Engage in Afrofuturism

Discovering a new writing style

Jerome Hill, Staff Columnist

I don’t know much about the school and campus, but the one thing I would like to see more of is Afrofuturism. There is so much to be explored with this topic and these are the reasons why I define myself as an Afrofuturistic writer.

My interest started as a study and developed into a passion. Afrofuturistic writers don’t get enough recognition, so I would like to give them some.

Afrofuturism is a combination of African oral traditions and African storytelling through writing and multimedia technology. Those stories have turned from scripts into books, from books into movies, and from movies into the future. Our music is passed down from generation to generation, and that music creates lively sounds that infuse a rhythmic breath of life into those forms of media.

This blossoming field of writing has produced classical, timeless pieces of art and has room for more to be created. I’ve seen a lot of writing styles, but Afrofuturism has captured my attention for a long time. Part of me believes I’ve always liked this style but didn’t know what it was. 

I did some research, dug up some facts and found that UCLA had a strong history of Afrofuturists before Afrofuturism was even a term. UCLA has some great lectures in its African American Studies Department and that inspired a future transfer from LMC to UCLA.

According to The UCLA Newsroom Magazine in 1993, critic Mark Dery coined the term “Afrofuturism/Afrofuturist” in his essay, “Black to the Future.”

One lecturer, Tananarive Due, recently explained in the same magazine, “little did we know at the beginning of this term that Afrofuturism would become now, as we’ve been forced to adapt to new uses of technology — not just to complete the school term, but just to go about our daily lives.”

With my research, I discovered that Angela Davis made revolutionary contributions to Afrofuturism as a faculty member at UCLA. With her passionate words paraphrased by Due, “to work toward a better future, we need to believe that future is possible.”

Believing you can create that future with your writing is where we must be today to become Afrofuturistic writers. I have a vision for my writing which inspired me to write about the topic.  

Without many classes offered in Afrofuturistic writing, there are many opportunities for Afrocentric writers to lead the way in studying, researching and teaching classes. Writing scripts, graphic novels and poetry, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, is a missing element in many environments.

When it comes to African-centered content in the writing industry, especially regarding family or child entertainment, there is so much room for more. We need Afrocentric writers to create more content and scripts. 

If you’re interested in being a writer, study the works of Sun Ra and Octavia Butler. Octavia Butler wrote a book called “Parable of The Sower,” which has since been turned into a graphic novel by Damian Duffy and John Jennings. There is a movie, “Space is the Place” where the script is written by Sun Ra and Joshua Smith, and all the music was arranged, composed, and conducted by Sun Ra. 

I hope you find something to be as passionate about this year as I am about Afrofuturism. Have fun at LMC and enjoy the Experience.