A new exhibit has been made and opened at the National Museum of African History and Culture. Last Friday, the NMAAHC unveiled their new exhibit titled “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures” which contains more than 100 different objects on display. Objects range from Octavia Butler’s typewriter to the flight suit that was worn by Trayvon Martin during an aviation program he attended. One of the biggest items currently on display in the Exhibit is the Black Panther outfit that was worn by the late Chadwick Boseman during his filming of the movie “Black Panther” back in 2016.
This 4000 square foot exhibition is set to be on display for one full year, through March 24 of 2024. The exhibition is split up into three sections and is set to show off different concepts that explore the history, present, and future of “Afrofuturism” through the different topics of performing arts, fashion, literature, science, and technology.
“[Afrofuturism] is a concept and an aesthetic that explores Black identity and life without the constraints of racism and white supremacy,” Said NMAAHC’s Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs Dawn Reece.
The term Afrofuturism was first used over three decades ago, however history shows that Afrofuturism spans back centuries as the exhibit explains by showing how each section plays a role. One of the sections being “The History of Black Futures” where it tells the story of how in the past enslaved people would tend to look at the cosmos and use the sky to envision their freedom.
“I hope [visitors] seethe breadth and the long tradition of African Americans re-envisioning a better world from themselves,” Reece says. “That this started from the earliest days when the first enslaved were here on these shores to the present moment.”
The other two sections of the Exhibit go to show how Afrofuturism is presenting itself in the modern era and how it can be used to possibly help determine the future of the Black experience.