Philadelphia is the home of some of the best creative minds making Afrofuturism a reality in the present. I had the honor of reading alongside Rasheedah Phillips, author and founder of The Afrofuturist Affair at Giovanni’s Room bookstore, now owned & operated by Philly AIDS Thrift.
Speculative Blackness is the theory, and writings like Rasheedah’s are the practice. Above, here are a couple examples of the great work happening in the genre: Black Quantum Futurism and The Recurrence Plot (now I’ve got the complete set!)
The stage was set for a great event, and we both brought our A game, I think. In addition to the store’s awesome staff and the people who came out to hear the reading and learn from/about our books, the occasion gave me the opportunity to meet one of my esteemed colleagues in person: digital humanist & historian Dr. Jessica Marie Johnson. I also met Marlon MacAllister, freshly-minted author of the new book Meld Resistance. He is starting a new thing called #Gardenpunk, which sounds awesome.
One awesome thing about this reading was the opportunity to share sound as well as the word. Rasheeda shared sound from the soundtrack to her works created by Moor Mother Goddess.
We ended up having a wonderful Q&A involving our different theories of time, time/space collapse, and . I concluded my talk by playing a little-known record by the subject of Chapter 2 in Speculative Blackness: Nichelle Nichols.
There’s a place where love can’t find you
You’ll be safe from the warmth of June
They’ll never see the spark
That’s hidden in your heart
On the dark side of the moon
Next stop: Red Emma’s Bookstore & Cafe in Baltimore! RSVP, see you there.