Manchester was home to an Afrofutures conference this October. In its essence, the Afrofutures movement focuses on exploring new ways of examining blackness and its future. Additionally it critiques ways that blackness and black people are written into our futures (often through sci-fi), uses natural and social science to explore and understand our past and futures. It also examines elements which hinder thoughts on our positive, prosperous and rich futures.
Sometimes it’s hard to look to the future without reference points from the past or present. Perhaps role models – dead or alive – reflect a part of us and give us inspiration, confirmation and hope for our future lives. This is super important, not only for Black LGBT people, but for Black people as a whole.
A speaker at the Afrofutures conference critiqued our tendency to focus on the negatives affecting us and our community (which as we are living life with injustice, pain and oppression is easy to do). Also raised at the conference was that we rarely talk about pride, hope and positive futures!
We know mainstream media does not care about or serve us, we know that living under white supremacy doesn’t serve us or that corporations, services or businesses will be looking out for us. One thing that clicked for me at the conference was the need to look beyond this. To focus on what I love about the present, the positives, the areas of growth and my hopes and dreams for the future of Black and LGBT communities is most crucial.
I’d like to spread this message and encourage others to do so too; whether it’s making a change in the way we see ourselves, our world and our place within it or thinking about actions we can take towards dismantling oppression and laying the building blocks for the future – let us dream big, bold and beautiful Afrofutures.