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Past, Present, and Black Futures

February 25, 2021

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:

Photo by Ian Douglas (@iandouglasphoto). Installation by Alisha B. Wormsley in collaboration with For Freedoms and Times Square Arts.

Gina Physic

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.