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18 Aug

Professor Sun Ra

Sun Ra’s Full Lecture & Reading List From His 1971 UC Berkeley Course, “The Black Man in the Cosmos” by Josh Jones | Open Culture A pioneer of “Afrofuturism,” bandleader Sun Ra emerged from a traditional swing scene in Alabama, touring the country in his teens as a member of his high school biology teacher’s big band. While attending Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, he had an out-of-body experience during which he was transported into outer space. As biographer John Szwed records him saying,...
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2 Aug

F&%K ‘Confederate’, ‘Black America’ Speculates on Post-Reparations Alt-History

Will Packer & Aaron McGruder   ‘Black America’: Amazon Alt-History Drama From Will Packer & Aaron McGruder Envisions Post-Reparations America by Nellie Andreeva | Deadline EXCLUSIVE: A century and a half after slavery was abolished in the U.S., the wounds left by one of the darkest periods in American history are far from healed, as evidenced by the controversy surrounding the recent announcement of HBO’s upcoming drama series Confederate, from Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, which explores an alternate timeline of seceded southern...
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16 Jul

Ava DuVernay’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is the Ultimate Adaptation

by Angela Watercutter | Wired Book adaptation is fraught. There are longtime fans to please, imaginations to live up to, childhood memories to compete with. It’s nearly impossible to please all the people all the time. Director Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time is out to do just that—by making a movie that reflects all of them. In casting Wrinkle, DuVernay brought together one of the most diverse casts ever to appear in a Disney movie. Its Meg Murray is played by...
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11 Jul

Aneka & Ayo: My Dora Milaje Research Continues…

It is unsurprising that we at Black Nerd Problems are here for Wakanda. We have well developed theories about it, have imagined our favorite barbershops and corner bodegas. Even those of us who aren’t walking comic book encyclopedias have a soft spot for it, not as it has always been portrayed — which, let’s be honest, has had a heavy dose of deepest darkest exotic AFRICA — but as it could be, as an imaginary place where the past and...
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8 Jul

More Dora Milaje…

(This article is from 2015, speculating about the second Avengers: Age of Ultron before it was released. So it doesn't refer to the HIGHLY anticipated Marvel Black Panther movie that's due out February 16, 2018.)   Everything You Need to Know About Black Panther's Dora Milaje by The Geek Twins   Who are the Dora Milaje? The second Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer features a black woman that looks an awful lot like the Wakandan warriors known as the Dora Milaje. It's customary for the Dora Milaje to...
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7 Jul

Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Teaser & The Dora Milaje

I am not a comic geek. (I like them, but not a fanatic). In fact, knew nothing about the Black Panther Marvel superhero. (Sorry). I know more now, but not enough. And he's important. Any advice on the best crash course on the Black Panther back story is surely welcome. I have not seen this many Black men openly weep since Obama. Literally. The impact of a blockbuster film about a Black superhero, for real. That sick beat in...
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7 Jul

PUMZI: SciFi Short on Climate Change, Sacrifice & Dreaming

(I posted this film about 2 years ago on Facebook. It is breathtakingtaking.) by Woyingi Blog Pumzi is directed by young Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu who studied film at UCLA. Kahiu won Best Director at the Africa Movie Academy Awards for her film From a Whisper, about the 1998 bombings of the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar el Salaam, Tanzania. I unknowingly had already seen her work as a director because she directed the behind the scenes documentary for Philip Noyce’s film Catch a...
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27 Jun

Afrofuturism & Cyberpunk

Photo, Cristina de Middel| "Jambo" 2012 | Courtesy the artist & Dillon Gallery   VMartinwrites Spectrum Council for Diversity in Media Afrofuturism is a little appreciated subgenre of science fiction: stories that focus not on Eurocentric ideals of the future but African ones. Listed below are some video links discussing the topic. Award-winning filmmaker/author/journalist and choreographer Ytasha Womack discusses the empowerment of afrofuturism and details about the genre: This TedTalks features Detroit Boom City curator Ingrid LaFleur discussing the visual aspects of Afrofuturism: Kenyan film director Wainuri...
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27 Dec

A New Squad of Superheroes

by Paola Mathe Finding Paola THIS. In the dark shadows of the night where women’s screams were unheard, and evil crept silently through back alleyways and hidden streets, four super heroes emerge to fight injustice and crime against women.  I love long hot, steamy showers. That’s the place most of my ideas come from. A lot of the time, my ideas are very silly. I think of magic, being back in Haiti as a little girl, and creating random things either for work...
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20 Dec

