African American Museum to Feature Afrofuturism Exhibit

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture announced Wednesday that a new exhibition, “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures,” is coming to the D.C. museum next spring.

Investigating Afrofuturist expression through art, music, activism, and more, this exhibition explores and reveals Afrofuturism’s historic and poignant engagement with Black history and popular culture.

The exhibition will be 4,300 square feet and feature objects from Afrofuturism such as writer Octavia Butler’s typewriter, the late actress Nichelle Nichols’ “Star Trek” uniform and entertainer Nona Hendryx’s spacesuit-inspired costume worn while performing with LaBelle.

A Black Panther hero costume worn by the late actor Chadwick Boseman will be featured, as will Black liberation and social equality objects such as Trayvon Martin’s flight suit from Experience Aviation.

“Trayvon Martin’s flight suit tells the story of a dream of space flight ended tragically by earthbound violence,” said Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon director of the museum. “We are honored to tell more of Trayvon’s story, exploring his love of flight and mechanics and his fondness for science and technology. Afrofuturism charts the joy of a rich, imagined future, often in the face of injustice.”

The exhibition will run from March 24, 2023, to March 2024.

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