Meet the Architects of Afrofuturism

The Early innovators

Martin R. Delany

He fought for black freedom all of his life but Delany was never a slave. He was born free on May 6, 1812, in Charles Town, Virginia (present-day Charles Town, West Virginia) to Pati and Samuel Delany. He attended Harvard University Medical School. He worked with Frederick Douglas. He became a military office for the North during the Civil War. Delany also published speculative fiction. His book -- Blake; or the Huts of America -- chronicled a massive,  multi-continent slave revolt. It was serially published in the Anglo-African Magazine in 1859 and the Weekly Anglo-African in 1861 and 1862 (it was not published in complete book form until 1970). He was an original Architect of AFROFuturism.

Learn more

George S. Schuyler

George was a liberal and a conservative. But sometimes his journalistic satire escaped him. In 1936, Schuylerpublished "Black Empire" conceived-to-be a tongue-in-check story about a rich black doctor taking over the world. Readers loved it. But according to Schuyler: "I have been greatly amused by the public enthusiasm for 'The Black Internationale,' which is hokum and hack work of the purest vein. I deliberately set out to crowd as much race chauvinism and sheer improbability into it as my fertile imagination could conjure. The result vindicates my low opinion of the human race." He was a true AFROFuturist.

Learn more

Pauline Hopkins

She is considered by some historians to be one of "most prolific African-American woman writers" in the 20th Century although she may be one of the lesser known authors of the Harlem Renaissance. Her novel "In One Blood" explores a variety of racial and controvisal themes such as: denial of racial identity (passing for white) as well as magic and discovery of lost Black kingdoms. Before Edar Rice Burrough's Tarzan, there was Paula Hopins offering a tale of one black man rediscovering his ancient power.

Learn more

Sutton E. Griggs

Captives of Afican descent have consistantly dreamed of freedom and determining their own destinies. But brother to brother conflicts on opposites sides of a problem freeing Black people from oppression can be more than a philosphical debate. Their conflicting Afrofuturistic visions are hauntingly consistant with the 21st Century. Griggs presents this dilemina  in his novel: Imperium in Imperio, a utopian work that envisions a separate African-American state within the United States.

Learn more

Thomas Mofolo

AFRO speculative tales must have strong villians. Mofolo wrote about the most powerful Black bad guy of all times. The mighty British Empire was terrified. A ruthless African tryant using magic and might was poised to conquer the planet. Through rise and fall, Mofolo offers important lessons to learn in AFROFuturism combining history with fiction.

Learn more