Afrofuturism
Afrofuturism is SciFi that explores the intersections between African heritage and science and technology. It often examines how technology interacts with histories of exclusion, acts of resistance, and new ideas of equity.
Afrofuturism also includes arts like painting, quilting, sculpture, and film. Many of these works combine mathematically significant designs with social commentary. For example, consider how the interdisciplinary artist Sanford Biggers describes the patterns in his work Lotus: "In Buddhism, the lotus is a symbol for transcendence and for purity of mind and spirit. But a closer look at this lotus reveals each petal to be the cross-section of a slave ship... In America, we don't like to talk about slavery, nor do we look at it as a global industry. But by using this Buddhist symbol, I hope to universalize and transcend the history and trauma of black America and encourage discussions about our shared past."
Afrofuturist styles and themes are also found in African American music of the 1970s, such as George Clinton and his band Parliament Funkadelic and Sun Ra. A notable overlap between Parliament Funkadelic and science fiction is seen in their image as "Afronauts, capable of funkitizing galaxies." Afrofuturism is not restricted to the 1970s. From the 1990s to present, hip-hop groups like Digable Planets and Deltron 3030 feature lyrics and themes that combine city life with scientific fiction characters and epic space battles. As lead MC for Deltron 3030, Del the Funky Homosapien, says in the song "3030": "Ever since I had the vision use my magnetism In this modern metropolis that tries to lock us up Under preposterous laws, it's not for us" ("3030", Deltron 3030).
There are also many different Afrofuturist themed films. Sun Ra’s Space Is The Place from 1974 is perhaps the first. In it, Sun Ra lands on "the Arkestra" and creates an African American settlement. The film is about him returning to Earth, specifically Oakland, CA, where he open up the "Outer Space Employment Agency" to recruit local black youth to join him. A more famous and mainstream Afrofuturist movie is Blade from 1994. In it, Blade is a future vampire hunter who uses technology, skill, and resilience to save the world.