The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will open a major and thought-provoking new exhibit, “Afrofuturism: A History of Black FuturesMarch 24, 2023. An investigation of Afrofuturist expression through art, music, activism and more, this exhibition explores and reveals Afrofuturism’s historic and poignant engagement with history and culture. popular African Americans. From slaves seeking freedom in the cosmos, to popular science fiction stories inspiring black astronauts, to the musical influence of Sun Ra, OutKast, Janelle Monae, P-Funk and many more, this exhibition covers the broad and impactful spectrum of Afrofuturism.
Throughout the 4,300 square foot temporary exhibit, visitors will see a variety of artifacts from the pioneers of Afrofuturism, including Octavia Butler’s typewriter, Nichelle Nichols’ Star Trek uniform as a character of Lt. Nyoto Uhura and Nona Hendryx’s spacesuit-inspired costume worn during the performance with LaBelle.
A highlight of the exhibit is the Black Panther hero costume worn by the late Chadwick Boseman. The Black Panther is the first superhero of African descent to appear in mainstream American comic books, and the film itself is the first major motion picture production based on the character.
The exhibit also uses selected objects to elevate stories that speak to black liberation and social equality, such as Experience Aviation’s Trayvon Martin flight suit and his childhood dream of being an astronaut.
“Trayvon Martin’s flight suit tells the story of a dream of spaceflight tragically ended by earthly violence,” said Kevin Young, director Andrew W. Mellon of the National Museum of African History and Culture. Americans. “We are honored to tell more of Trayvon’s story, exploring his love of flight and mechanics and his fondness for science and technology. Afrofuturism represents the joy of a rich and imaginary future, often in the face of unfairness.
Since opening in 2016, NMAAHC has supported conversations, collections, and initiatives around Afrofuturism. “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures” will be on view in the museum’s Bank of America Special Exhibits Gallery from March 24, 2023 through March 2024. For more details on the new exhibit and to sign up for additional updates, visit the museum Afrofuturism website.
About the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Since opening on September 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 8.5 million in-person visitors and millions more through its digital presence. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000 square foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and presenting African-American history and its impact. on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.
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