John Jennings catches the eye with his cover for “Afrofuturism”

Wrapped in a cracking cover titled ‘Io Ashtara” by John Jennings, Afrofuturism: The World Of Black Sci-Fi & Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L Womack is described as a “hip, accessible primer to the music, literature, and art of Afrofuturism.”

Comprising elements of the avant-garde, science fiction, cutting-edge hip-hop, black comix, and graphic novels, Afrofuturism spans both underground and mainstream pop culture.
With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and all social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves.

Author Ytasha Womack introduces readers to the burgeoning community of artists creating Afrofuturist works, the innovators from the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore.
From the SF literature of Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler and N K Jemisin to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peaswill.i.am, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism.

Interviews with rappers, composers, musicians, singers, authors, comic illustrators, painters, and DJs, as well as Afrofuturist professors, provide a firsthand look at this fascinating movement.

With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves.

Author, filmmaker, dancer and futurist Ytasha L. Womack also wrote the critically acclaimed book Post Black: How a New Generation is Redefining African American Identity and 2212: Book of Rayla. She is also the co-editor of the hip hop anthology Beats, Rhyme & Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip Hop. 
 
Her films include Love Shorts (as writer/producer) and The Engagement (as director).

Cover artist John Jennings, an educator at the University of Buffalo, centres his life on provocative questions: How can we show the work of underrepresented artists, especially those who do comics? How can we go beyond the racial stereotypes of traditional comic art to show the rich expression of black artists, past and present? And how can we help UB students see that creating art is a possibility for them, to recognize that “art is everywhere” and acquire what Jennings calls “visual literacy?”

• Afrofuturism Site: www.iafrofuturism.com

• John Jennings Tumblr: http://jijennin70.tumblr.com/

• Read an interview with John Jennings (date unknown): http://www.buffalo.edu/home/feature_story/black-comix.html#sthash.nAidmXcT.dpuf

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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