A concept and theory.  
A platform for new ideas and new forms of expression.  
A way of reimagining the world.  

Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures explores the past, present, and future of this dynamic concept in an exhibition that features the various people, unique themes and radical artistry that have given voice to it.

Smithsonian Channel premieres the Mission Critical program, AFROFUTURISM: THE ORIGIN STORY, on Thursday, November 10th at 8:00 PM ET.

Poster for the film Space is the Place

The Experience

Gathering the voices of authors, artists, musicians, scholars and creatives, Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures with the use of interactives and the Smithsonian Hi digital in-gallery guide investigates Afrofuturism’s growing global influence and its dynamic impact on popular culture and beyond. 

 


 

Image of the cover of Mind of My Mind

The Collection

Featuring hundreds of objects and images with several multimedia displays, Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures explores the history of Afrofuturist expression and culture through literature, music, art, film, fashion, activism and more.

Rainbow wig worn by George Clinton

A rainbow colored wig with strings of white plastic beads, various rainbow colored ribbons, purple tinsel and small plastic iridescent flowers and butterflies woven throughout.
View Object about Rainbow wig worn by George Clinton

"Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil"

A first edition copy of "Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil" by W.E.B. Du Bois.
View Object about "Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil"

Pilot flight suit and gear owned by Charles F. Bolden

A green synthetic fiber flight suit worn by Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr.
View Object about Pilot flight suit and gear owned by Charles F. Bolden

Guitar with case and strap owned by Vernon Reid

A custom electric guitar manufactured by ESP and owned by Vernon Reid, who played the guitar on Living Colour's debut album Vivid.
View Object about Guitar with case and strap owned by Vernon Reid

What is Afrofuturism?

Afrofuturism is an evolving concept expressed through a Black cultural lens that reimagines, reinterprets and reclaims the past and present for a more empowering and inclusive tomorrow.

 

Explore & Share

Discover Black Futures across the museum and beyond.

A Closer Look

Learn more about pioneering sci-fi writer Octavia E. Butler.

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