First off, we’re pleased to announce that we have received a grant from Indiana Humanities to continue these conversations!
Second, Afrofuturism considers these questions: Where are we now? Where do we want to be? How do we get there? Our goal is to imagine the future we want to see. So let’s start with a re-cap of how dominating Black Panther’s run has been:
At this point, Black Panther’s performance at the box office has stopped being surprising and is now just impressive. Black Panther was number one at the box office for five straight weekends, it is now the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time domestically and it is the most tweeted about movie ever. Black Panther has now passed the nigh-unsinkable Titanic to become the third highest-grossing film of all time domestically.
-It’s only surpassed by James Cameron’s Avatar, which sits at number two, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens at number one.
–Black Panther will be the first film released in Saudi Arabia in 35 years.
AFROFUTURE FRIDAYS – REPLICATING Wakanda (A Re-cap)
After a vibrant (and standing room only) discussion about the movie Black Panther and its themes, our discussion ended before we had a chance to discuss the role of technology in our communities. Technology plays a vital role in Wakanda—in medicine, communication, protection, and transportation (we see a Wakanda designed to be walkable Wakanda as well as having a mass transit system). What we want to consider is that:
Afrofuturism is not just an aesthetic — it’s just as much a framework for activism and imagining new technologies. We’re interested in how the movement can make a practical difference in the lives of those from whom the thought culture draws.
We watched two clips about tech and Afrofuturism from Robin Thede’s late night show The Rundown as the basis of our table discussions:
- What (unique) resources does your community have?
-how can you use those resources to build your community?
-how can you leverage your privilege to benefit other communities?
- Considering the needs of your community, what are some technological aids (not fixes)?
-what kind of technology can you come up with?
–Afrofuturism and Outsider Tech
–Sculpting Space for Afrofuturism as a Methodology of Liberation
NEXT UP: Octavia Butler’s seminal work, Parable of the Sower.
Octavia Butler’s work combines imagination with social, political, and even religious practice. It creates blueprints to find new ways to understand ourselves and the world around us. And, with its Afrofuture promise, it paints a vivid portrait of what the world could look like. So we leave you with this thought from Parable of the Sower:
“All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God Is Change.”
Go forth and be the change.