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Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic, philosophy of science, and history that explores the intersection of the African diaspora culture with science and technology. It addresses themes and concerns of the African diaspora through technoculture and speculative fiction, encompassing a range of media and artists with a shared interest in envisioning black futures that stem from Afro-diasporic experiences. While Afrofuturism is most commonly associated with science fiction, it can also encompass other speculative genres such as fantasy, alternate history, and magic realism. The term was coined by Mark Dery, an American Cultural critic in 1993 and explored in the late 1990s through conversations led by Alondra Nelson.
Ytasha L. Womack, writer of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture, defines it as "an intersection of imagination, technology, the future and liberation". She also follows up with a quote by the curator Ingrid LaFleur who defines it as "a way of imagining possible futures through a black cultural lens". Kathy Brown paraphrases Bennett Capers' 2019 work in stating that Afrofuturism is about "forward thinking as well as backward thinking, while having a distressing past, a distressing present, but still looking forward to thriving in the future". Others have said that the genre is "fluid and malleable", bringing together technology, African culture, and "other influences".
Seminal Afrofuturistic works include the novels of Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler; the canvases of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Angelbert Metoyer, and the photography of Renée Cox; the explicitly extraterrestrial mythoi of Parliament-Funkadelic, Herbie Hancock's partnership with Robert Springett and other visual artists, while developing the use of synthesizers, the Jonzun Crew, Warp 9, Deltron 3030, Kool Keith, Sun Ra and the Marvel Comics superhero Black Panther.