This panel discussion is part of a series that focuses on the effect that race and gender representation have on the comic book industry. It also serves as a platform where multimedia professionals can talk about their backgrounds, work, and thoughts related to the ever-changing spectrum that is comics.
**Take a journey to the world of Afrofuturism—an ever-expansive aesthetic and practice—where music, visual arts, science fiction, and technology intersect to imagine alternate realities and a liberated future viewed through the lens of Black cultures. Immerse yourself in Afrofuturism, Carnegie Hall’s 2022 citywide festival.**
To All My Chefs & Mixologists (novice and professional) out there, this is for you!
Who doesn’t love a mouth-watering, soulful meal or a delightful spirit to cap off the night?!! Well I wanted to add to your “must-see and must-try” lists by highlighting the spirit and culinary world with a few cookbooks, wineries, breweries, creators and organizations that are making Black History!!
Not surprisingly, Black Americans have contributed significantly (and still do) to the culinary world and cocktail/wine/brewery culture. We have been tastemakers and drink-makers since the beginning of time :-). Cooking and feeding the soul is in the DNA of African Americans (check out Netflix’s High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America if you don’t believe me)!
As it relates to the spirit world, I recently learned that there was a Black Mixology Club that was founded in 1898 by R. R. Bowie and J. Burke Edelin that was a “marquee professional association,” and a gathering place for African Americans who were trying to move up the ladder of social mobility within professional bartending [Check out these pioneers as well: Cato Alexander, John Dabney, Tom Bullock, and Dick “Uncle Dick” Francis].
Now let me say this…. the following below is by no means the only folks that have been and are in the game just a few to wet your palette (literally and figuratively), because I know there are tons of Black folks making history!!
So get ready to pop some bottles, plan your next couple or friends getaway, pull out those pots and pans, turn on your ovens, and make some magical memories!!
So recently I have had many people ask what would I recommend as an introduction into Afrofuturism. This is something that I am always talking about, teaching, and or even consuming for myself, so why not have a list for beginners! And voila…I compiled various books, short stories, comic books, graphic novels, children and YA fiction, and movies that offer a unique look into Afrofuturism.
Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture ~Ytasha Womack
Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness ~Edited by Reynaldo Anderson & Charles E. Jones
Beloved ~Toni Morrison
Kindred ~Octavia Butler
Wild Seed ~Octavia Butler
Brown Girl in the Ring ~Nalo Hopkinson
The Conductors ~Nicole Glover
How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? ~N.K. Jemisin
Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora ~Edited by Sheree Thomas
Dark Matter: Reading the Bones ~Edited by Sheree Thomas
Black No More: Being an Account of the Strange and Wonderful Working of Science in the Land of the Free ~George Schuyler
Lion’s Blood ~Steven Barnes
Zulu Heart ~Steven Barnes
Black Leopard, Red Wolf ~Marlon James
Minions: A Vampire Huntress Legend ~L.A. Banks
Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements ~Edited by Walidah Imarisha & adrienne maree brown
Black Kirby: In Search of the MotherBoxx Connection ~John Jennings & Stacey Robinson
Mothership Tales: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond ~Edited by Bill Campbell & Edward Austin Hall
“The Princess Steel” & “The Comet” ~W.E.B. Du Bois
“Caramelle 1864” ~Jewelle Gomez
“I Left My Heart in Skaftafell” ~Victor LaValle
“Don’t Go There” ~Tracy Cross
“Ain’t I a Woman” ~Sojourner Truth
Comic Books/Graphic Novels
Matty’s Rocket and Infinitude: An Afrofuturist Tale ~Tim Fielder
“We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans – because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings.” – Maya Angelou
Every month I always look forward to feature books for my followers, family, and friends to read. I am always on the lookout for books to add to my monthly lists, so much so that I had to create a file just for “Book Features”. Well this month is no different!! I found some goodies that I hope you will like and feel free to share with others!!
Gotta love when you get to see history played out on the screen!! Considering what is and is not being taught in schools today and the resistance with CRT, it is refreshing to to see other outlets of learning! Which makes me happy to see what HBO is doing this year for Black History month!! This February, HBO documentary presents Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches where it will bring to life the words of one of our country’s most famous anti-slavery activists. It will feature the great talent of Nicole Beharie (Scenes from a Marriage), Colman Domingo (Euphoria), Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country), Denzel Whitaker (The Great Debaters) and Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) as they each draw from five of Douglass’ legendary speeches. The documentary will also feature narration of Douglass’ autobiographies by André Holland.
Additional contextualization of Douglass’ writings will come from scholars David Blight, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Sarah Lewis and Keidrick Roy, artist Bisa Butler, poet Nzadi Keita, as well as Douglass descendant Ken Morris who offer perspective on Douglass’ modern relevance and the unprecedented level of fame and influence to which he rose.
The five featured speeches are:
“I Have Come To Tell You Something About Slavery” (1841) performed by Denzel Whitaker. At an anti-slavery convention, Douglass recounts his story of being raised as a slave publicly for the first time.
“Country, Conscience, And The Anti-Slavery Cause” (1847) performed by Jonathan Majors. Douglass addresses the American Anti-Slavery Society on his return from the British Isles which he found to be more accepting and equitable than his own country.
“What, To The Slave, Is The Fourth Of July?” (1852) performed by Nicole Beharie. Douglass reminds his audience of the continuing enslavement of his people, 76 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
“The Proclamation And A Negro Army” (1863) performed by Colman Domingo. Douglass responds to the Emancipation Proclamation and calls for the Black man to be allowed to fight in the war.
“Lessons Of The Hour” (1894) performed by Jeffrey Wright. Douglass urges America to eliminate prejudice and look to its founding principles.
Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches premieres on February 23rd at 9 pm/ET on HBO and HBO Max!!