As the United States celebrates Black History Month, several exhibitions have popped up around New York City celebrating the future of African Americans through Afrofuturism exhibitions.
Afrofuturism is an artistic and cultural movement that combines black history and culture with futuristic, science fiction themes. Found in a variety of art forms from author Tomi Adeyemi’s book Children of Blood and Bone, to the movie Black Panther, the style is now coming to institutions like the Met, the Schomberg and Carnegie Hall, who all have Afrofuturist exhibitions on offer this February that will continue into the spring months. Afrofuturist works of art create a sense that Black culture in the US is not just something rooted in the past.
Here are three exhibitions where you can check out Afrofuturism in New York City this spring.
Carnegie Hall Presents: Afrofuturism
Carnegie Hall is hosting a citywide Afrofuturism festival featuring musical, literary and artistic events this spring. Events in the festival include concerts by musicians such as the Grammy-nominated Malian singer and songwriter Fatoumata Diawara, legendary DJ Carl Craig, and authors like Ytasha L. Womack, who quite literally wrote the book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi & Fantasy Culture on the subject.
The final event takes place on April 3, 2022. Ticket prices vary. For more information, see Carnegie Hall Highlights.
The Met - Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room
The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened a permanent exhibition that pays homage to Seneca Village, an early nineteenth-century African American community that originally stood not far from where the Met is today. In 1853, even though most in the community owned their homes, the city of New York seized the land and turned it into part of Central Park. The space, one of the Met’s “period rooms,” is filled with art and artifacts that showcase African American history and artistry, through a lens of Afrofuturism, where the past, present and future come together through art. There are also new commissions on display from artists Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Fabiola Jean-Louis, and Jenn Nkiru.
Entry is free with museum admission. The exhibition is ongoing with no scheduled end date. For more information, see the Met website.
Schomberg Center - Black Feminist Futures series
The Schomberg Center for for Research in Black Culture is hosting a monthly virtual talk that brings together black female academics, artists and thinkers to discuss the ways in which Black feminism and Afrofuturism interact. The series will include discussions and guests from a wide range of backgrounds including American Book Award winner Tananarive Due, Michigan State University professor Dr. Kinitra Brooks and producer Dacia Polk.
The event takes place on March 24. Registration is free. For more information, see the Schomberg Center website.
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