The future seems to be the only time frame that the system doesn’t have a full grip on. Though it tries to control us by restricting hopefulness through the past and present, the future still has some scope of hope that people like Sonia Rao, author of, “The Resurgence of Afrofuturism Goes Beyond ‘Black Panther,’ to Janelle Monáe, Jay-Z and More”, websites such as Intelligent Mischief, Beautiful Solutions, and ds4si all aim to reinsure in society and push for change.
What really struck me while reading the article, “The Resurgence of Afrofuturism Goes Beyond ‘Black Panther,’ to Janelle Monáe, Jay-Z and More” was the artists, and celebrities who took advantage of their platform and allowed it to bring focus to the issues at hand. I feel like this breaks the molds of hegemony, and power in a sense. Though Jenelle Monae, Octavia Butler, or Jay-Z are all elites who hold more power in monetary value and societal privilege they take their art as a form of education. This is what I believe is necessary for a successful revolutionary future; education. One cannot go on in the world if they do not access a form of education and awareness about societal issues.
Afrofuturism is the hope and motivation that strives to envision a society where Black people are not living in the confines of their history. This reminded me of the concept of ghosts, as in the future those ghosts may still exist, my question is how do we ensure that the history will not be absolved but it will serve as a foundation from which a culture can elevate? Mark Dery, cultural critic who coined the term Afrofuturism, questions, “Can a community whose past has been deliberately rubbed out, and whose energies have subsequently been consumed by the search for more legible traces of its history, imagine possible futures” (Dery). Do the wealthy white men, the system, own the future too? Is there a point where the ghosts of the past subside, and a more blissful society exists?
I think we’re in it. Though it is scary to think how much history has repeated itself and how systems of slavery for example still exist. Though not existent in the same form as 200 years ago, the same oppressions that are in place still manage to marginalize Black people. It’s scary to think that we are living in someone’s future but comforting to know it’ll also be a past and hopeful to think what the future may look like, given the present activism that exists.
Articles such as this one, movies such as Black Panther, artists such as Jenelle Monae Jay-Z, and authors like Octavia Butler all have a common understanding of belief and the power of change. They all use their creative and respective talents to urge people to take notice and bring awareness through creativity and ways of technology on a process to a productive and proactive future.