Episode 37: The history of Afro-futurism

Janelle Monae plays a number of cyborgs, including rebel Cindi Mayweather, in her video for Many Moons.

Janelle Monae plays a number of cyborgs, including rebel Cindi Mayweather, in her video for Many Moons.

Afro-futurism is on the rise again, thanks to the popularity of movies like Black Panther, and creators such as Janelle Monae and N.K. Jemisin. But Black-centered futurism has a long history in the U.S., and it's changed a lot over the past century. We sit down with critic and scholar Shawn Taylor, co-founder of TheNerdsOfColor.org, to talk about Afro-futurisms of yesterday and tomorrow.

Citations, references, & etc.

Afrofuturism (Wikipedia page)

Shawn Taylor

Shawn Taylor at the Nerds of Color

Shawn Taylor at the Pop Culture Collaborative

@RealLovePunk on Twitter

Ytasha L. Womack

Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture, edited by Ytasha Womack

R. Buckminster Fuller

Frederick Douglass

Sojourner Truth

Racial segregation in the United States (Wikipedia page)

Black Panther (2018 movie)

Street Lethal by Steven Barnes

Octavia Butler

Black Empire by George Schuyler 

Drexciya (techno group)

Neptune's Lair by Drexciya

Dub Music (Wikipedia page)

Henry "Box" Brown, man who mailed himself out of slavery

Parliament-Funkadelic (funk band)

Janelle Monae (singer/actor)

Missy Elliott (rapper/performer)

Milestone Media (comics publisher)

Icon (superhero)

Dwayne McDuffie (comics creator)

Blood Syndicate (comic)

Samuel R. Delany (writer)

Kindred by Octavia Butler (novel)

Parable series by Octavia Butler (books)

Cosmic Slop (HBO series)

"The Space Traders" by Derrick Bell (story)

Rusty Cundieff (actor/director)

Fear of a Black Hat (movie)

Pitch Black (movie)

Attack the Block (movie)

Walidah Imarisha (writer/editor)

Octavia's Brood, edited by adrienne marie brown and Walidah Imarisha (anthology)

Postcolonialism (Wikipedia page)

Into the Spider-Verse (movie)

Sean "Puffy" Combs (rapper/producer/entrepreneur)

Fast Color (movie)

Dirty Computer (movie/album by Janelle Monae)

Joe Morton (actor)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (movie)

Brother From Another Planet (movie)

Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV series)

X-Men (superhero comics/movies)

Cyborg (superhero)

Social Text issue about Afrofuturism

Alondra Nelson (social scientist)

More Briliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction by Kodwo Eshun (book)

Nnedi Okorafor (author)

Reggae Music

Salsa Music

Reynaldo Anderson (scholar)

John Jennings

"Deep Roots/Rich Soil: Race, Horror and the Ethnogothic" (paper by John Jennings)

Tananarive Due (author)

Horror Noire: a History of Black Horror (documentary)

My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due (novel)

When They See Us (documentary series)

Ava Duvernay (director)

clipping (hip hop group)

Splendor and Misery by clipping (album)

Rivers Solomon (author)

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (novel)

The Deep by Rivers Solomon (novella)

Gerald Vizenor (professor and poet)


Cape and Cowl (Oakland comic book store)

Bitter Root (comic book)

Annalee Newitz