Posted in Dr. G's Weekly Hot Topics, Feature Spotlight, On the Desk..., On The Radar, Resources

Dr. G’s Weekly Hot Topics

And we are back with some new hot features!! A lot is happening in the world, and I’m all for sharing with you!! Check out this week’s new hot topics!!

  • History Being Made!! An E-Sports degree is coming to a South Carolina HBCU!! With the popularity of gaming and e-sports on the rise, as a billion dollar industry, it is only fitting that HBCU’s pick up the baton and make their mark in this arena. Two years in the making Benedict College is offering a major in E-Sports (to go along with their already existing esports gaming room), making it the first HBCU to do so.
Photo Credit: Benedict College
  • Looking for a southern-inspired meal on your next Delta flight, starting September 1st Delta Airlines travelers leaving out of Atlanta will be able to enjoy a variety of dishes curated by a Black Woman Chef, Mashama Bailey. Chef Bailey is a James Beard Foundation award-winning chef and also serves as the co-founder and Executive Chef of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia.
Chef Mashama Bailey
Some of the dishes that will be featured on the in-flight menu (Photo Credit: Delta Air Lines)
  • Making your way to DC anytime soon?? Well make sure you visit the 15 new murals that are part of DC’s 15th anniversary celebration of MuralsDC art program. The first mural (seen below) can be found on the parking lot of the Chik-fil-A on Maryland Ave. in NE DC. More of the installations will be housed in the “Art Allery” an art gallery in an alley on H Street.
MuralsDC first 15th anniversary mural (Photo Credit: MuralsDC)
  • Gospel singer and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson now has a dedicated public plaza named in here honor. Mahalia Jackson Court is an 8,500-square foot space housed on 1 E. 79th St. in Chatham, IL that will feature daily food trucks, music, curated art and a playscape for children. Visitors will also be able to check out a history display, which will feature various artifacts.
  • This past week it was announced that a prequel series revolving around the high profile Netflix show Bridgerton will showcase the glamorous and fierce Queen Charlotte just wrapped up production!! The show’s director Tom Verica announced it on his Twitter…
  • Imagining a Utopian Future for Queer Nigerians is a new idea being portrayed in Nigerian photographer Daniel Obasi’s latest book “Beautiful Resistance” an artistic collaboration with Louis Vuitton, which chronicles the LGBTQ+ experience in Lagos.
An image featured in Obasi’s newest book. (Photo credit: Daniel Obasi)
Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight

Check out Dr. G talking about Black Gamers!!

On last month, I had the opportunity to present a paper on “#BlackGamersMatter: Gaming and the Black Imaginary” at the Beyond the Page-“Present Encounters: Digital Humanities Meet Afrofuturism” at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA).

Dr. Gipson presenting at the Present Encounters: Digital Humanities Meet Afrofuturism (Temple University)

You can check me out on Part 6, see here.

And if you are interested in checking out the full symposium see the following videos below:

  • Part 1: Welcome remarks by Joseph P. Lucia, dean of Temple University Libraries; Keynote Address by Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, associate professor of Africology and African American Studies: “Afrofuturism: The Second Race for Theory,” See here
  • Part 2: Discussion with curator, art director, illustrator Eric Battle, and illustrators Damali Beatty and Nilé Livingston for the Black Lives Always Mattered!: Hidden African American Philadelphia of the Twentieth Century original graphic novel,  See here
  • Part 3: Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio project presentations in the Scholars Studio Innovation Lab, See here
  • Part 4: “Virtual Blockson” presentation with Jasmine Lelis Clark, See here
  • Part 5: Symposium Discussion, See here
  • Part 7: Closing Remarks with Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, professor and chair of Africology and African American studies, See here

Posted in Feature Spotlight, On the Desk..., On The Radar

Featured Event- “The Comic Book Spectrum: Race, Gender, and Comics”

Check out this upcoming event that came across my desk!!

As part of the Afrofuturism Festival at Carnegie Hall and the Women in Comics Collective International presents: “The Comic Book Spectrum: Race, Gender, and Comics” on February 26th, 2022 at 1:30 pm.

