What is Afro-Futurism?
Afro-Futurism (est. appr. 1998), coined by Mark Dery in the late 1990's, was more than likely one of the best attempts to explain the importance of the perception of sound and images within the fields of Afrikan/Nubian entertainment and literature and its impact futuristically on a global scale. Over the years, this budding field has blossomed to include many interesting and well-known individuals such as Octavia Butler, Sun-Ra, Parliament Funkadelic, Erykah Badu and Jannelle Monae. To be included within this group of esteemed individuals are Prince, Stevie Wonder and Earth Wind and Fire.
During the period between the 60's - 80's, Nubian music began to express themes of intergalactic space travel, spiritual evolution and the internal technology of LOVE. And within the same time period, there were interesting spikes in the solar flare activity of the Sun. One range of activity ran very close to the release of Earth Wind and Fire's All 'N All album (1977), who shared with the world the technology of Love delivered through sound and imagery of the principles of Kemet.
- Mothership Connection
Sun Ra -
Stevie Wonder -
Earth Wind and Fire - All N All 1977
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In addition to the beautiful musical works this period has yielded, there were some very insightful literary visions. Particularly the works of Octavia Butler who in 1976 released 'PatternMaster' and in 1980 the prequel 'Wildseed', both of which illustrate an excellent example of Afro-Futurism. All throughtout the LifeStory of our planet, the effects of the Sun's bombardment has caused a rapid exceleration of genetic material of all 'living' things. Intense heat causes whatever it strikes to either curl and adapt or become dry and dissipate.
The expression of Afro-Futurism has breathed an interesting spirit into the world we live in, its essence stems from the cultural perception of life through the eyes of its artists. It cannot be explained thoroughly using the English language because its roots do not lie in a Euro-centric view.
Its main body of expression is experience and not explanation of occurrence. Of course, there are those that wish to contain its being into so-called modern terms, some wishing to prove 'cultural' worth in the process...losing the entire purpose. It is in, the healing the world needs and it is coming in a wave...