Past, Present, and Black Futures
By Gina Physic, Senior Communications Associate
For us, the past is more than prologue. The past is a really deep stew that we are cooking in and we cannot go anywhere without the aroma of that past.
- Jewelle Gomez
If the past carries on shaping our present moment, then we know this moment, which too will pass, is shaping our futures.
While looking back during Black History Month is an important act of remembrance, it is also a powerful exercise of imagination to consider what our personal and collective Black futures might look like. While we remember and embrace our pasts, we can also imagine delicious new realities for ourselves and bring those possibilities to fruition by creating and working toward the futures we desire.
Black movements, abolition, decolonization, and political education are just a few ways that Black people have historically imagined, and continue to imagine, what futures are possible for ourselves.
Below is a list of works and resources that showcase Black imagination, Black history, and what is possible when we connect with our collective past to shape our collective future:
- The Official HBO Lovecraft Country website
- The Official Podcast: Lovecraft Country Radio
- BLACK IMAGINATION: BLACK VOICES ON BLACK FUTURES by Natasha Marin
- Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements and other works by Adrienne Maree Brown (website here)
- Fumbling Towards Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators by Mariame Kaba and Shira Hassan
- Black Futures by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham
- Advancement Project National Office and partner organizations who envision a future where people of color are free, can thrive, be safe and exercise power.
- Black Futures Lab works with Black people to transform communities, building Black political power and changing the way that power operates—locally, statewide, and nationally.
- New York Times: Afrofuturism - The Next Generation
- Wired: How Afrofuturism Can Help the World Mend
- Kaepernick Publishing + Level: Abolition for the People
- All things Octavia Butler
- All things Audre Lorde
- All things Zora Neale Hurston
- All things Marsha P. Johnson
- Busta Rhymes ft. Janet Jackson - What’s It Gonna Be?!
- Gabriel Garzón-Montano - Bombo Fabrika (Official Video)
- We Came to Learn: A Call to Action for #PoliceFreeSchools
- All things William Dorsey Swann
- Indigenous Land Acknowledgement here
- Indigenous Land Map here
- M4BL - Movement for Black Lives
- For Freedoms is an artist-led organization that models and increases creative civic engagement, discourse and direct action.
Gina Physic is a Senior Communications Associate at Advancement Project National Office. She primarily supports the organization’s Ending the Schoolhouse-to-Jailhouse Track, focusing on the national campaign for #PoliceFreeSchools.