Photo by Teenie Harris 1940/1945

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 RSVP for the event, click here!

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, Uncategorized

Black Joy is the Future!!

#SuchAVibe…

On this past Saturday afternoon, I had the opportunity to participate in some real life “Black Girl Magic”!! As part of the “Black Feminist Future Series” put on by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, myself and four other AMAZING Black Afrofuturist women (Susana Morris , Tiffany E. Barber, Esther L. Jones, and Kinitra D. Brooks [moderator]) took part in a very fulfilling conversation about Black women and theories of the future!!

Nothing like sharing the “virtual” stage with a group of brilliant minds such as these Black women!! My mind, body, and soul were overflowing with Black joy and hope!!

Check it out below:

For more upcoming “Black Feminist Futures” events at the Schomburg check out the following link here!!

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Resources

“Black Futures Matter”- Afrofuturism 101 Reading & Movie List

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.

Books

  • 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

Short Stories/Lecture

  • “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
  • Far Sector (DC Comics) ~N.K. Jemisin
  • Eve (Boom! Studios) ~Victor LaValle
  • Hardware, Blood Syndicate, Static (Milestone Media)
  • Livewire (Valiant Comics)
  • Ironheart (Marvel Comics)
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (Marvel Comics)

Children/YA Fiction

  • Bayou Magic ~Jewel Parker Rhodes
  • Malice in Ovenland ~Micheline Hess
  • Ikenga and Shuri: A Black Panther Novel ~Nnedi Okorafor
  • Raybearer ~Jordan Ifueko
  • Children of Blood and Bone and Children of Virtue and Vengeance ~Tomi Adeyemi
  • The Gilded Ones ~Namina Forna

Movies

  • Space is the Place (1974)
  • The Wiz (1978)
  • Black Panther (2018)
  • Hidden Figures (2016)
  • Get Out (2017)
  • Us (2019)
  • Antebellum (2020)
  • Sorry to Bother You (2018)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
  • See You Yesterday (2019)
  • District 9 (2009)

Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

Starting you out with one of my faves on Netflix, a little drama, a splash of an action thriller, and closing you out with a Marvel treat! Sounds good to me!! Check them out below:

Season 2-Raising Dion (Streaming on Netflix February 1)

Limited Series-Inventing Anna (Streaming on Netflix February 11)

Severance (Streaming on Apple TV+ February 18)

Gasoline Alley (In theaters February 25)

Moon Knight (Streaming on Disney+ March 30)

Posted in Feature Spotlight, On The Radar

Exciting Event Alert!! 2022 Black Comic Book Festival!!

Almost let this one slip pass me, but wanted to make sure I shared this exciting event happening this week!! The 10th Annual Black Comic Book Festival starts on this Thursday January 13th and its VIRTUAL!!

Artwork by Micheline Hess

The 2022 Black Comic Book Festival marks a decade of bringing together animators, Blerds, bloggers, cosplay lovers, fans, families, illustrators, independent publishers, and writers to celebrate Black comic books and graphic novels and provides a platform to get the works directly to readers. This annual event features panel discussions, workshops, cosplay showcases, and highlights the work of creators from across the country.

And guess what all the events are Free.99!! Gotta love that!!

Check out the schedule of events here:

Thursday, January 13

Lifting as We Climb: A Black Comic Book Festival Story | 12 PM: Black Comic Book Festival cofounders: John Jennings, Jonathan Gayles, Deirdre Hollman. Moderated by Kadiatou Tubman (Schomburg Education).

Graphic History: Telling Our Histories through Comics and the Archives | 2 PM: Guests: Dr. Rebecca Hall (Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts; Scholars-in-Residence program) and David Walker (The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History). Moderated by Bridgett Pride, Reference Librarian, Schomburg Center.

S.T.E.M in Comics – Bridging the Gap of Current and Future Technologies in Art and Comics | 4 PM: Guests: Newton Lilavois (Motor City Comic Con), Naseed Gifted (PBS Media, LLC), Dedren Snead (SUBSUME), Ryan Benjamin (DC Comics/Sony), and Emeka Chiedu. Moderated by TJ Sterling (Rae Comics).

