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Archive: AfroFuturism: Black Myth, Media and Culture

Presented with community partners ReelBlack and Vivant Art Collection

What does the future look like for Black movies and media? How will the stories we tell today impact our culture? What methods will be used to distribute those stories? How does ‘Afrofuturism’ contribute to shaping ideas, beyond oppression? With 7 slavery themed movies released in 2013, to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, this conversation focused on exploring the role of history through a futuristic lens.

Moderator:
Rasheedah Phillips is an attorney and the creator of the AfroFuturist Affair, a community formed to celebrate, strengthen, and promote Afrofuturistic culture. She is the author of several published science fiction works and essays. She is currently completing her first speculative fiction novel, Recurrence Plot.

Panelists:

Yumy Odom
Yumy Odom is an award-winning educator, BlogTalkRadio host and Founder of The East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention (ECBACC, Inc.) which focuses on sharing new ideas and technologies, combating illiteracy, creating ennobling images of Black superheroes / super-powered characters and promoting professionalism in the comic book industry. Mr. Odom’s latest work is a 250-page web document (2010) entitled “A Public Resource & Guide to the Epic Myth Continuum” that outlines and contextualizes 10,000 years of ancient, modern and neo-mythology.

Li Sumpter
Ph.D. candidate in Mythological Studies and Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Sumpter’s research applies archetypal, aesthetic and quantum theories toward understanding humankind’s existential condition in the 21st century. She believes our future trajectory through the multi-verse is fundamentally shaped by collective participation in a mythic paradigm that supports a corresponding reality. In her dissertation, Apocalyptic Soul: Seeing through Image in the Age of End Time Sumpter examines the impact of apocalyptic art and media on psyche and the phenomenological world.

Ozzie Jones
Mr. Jones is a writer and director of stage and film, and a musician and composer who has performed throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Jones co -wrote, dramaturgy, and performed in the Bessie Award winning, Olivier award nominated Rome and Jewels for Rennie Harris Pure Movement. Mr. Jones has directed or performed with Patti Labelle, Ruby Dee, Ntozake Shange, Sonja Sanchez, Jill Scott, Guy Davis, The Roots, Wu Tang Clan, Schooly D, Public Enemy, Poor Righteous Teachers, to name a few. Mr. Jones developed and directed staged readings of his new plays, Chasin’ the Bird at Penumbra Theater and an African Continuum production of Kind of Blue at Arena Stage in DC, both of these new works are a part of a larger series of plays on Jazz called, The Real Book.

Caroliese Frink Reed
Caroliese is a doctoral candidate, educator, storyteller and librarian who has done extensive research on traditional and contemporary storytelling and the timelessness of African oral traditions. She has performed at libraries, schools and festivals across the United States, South America and South Africa. She is a co-editor of Sayin’ Something’:Stories from the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc. and is a founding member of Keepers of the Culture, Inc, Philadelphia’s oldest storytelling organization.