African-Inspired Space Opera ‘Yohancé’

by Andrew Liptak i09 When it comes to space opera, most people don’t associate the genre with Africa. Not Paul Louise-Julie. He’s creating a space opera comic called Yohancéinspired by African aesthetics, culture and design. Paul noted that he’s long been inspired by Star Wars, drawing comics with his brother since childhood. With parents who collected African art and a year spend in Burkina Faso, he became fascinated with the continent’s artwork, and integrated it into his own works. The Pack 001: A Wolf in...
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27 Sep

Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination @ The Schomburg 10/1 – 12/31/2015

Mind Blown by Manzel Bowman Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination is sure to satisfy the sci-fi/fantasy nerd in all of us. Curated by artist John Jennings and Reynaldo Anderson, this exhibition includes artifacts from the Schomburg collections that are connected to Afrofuturism, black speculative imagination and Diasporan cultural production. Offering a fresh perspective on the power of speculative imagination and the struggle for various freedoms of expression in popular culture, Unveiling Visions showcases illustrations and other graphics that highlight those popularly found...
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25 Aug

Vixen: African-American Super-Shero w/ Power to Mimic Animals

by VMartinWrites Spectrum Council for Diversity in Media The CW’s online streaming platform CW Seed is will be streaming Vixen, an animated show based around the adventures of Vixen, an African-American superheroine with the power to mimic animals. An African-American woman is getting her own show. I don’t think people are fully registering how big of a deal this is. Let me help you by asking this question: when was the last time a black character—a female black character—was the focus on their own TV show? Elisa...
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15 Feb

‘Oya: Rise of the Orishas’- Reimagining Orishas as Modern-Day Superheroes

I've been waiting for this film since the buzz about it years ago. by Tambay A. Obenson Shadow and Act British filmmaker Nosa Igbinedion's "Oya: Rise of the Orishas" is now available to watch in full online. Long-time readers will recall that it's a project we've been following on this blog for about 2 years, since the filmmaker took to crowdfunding to raise money to complete it. A welcomed project that digs into the pantheon of Orishas as inspiration for a superhero-style picture, here's a description...
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13 Feb

New South African Superhero Comic “Kwezi” by Artist Loyiso Mkize

by Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK [I love that the sister isn't half naked; I'm a fan already.] Check out 'Kwezi', the new comic book series which is getting rave reviews over in South Africa and and now world wide. Created by acclaimed artist Loyiso Mkize, the series is centered on 19 year old Kwezi, a typical South African youngster - immersed in popular youth culture - who develops a connection with his traditional roots,. Mkize says, “It is the journey of a young man. He starts...
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9 Feb

‘My Body Full of Stars’: Afrofuturism Project Explores Black Mythocracy Through Essay & Music

by  Jennifer Sefa-Boakye | OkayAfrica Irish-Nigerian writer and sociologist Emma Dabiri recently reached out to us with a new project she’s been working on about Afrofuturism. The multi-media piece, My Body Full Of Stars, explores the use of Afrofuturist aesthetics in music as a tool for rewriting history and imagining the future. Consisting of an essay by Dabiri and an hour-long mixtape curated by music journalist and producer Ian McQuaid, the project presents a sonic framework that allows for Afrofuturist readings of music from the continent and across...
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7 Feb

Imagining Indigenous Futurisms 6th Annual Sci-Fi Writing Contest

6th Annual Science Fiction Writing Contest $1,000 Award Deadline: November 1, 2015 Open to any emerging writer with an interest in exploring Indigenous issues through the medium of science fiction Submit: One paragraph personal statement with background and goals in sf A previously unpublished sf writing sample up to 4,000 words To: Professor Grace L. Dillon (Anishinaabe) Judged by acclaimed Blackfeet sf, experimental, and horror writer Stephen Graham Jones...
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5 Feb

19 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Novels By Women of Color

by Anjali Patel Buzzfeed 1. Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler Four Walls Eight Windows In the near future, chaos and anarchy emerge as the U.S. finds itself on the brink of governmental collapse. Lauren Olamina must form alliances to navigate the dangerous landscape as she travels up north to establish a community rooted in her new religion — Earthseed. 2. The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson  Arthur A. Levine Books In a futuristic Brazillian city, artist June Coast and the Summer King, Enki, team...
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