Afrofuturism is an old idea that’s reaching new people. This Black History Month, we travel from Seneca Village to Wakanda, from Sun Ra to Lil Nas X as we learn this cosmic vision of Black freedom, directly from the culture makers propelling the movement. Academy Award winning production designer and lead curator of the Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hannah Beachler (Creed, Moonlight, Beyoncé's Lemonade, Black Panther, and more), tells us what Afrofuturism looks like. Then, Professor Louis Chude-Sokei, director of the African American studies program at Boston University and co-curator of the Afrofuturism festival hosted by Carnegie Hall, tells us what Afrofuturism sounds like.
Companion listening for this episode:
“It’s no secret that when movements and concepts reach the ‘ism’ phase, they often congeal into cliche or harden into orthodoxy. As they expand to attract and include others, the raw, unorthodox creativity that created them in the first place can be forgotten or lost to those who arrive to a table that’s already been set. With this tendency in mind, I’ve selected tracks that honor the wild, experimental sensibilities that feed Afrofuturism across the Black diaspora. From dub textures to the machinic surfaces of techno, kuduro, and gloriously uncategorizable beatscapes, these tracks are intended to keep Afrofuturism geographically, culturally, and sonically nonconformist.” —Louis Chude-Sokei (Carnegie Hall Festivals Playlist)