Superheroes and Comic Characters Give Life to Concepts of Afrofuturism

A comic character created by John Jennings
John Jennings
A comic character created by John Jennings
John Jennings

In part 3 of The Root’s video series on Afrofuturism, we get inside the creative mind of John Jennings, a professor of graphic design at the University at Buffalo, as well as an award-winning cartoonist, illustrator and graphic novelist.


He was pulled into Afrofuturism as a method of investigating and debating topics of black agency, the black future and social justice, which he expresses through his sci-fi, pop-cultural, Diaspora-inspired art.

Jennings talks about the idea of inclusiveness in images of the future. “I wouldn’t say there’s a particular thing I’m drawing, but there is a notion that I’m trying to get at around agency and access that are a part of why I’m making the work.”

Watch part 1 of the Afrofuturism series with author Ytasha Womack here and part 2 with professor Stacey Robinson here.

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

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.