and he laid before T’Challa dying until Shuri healed the colonizer by bringing him back to Wakanda.
How have the tables turned in the media?
Now, the media reshape the narrative of the people of Africa, being one of the first times in a long time in media history, at this scale, with the movie bringing in this much attention- internationally too.
The quote below compliments the pearl of wisdom Ms. Angela Davis shared during her talk- that for colored people to be included in a system we did not help build, is not the goal, but to deconstruct and rebuild to design our own future.
“No one ever refers to [ Harriet Tubman] as an Afrofuturist,” says Franklin, “But she was probably one of the first examples. I mean, she led folks to a future freedom following a star in the sky, and using the technology of a gun.”