Friday, January 14

Afrofuturism: The Past, Present, and Beyond | 12 PM: Guests: John Jennings (Black Comic Book Festival cofounder), Tim Fielder (Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale, DieselFunk Studios), Ytasha Womack (Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi & Fantasy Culture), Reynaldo Anderson (Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness). Moderated by Julian Chambliss (Cofounder of Consortium for Critical Diversity in a Digital Age Research).

Black in Anime: Creators Coloring Outside the Lines | 2 PM: Guests: Arthell Isom (dartshtajio anime studio), Johnny O’Bryant (Noir Caesar), Shanice Penn (Freelance anime illustrator), Sozo Maika (Digital illustrator). Moderated by TJ Sterling (Rae Comics).

The Future of Black Comics Inside and Outside of the Academy | 4PM: Guests: Qiana Whitted, Rebecca Wanzo, and JoAnna Davis-McElligatt. Moderated by Dr. Jonathan Gray.

Saturday, January 15

How to Draw Black Superheroes & Comics | 11 AM: Guest: Tim Fielder (Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale, DieselFunk Studios)

Creating Powerful Women in Comics | 1 PM: Guests: Robyn Smith, Jamila Rowser, Shawnelle Gibbs, Shawnee Gibbs

The Comic Book Spectrum: Curating Safe and Brave Spaces | 3 PM: Guests: Cindy Cortez (Sonic Boombox), Robyn Warren (Geek Girl Strong), Clairesa Clay (Blerd City Comic Con), and Chauna C. Lawson (HBCU Con). Moderated by Regine Sawyer (Lockett Down Productions).

Comic Books & Big Screens: How Comic Creators Are Making Their Way Through Film and TV | 5 PM: Guests: Prentice Penny (Insecure), David Crownson (Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer), Sebastian Jones (Stranger Comics), and URAEUS (Museum of UnCut Funk). Moderated by TJ Sterling (Rae Comics).

For more information regarding registrations, the panels, workshops, and cosplay show click here!!

Also for those that are in the Harlem, NY area you may want to also check out the new exhibition,  Boundless: 10 Years of Seeding Black Comic Futures, which will be on display at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture beginning January 14th!!

Boundless: 10 Years of Seeding Black Comic Futures, will document the festival’s evolution through photographs, memorabilia, creator highlights, comic book reading stations, and clips from past festival programs. The Schomburg Center’s collection of comic books and graphic novels dating back to the golden age of comic books will be deployed to illuminate the long history of Black comics and sequential art creators, and the ongoing motivations to render humor, struggle, irony, and futurism steeped in a Black aesthetic. 

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture-NYPL (Harlem, NY)
Posted in On the Desk...

On the Desk…

As I continue to dive into my new city, I am super excited to share this CFC (Call For Contributions) on “Imagining Black Futures in Richmond” in which I am serving as the lead editor!! It is open to all and you do not have to reside in Richmond to contribute! See below for more information!

VCU Publishing seeking contributions to ‘Imagining Black Futures in Richmond’*
The online anthology aims to reveal legacies of harm and envision new futures.

VCU Publishing — which amplifies VCU scholarly and research findings and provides publishing opportunities for students and faculty — is seeking contributions for “Imagining Black Futures in Richmond,” a curated open access anthology that will imagine and explore futures for Richmond through an Afrofuturist lens.

VCU Publishing, part of VCU Libraries, is hoping to receive Afrofuturist works from diverse authors — both academic and community members — as well as diverse disciplines and perspectives. These contributions could include any discipline and in many forms, whether they be scholarly essays, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, visual media (for example, photo essays or comic or graphic art), or interviews.

Authors do not have to reside in the Richmond area, but the work in some way must address the city, which continues to grapple with past and present racism and inequality. And since VCU is woven into the fabric of Richmond, VCU Publishing is also interested in works that embrace or challenge the university’s position in the community. By taking a multidisciplinary approach, the project aims to reveal legacies of harm and envision new futures.

The project will be published as a book that will be available online and free on Scholars Compass, VCU’s institutional repository. It will be edited by Grace D. Gipson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of African American Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences.

