Afro-Futurism combines comics, science fiction, music, history and politics to re-envision the past and future for African-Americans.

We Are in the Future. [This American Life podcast]:

One of our producers, Neil Drumming, has recently become fascinated with Afrofuturism. It’s more than sci-fi. It’s a way of looking at black culture that’s fantastic, creative, and oddly hopeful—which feels especially urgent during a time without a lot of optimism.

Drumming visits a comic book store in Philadelphia, and spends time with a mayoral candidate and a couple of locals in Detroit.


Comedian and actor Azie Dungey recounts her time playing a slave for visiting tourists at George Washington’s estate in Mount Vernon.

And Drumming “looks into two videos he found on YouTube … that deal with the trouble [black] kids face walking home from school.”

Interestingly, as for the science fiction elements of Afro-Futurism, This American Life talks about the Black Panther comics and science fiction writer Octavia Butler, but makes no mention of any of the black characters on “Star Trek” — not Lt. Uhura, nor Tuvok from “Discovery,” nor Capt. Sisko from DS9.