By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
A new exhibit debuting next spring at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will celebrate Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther hero costume.
“Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures,” opens March 24, 2023, and features the late actor’s iconic gear.
Black Panther counts as the first superhero of African descent to appear in mainstream American comic books, and the film is the first major cinematic production about the character.
Investigating Afrofuturist expression through art, music, activism and more, this exhibition explores and reveals Afrofuturism’s historic and poignant engagement with African American history and popular culture. , Smithsonian officials wrote in a press release.
“From slaves looking to the cosmos for freedom, to popular science fiction stories inspiring black astronauts, to the musical influence of Sun Ra, OutKast, P-Funk and more, this exhibition covers the broad and impactful spectrum of ‘afrofuturism.’
Throughout the 4,300 square foot temporary exhibit, visitors will see a variety of artifacts from the pioneers of Afrofuturism, including Octavia Butler’s typewriter, Nichelle Nichols’ Star Trek uniform as a character of Lt. Nyoto Uhura and Nona Hendryx’s spacesuit-inspired costume worn during the performance with LaBelle.
The exhibit also uses selected objects to elevate stories that speak to black liberation and social equality, such as Experience Aviation’s Trayvon Martin flight suit and his childhood dream of being an astronaut.
“Trayvon Martin’s flight suit tells the story of a dream of spaceflight tragically ended by earthly violence,” said Kevin Young, director Andrew W. Mellon of the National Museum of African History and Culture. Americans.
“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 represents the joy of a rich and imaginary future, often in the face of unfairness.
Since opening in 2016, NMAAHC has supported conversations, collections, and initiatives around Afrofuturism.
“Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures” will be on view in the museum’s Bank of America Special Exhibits Gallery from March 24, 2023 through March 2024.
For more details on the new exhibit and to sign up for additional updates, visit the museum’s Afrofuturism website.
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