Black to the Future Program Wrap-Up

facebook_-265051031Last Tuesday’s “Black to the Future: Afrofuturistic Music” program at Sweet Sistah Splash was the Midwest BSFA’s first activity of the year, and we couldn’t have planned for a better group of participants! There was something electric in the air as about 20 attendees from all walks of life discussed the meaning of Afrofuturism and how it applies to music. It was the kind of experience I hope we can have many more times in the months to come!

Hosted by writer Mildred Fallen, host of Deeper Than Atlantis: Diggin in the Crates, and Napoleon Maddox of hip hop/jazz band IsWhat?!, the event covered many aspects of Afrofuturism in music, including alienation/exclusion, the repurposing of technology and spiritual enlightenment.

“The most impressive thing (of several) that I noticed was the level of engaged interest there was in the discussion,” Napoleon says. “People didn’t just come because they were curious about ‘something weird.’ They came to draw from and add to the energy of the phenomenon and consciousness of Afrofuturism. They came to be affirmed, re-affirm OUR Black future and celebrate OUR declaration of cosmic possibilities. It was beautiful! We choose to acknowledge our imaginative power and outwit our oppressors with otherworldly game plans.”

There are plans to make Black to the Future an ongoing series focusing on different aspects of Afrofuturism, including literature and visual arts. Stay tuned! Here are a few shots from the event (special thanks to James Tecco for taking these!):

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And for your listening pleasure, Mildred and Napoleon put together lists of their favorite Afrofuturistic music!

Mildred’s list
LaBelle – Moon Shadow (1972) and Phoenix (1975)
Sylvia St. James- Magic
Gary Byrd “Soul Travellin’”
RAMP- Come Into Knowledge
George Duke- Feel
Herbie Hancock – Headhunters (album)
The Headhunters- God Made Me Funky (album)
Roy Ayers- Ubiquity
Rockwell f/ Michael Jackson – “Somebody’s Watching Me”
Roger and the Human Body “Freedom”
Zapp – (any album between 1980-1983)
Midnight Star- Planetary Invasion (album)
Pointer Sisters- “Automatic”
Pretty Tony (producer of Hispanic  Miami Bass Freestyle genre;  Debbie Deb, Connie, Trinere)
Egyptian Lover – On the Nile (album)
Afrika Bambataa “Planet Rock,” “Unity” and “Looking for the Perfect Beat”
Public Enemy- Fear of a Black Planet
X-Clan- To The East Blackwards (album)
Digable Planets, Reachin’ (album)
GZA (Genius) “B.I.B.L.E.- Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”

Napoleon’s short list
Abbey Lincoln – Wholly Earth (album)
Gary Bartz – “Celestial Blues”
Killah Priest – Heavy Mental (album)
Aceyalone – “Ace Cowboy”
Saul Williams – “Twice the First Time”
Rakim – “Follow The Leader”
Common – “Time Travelin’ (A Tribute to Fela)”
David S. Ware – Surrender (album)
Georgia Anne Muldrow – “Kali Yuga”

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