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Thursday, February 1, 2024

Black History Month Special: How AfroFuturism Benefits All of Us

By Stafford L. Battle, AfroFuturist


Nationwide — AfroFuturism, a well-liked catchphrase, advocates that Black people will be important contributors to the future of humankind. People of color will be flamboyant superheroes rescuing citizens from burning buildings and evil villains. Africans will command spaceships to discover exotic planets and fist-fight frightening space aliens. These male and female heroes will be astonishing academic achievers and civic innovators to end poverty and disenfranchisement. Alternatively, they may become evil mad scientists or galactic authoritarians seeking to conquer the universe by utilizing fantastic technologies to transform the playing field. Sometimes being bad is good.

AfroFuturism also investigates the glories of Afrocentric artistic, mythological, and historic narratives that have influenced and advanced earthly civilizations. Entrepreneurs and multinational corporations exploit this cultural venue to promote and sell movies, music, books, art, t-shirts, and plastic coffee mugs. But despite petty product profits, most aspects of AfroFuturism must be acknowledged as advantageous to significant improvement of all human society.

However, AfroFuturism is not purely affixed to one ethnic/social group. The term AfroFuturism was first popularized by Mark Dery, a white author who writes significantly about cybercultural communications that damage, repair, and benefit human society. His 1994 “Black to the Future” essay helped to acknowledge and stimulate the AFROFuturist movement.

There are realistic, tangible reasons that we all – regardless of biased, economic or social upbringing – benefit from AfroFuturism. Yes, even white folks can gain a lot from AfroFuturism such as:

1) Acknowledgment of accurate world history. AfroFuturism reveals ancient awareness advancing human progress. European kings and monarchs were terrified that the African Pantheon of Gods and Immortals would motivate abducted African men and women around the globe to conduct catastrophic rebellions and endanger royal profits necessary to continue colonial conquests. Thus, captured native Africans and others were forbidden from observing traditional religious beliefs, languages, or culture. Before and after the tragic American Civil War, “Architects of AFROFuturism” promoted intellectual freedom for everyone who was feared and despised by the sadistic ruling elite.

2) Popular People Politics. Descendants of slavery will never get complete compensation for the hideous generational depredations of heartless cruelty that occurred in the Americas. Yet, other ethnic groups have been rewarded generously for similar offenses. There is a demand for better capitalistic activism allowing all cultural communities to make America truly great. AFROFuturism is a foundation for “alternative” politics to counter the fossilized aristocratic control that maltreats everyone except the reigning oligarchy.

3) Technology is Revolution. Via the digital medium (modern tech), the exchange of ideas and inspiration – art, dance, music, talk, multimedia – can occur globally, instantaneously. Cell phones, which rely profoundly on AI/Block chain tech, are an essential part of our lives. Reserving a parking space or getting a new job or electing trustworthy politicians requires comprehension of 21st-century tools. We must know AI as well as it knows us.

4) AfroFuturism advances all of us. It is empowering, enlightening, entertaining, and engaging. It allows people to challenge social wrongdoings, nonviolently. It improves relations with others; breaking through collective conditioning and self-imposed intellectual barriers. We grow. Expand. Free your mind and you know the rest.

It is important to encourage Afrocentric creators of images, books, music, dance, and commentary to pursue positive depictions representing all of us regardless of falsely conceived notions of “racial” superiority. Visit museums, attend art shows, listen to new music, go to different churches or obscure restaurants offering weird food and drink. AfroFuturism is not an impractical race-based doctrine. Distinguished thinkers, around the globe, from assorted philosophies and religions, agree that we are all African, genetically and collectively. We all have the same desires and hopes for the future.

This discussion was merely a “suborbital” hop into AfroCyberspace. Engage “Warp Drive” to discover more about AfroFuturism advantages for people of various skin colors and aspirations. There is a lot to gain for the curious. AfroFuturism is an action verb. Visit AFROCyberspace.org for more discussion.

About the Author
Stafford Battle has been called the original Black Geek. You can connect at SBattle.com. He has promoted the African American involvement in technology for more than 30 years to help close the digital divide. He is the author of The AFROFuturist Bible. The AFRO Sci-Fi Collection of short stories has been a popular e-book on Amazon for more than a decade. You can find all his publications on Amazon as well as at StaffordBattle.com

For press inquiries, contact sbattle@sbattle.com or 202-407-6732.