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Afrofuturism: Constructing a Better Future

Afrofuturism sign
Lesson Plan Author(s): 
Chelsea Ray and Johnny Merry
Challenging students to think about Afrofutrism’s purpose and effects.
Teaching Area: 
World History
Grade Level: 
Teaching Level: 
Secondary Childhood
Origins Item(s): 

The term Afrofuturism was coined by Mark Dery in 1993, but encompasses a long history of African American and African diaspora intellectual and creative work. According to Yaszek (2006) “Afrofuturism addresses themes and concerns of the African diaspora through technoculture and science fiction, encompassing a range of media and artists with a shared interest in envisioning black futures that stem from Afrodiasporic experiences.” In the first lesson, we move McDow’s argument forward by exploring Black Panther, and other Black Afrofuturistic creations, and challenging students to think about Afrofutrism’s purpose and effects. The next lesson provides students with historical contemporary examples of Afrofuturism through musical artists Sun Ra, George Clinton, Clppng, Janelle Monae, and journalist Neil Drumming. The final lesson asks students to consider Afrofuturism’s contribution to social justice.  Students are tasked with responding to and reflecting on Afrofuturism’s goals and their effectiveness.

Instructional Strategies:

  • Warm Up Questions & Exit Tickets
  • Timeline & Map Activity
  • Article & Questions
  • Podcast Jigsaw
  • Small group discussions
  • Creative Product Activity

Lesson Materials:

Afrofuturism PowerPoint

Key Words: 
Afrofuturism, Postcolonial, Social Justice