Cover of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture, by Ytasha Womack
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Afrofuturism is not black sci-fi. It’s not black fantasy. It’s not an easily definable artistic genre but, rather, a sweeping, cultural aesthetic that examines issues around black representation, the black future and black agency using music, novels, visual media, history and myth to create something else entirely.

The Root’s new four-part Web series on Afrofuturism is an exploration of this fascinating movement through conversations with four of the leading voices in Afrofuturism today. And what better way to start our series than with the woman who literally wrote the book?

Ytasha Womack, the author of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture, tells us about the Afrofuturism movement, its history with black cultural icons like author Octavia Butler and jazz artist Sun Ra, the differences between Afrofuturism and black sci-fi, and how she came to be involved in this fascinating cultural aesthetic.

The Afrofuturism series is produced by Jordi Oliveres, Cale Bonderman, Gerry Martinez and Cesar Alpuche.

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Jordi Oliveres is a musician-turned-journalist-turned-video producer. Originally from Mexico City, Oliveres now lives in New York City, where he works as senior director of music at Univision.