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Afrofuturism
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Posted 5/7/13
I wasn't sure whether to put this here, in the Extended Discussion section, or in Music

Anyone else into the artistic genre of Afro Futurism?

To those that don't know what it is:

At its most basic level, it is non-Anglocentric fantasy and sci-fi.

It got started, and to this day is most prominently seen in music, with black-music acts like Sun Ra, Parliament Funkadelic, Kool Keith and OutKast starting and popularizing the concept, and more contemporary acts like Janelle Monae continuing it. Heck, even Lil Wayne, B.o.B, and Kid Cudi take influence from it, with their lyrics describing themselves as being from other planets, or from the stars.

These artists were responding against the common depiction of space and the future as being largely dominated by white people, and Western civilization. Although, being black, the characters in their constructed narratives were predominantly black, the idea isn't of a "black future" or "black sci-fi", rather of a "culturally non-Western" future.

In terms of the types of cultures and aesthetics created in their narratives and visuals, aspects of black-American, African, Indian, Asian, and Latino culture were all mixed in.

And while it began as purely defining a genre of sci-fi and the future, it has grown to encompass depictions of fantasy that are non-Anglocentric.

Outside of music, the works of writers Samuel Delaney and Octavia Butler are defined as afrofuturism.
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Posted 5/7/13
I'll man up and admit, I have honestly never heard of Afrofuturism. That said, I think the concept is pretty great since it is true that sci-fi doesn't really usually take the time to consider the non-Western world/universe. Unfortunately, I'm not into a lot of the popular contemporary music genres, so I'm not any particular fan of any artist mentioned above; nor am I at all acclimated with the works of Samuel Delaney or Octavia Butler since I predominately read works from the medieval period (well before any kind of "futurism", let alone the "afro" variety). Either way, I think it sounds pretty great and I'd definitely support it. Thanks, Talchild, I always enjoy learning something new.
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24 / M / United Kingdom
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Posted 5/8/13
Afrofuturism 24/7.
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33 / M / The Universal Con...
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Posted 5/8/13
Interesting. They are from other planets. To be more precise they are reincarnates from other planets.
Posted 5/8/13
I never heard of it before, but I'm a sci-fi lover who also happens to be black
I like this idea and look forward to future afrofuturism exploits.
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22 / M / Maryland
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Posted 5/8/13
I'm not going to lie as a white American I have little interest in it. But as someone who has noticed that the sci-fi genre has an unrealistic lack of black people. I can see the need for it. The only sci-fi that comes to mind incorporated any real African culture that I've seen was Cronicles of Riddick and only for a few early scenes.
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33 / M / The Universal Con...
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Posted 5/8/13
Some black people look like gods to me.
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30 / M / Canada
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Posted 5/8/13
is this like electro kind of funk not to be cliché.Il check it out for myself got the curiosity lv up lol.
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30 / M / "Spaaaaace!"
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Posted 5/8/13 , edited 5/8/13

Talchild wrote:

I wasn't sure whether to put this here, in the Extended Discussion section, or in Music

Anyone else into the artistic genre of Afro Futurism?

To those that don't know what it is:

At its most basic level, it is non-Anglocentric fantasy and sci-fi.

It got started, and to this day is most prominently seen in music, with black-music acts like Sun Ra, Parliament Funkadelic, Kool Keith and OutKast starting and popularizing the concept, and more contemporary acts like Janelle Monae continuing it. Heck, even Lil Wayne, B.o.B, and Kid Cudi take influence from it, with their lyrics describing themselves as being from other planets, or from the stars.

These artists were responding against the common depiction of space and the future as being largely dominated by white people, and Western civilization. Although, being black, the characters in their constructed narratives were predominantly black, the idea isn't of a "black future" or "black sci-fi", rather of a "culturally non-Western" future.

In terms of the types of cultures and aesthetics created in their narratives and visuals, aspects of black-American, African, Indian, Asian, and Latino culture were all mixed in.

And while it began as purely defining a genre of sci-fi and the future, it has grown to encompass depictions of fantasy that are non-Anglocentric.

Outside of music, the works of writers Samuel Delaney and Octavia Butler are defined as afrofuturism.


The picture of the chick in your Avatar looks pretty hot. Is this an American Black art form? When I think Afro-American the lady in your Avatar doesn't fit my impression of American Black ,she's very West African.

I think it's cool. There exists different ethnicites of African ppl just like white, asian & hispanic. West Africans have never considered themselves all "one" ppl either. So it's cool how diverse the art is.

Also, when I think Afro I commonly think of the "Afro-American revival" which has little to do with futurism.

I love seeing individuals with more melatonin in futuristic artwork though and the African themes makes me think of Stargate.
Posted 5/8/13
I always thought of Maggot Brain as something out of a notebook held by Funks' gloomy little sister.
Posted 5/8/13
All I can think of is "Gangstas in space" from Saint's row: The Third.
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24 / F / Georgia
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Posted 5/8/13
....It's a genre now? and Janelle looks great in your picture. \o/

I guess? I do enjoy the performances and songs of some of the artists you mentioned.
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Posted 5/8/13
why am i thinking of morgan freeman?
Posted 5/8/13

deshicray wrote:

why am i thinking of morgan freeman?


I'd be scared if you weren't.
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F / Urban South
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Posted 5/8/13

Talchild wrote:
Outside of music, the works of writers Samuel Delaney and Octavia Butler are defined as afrofuturism.

I've read nearly all of Octavia Butler's works. She's one of my favorite authors. Taken logically, it's just silly to imagine the future of humanity being whitewashed. Pale skin, hair, and eyes are less common than dark skin, hair, and eyes, and only persist in isolated populations.

The only justification for spacefarers to be pale-skinned might be a lack of natural sunlight, but I think that any civilization that has the technology to create artificial gravity should also be able to create environments that provide enough radiation that the species doesn't have to evolve into albinos to maintain healthy vitamin D levels.
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