“I am excited to take part in this multidisciplinary anthology project with VCU Publishing,” said Gipson, whose research interests include Black popular culture, digital humanities, representations of race and gender within comic books, Afrofuturism, and race and new media. “As a new resident to Richmond and to VCU, I look forward to learning more about the city of Richmond and the many ways that it explores the Black imaginary space.”

Afrofuturism has been defined by journalist and filmmaker Ytasha Womack as “an intersection of imagination, technology, the future, and liberation” that “redefines culture and notions of blackness for today and the future” while combining “elements of science fiction, historical fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity and magic realism with non-Western beliefs.”

Building on the aspirations and explorations of W.E.B. Du Bois’ scholarly work as well as his speculative fiction, and moving forward to encompass popular culture in its broadest sense, Afrofuturism offers a conceptual springboard for an imagined future for the greater Richmond area that can be expressed through essays, scholarly studies and creative works. A future where, in the words of Du Bois, all are judged “by their souls and not by their skins.”

The idea for “Imagining Black Futures in Richmond” arose out of discussions on future directions for VCU Publishing following the publication of “The Politics of Annexation” alongside renewed calls for racial justice in summer 2020.

Jimmy Ghaphery, associate dean for scholarly communications and publishing at VCU Libraries, said he is excited to see how “Imagining Black Futures in Richmond” “can reflect a rich history of community activism in the city, and establish Richmond as a nexus for imagining and creating a new and more just future for the South and the United States.”

The project, he added, is expected to include a hands-on paid publishing experience for a VCU student.

Sam Byrd, scholarly publishing librarian at VCU Libraries, said the team is hoping to receive an array of materials that “amaze us, that we hadn’t dreamed of.”

“Richmond is a changing city,” he said. “The monuments starting to come down may be the most visible sign of that, but there has been so much more work going on before, during and after, from so many different voices. I hope this project can amplify that diversity and energy and give us some creative paths to move forward on.”

The deadline to contribute to “Imagining Black Futures in Richmond” is July 1. Authors will retain copyright for their work and must be willing to have the work shared and preserved by VCU Publishing.

Authors can contribute their work online (Gmail account required). Alternatively, they can attach their file in email to publishing@vcu.edu, including their name and the title of their contribution. The book is projected to publish in late spring 2022. For more details or further inquiries, VCU Publishing can be contacted at publishing@vcu.edu.

*Reposted from VCU News

Image Credit: Shyama Kuver

Posted in Feature Spotlight

‘Just Talk/Talk Just’ Panel Discussion Recap

Just in case you were not able to tune into the “Just Talk/Talk Just” panel discussion How Long Till Black Future Month: Honoring Black History, Cultivating Black Futures you can check it out below:

This was a great discussion and dialogue!! It was like good ol’ school conversation amongst colleagues and friends.

Ultimately a true pleasure to share the ‘digital stage’ with some great scholars (Rev. Melanie C. Jones, Rev. Dr. Sakena Young-Scaggs, De’Angelo Dia, and Sommer Jordan)!

Posted in On The Radar

On The Radar

“How Long Till Black Futures Month:

Honoring Black History, Cultivating Black Futures

Just Talk/Talk Just Webinar Series

Mark You Calendars and Save the Date!!

February 9th, 2021 at 7 pm/ET

What do you get when you put Afrofuturism, Social Activism, and Black History together…you get a panel on “How Long Till Black Futures Month: Honoring Black History, Cultivating Black Futures” as part of the Just Talk/Talk Just series! This series is hosted by Union Presbyterian Seminary and co-sponsored by The Center for Social Justice and Reconciliation & The Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership.

Now for folks that know me, they know I love geeking out about Black Futures and even more about its relationship with Black History (hence the name of this site ‘Black Future Feminist’). So it is without question that I am very excited to virtually sit with some forward thinking minds and participate in this soul-stirring, out of this world panel!!

You can stream and get more information about the event here!!

And remember although February is the month (here in the US) that we formally celebrate Black History (major thanks to Carter G. Woodson) just know that Black History is 365 day effort!!