Brown-skinned woman, wearing a striped dress with leaves in the background

Paige Curtis (she/her) is a writer working at the intersection of environmentalism, Blackness, and pop culture. She’s worked at mission-driven organizations and is currently in a communications role at the Boston Ujima Project. An Atlanta native, daydreamer, and rabble-rouser, she believes a more equitable future is possible. Formally trained in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Environment, she’s most excited by community-based solutions to the climate crisis. When she’s not writing or biking around Boston, she’s reminding folks that pineapple pizza is not only good, but oh so necessary.

SESSION: Black to the Future: Afrofuturism and the New World

From Marvel’s Black Panther to HBO’s critically acclaimed series Lovecraft Country and Beyoncé's world-stopping Black is King visual album, Afrofuturist stories are having a moment. Afrofuturism’s influence on modern visual arts, music, and literature remains undeniable, and given its longevity, it’s no surprise that it spawned some of the most timeless cultural products in the last century. A genre unto itself, Afrofuturism offers a counter-proposal to the erasure, subjugation, and exclusion of Black people and Black characters. In an Afrofuturist future, Black people are the main protagonists, building a world that is liberatory, innovative, experimental, radical, and decidedly Black. What solutions can Afrofuturist texts offer for the problems facing Black folx today? We’ll explore topics including "What distinguishes Afrofuturism from general sci-fi?" and "The Political Possibilities of Afrofuturist Writing." This session will consider texts from Octavia Butler, N.K. Jemisin, Samuel Delany, and others. While we'll be discussing the work of several writers, the ultimate goal of this session is to demystify Afrofuturism as a genre and give participants strategies to successfully write Black counter-futures.