Journey to Afrofuturism (Artwork)

Journey to Afrofuturism
9 in. x 12 in.
Wax on paper
Prison Artist
Wanda Sabir
2021 Exhibition
Afrofuturism Then & Now, CSUSC, CA, USA

Journey to Afrofuturism represents a profound exploration and innovative representation of Afrofuturism, linking the movement to California’s rich history and the mythical Queen Califia. Celebrated in Speculative City Magazine’s “winter 2020 Afrofuturism” issue and featured at the University of California at Santa Cruz’s Afrofuturism Then and Now event, this piece stands as a pivotal work in the Afrofuturist art movement. Through the narrative of an HBCU student, the piece not only redefines the roots and aspirations of Afrofuturism but also enriches cultural and historical dialogues.

C-Note’s poem, Journey to Afrofuturism, acclaimed as his most notable work, was initially penned for the 30th Annual African American Poets & Their Poetry Celebration. It offers a deep dive into the movement’s roots, inspired by the discovery that California was named after the mythical Black queen, Califia. The poem positions her as a guiding spirit, creating a link between her legendary kingdom and California’s modern identity, suggesting that the essence of Afrofuturism has always been a part of the state, from its ancient redwoods to its fertile valleys.

Delving into history, identity, and futuristic visions, C-Note challenges us to discover Afrofuturism not just on world maps but within the rich cultural tapestry left by the African diaspora. This invitation extends to readers a journey to reimagine the past, the mythical, and a future shaped by Afrofuturist narratives.

The poem gained recognition with its recitation and a unique illustration by C-Note, designed for a forthcoming book. Speculative City Magazine featured both the poem and the illustration in their tenth Afrofuturism-themed edition.

Speculative fiction critic Charles Payseur lauded the poem, suggesting that Afrofuturism’s true home could be in the West, its destiny intertwined with California. Payseur noted that the poem not only traces Afrofuturism’s path but also its deep resonance with both past and future. Read Payseur’s Quick Sip Reviews, “Quick Sips – Speculative City #10.” 

In 2021, Journey to Afrofuturism was highlighted during UC Santa Cruz’s inaugural event focused on Afrofuturism, concluding global discussions and performances, curated by Hip Hop Congress Chairman, artist Rahman Jamaal.

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