What is meaning of term ‘Afrofuturism’?

The term Afrofuturism was coined by culture critic Mark Dery in 1994 in his essay Black to the Future to point out the lack of black writers and black stories in science fiction. Dery described the term as a type of speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses these individuals concerns in the context of the 20th Century techno-culture. This sub-genre of science fiction is one where black artists can tell stories of their limited past intertwined with their complicated present to come up with new ideas and reimagine a future which is divorced from the racial and cultural stereotypes that society perpetuates on them. This future is often more hopeful and includes themes such as liberation that have long been the core element of the black experience.

The works labelled Afrofuturism transverse the categories from literature, philosophy, and music to films and visual art. Some musicians who have incorporated Afrofuturism in their work aesthetically and sonically include Janelle Monáe and Sun Ra. In literature, Octavia E. Butler's groundbreaking book Kindred and Tomi Adeyemi's 2018 novel Children of Blood and Bone explore and merge African-American literature and mythology with themes that are relevant today. In cinema, the success of Marvel's Black Panther solidifies the entry of Afrofuturism on the big screen, giving young black boys and girls a chance to imagine themselves as superheroes.

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