SET TO OPEN MARCH 2023, THE EXHIBIT AT THE SMITHSONIAN’S NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE EMBRACES THE “BROAD AND IMPACTFUL SPECTRUM OF AFROFUTURISM.”
A new exhibition titled “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures” will debut at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) to examine Afrofuturist expression and culture as it relates to music, activism, art, and more.
“From the enslaved looking to the cosmos for freedom to popular sci-fi stories inspiring Black astronauts, to the musical influence of Sun Ra, @outkast, P-Funk and more —this exhibition covers the broad and impactful spectrum of Afrofuturism,” NMAAHC captioned a post on Instagram announcing the exhibit.
At the center of the new 4,300-square-foot temporary exhibition set to open next March is Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther suit, which the late actor wore in the’ 2018 film “Black Panther.”
The exhibit will also include other notable items like the typewriter used by author Octavia Butler, Nona Hendryx’s space suit-inspired outfit, and Nichelle Nichols’ “Star Trek” uniform.
According to a press release from NMAAHC, the exhibit also aims to tell stories of Black liberation and social equality through objects such as Trayvon Martin’s flight suit and dreams of becoming an astronaut as a young boy.
“Trayvon Martin’s flight suit tells the story of a dream of space flight ended tragically by earthbound violence,” said Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Inspired by his uncle Ronnie, Trayvon Martin aspired to work in the aviation field. He wore this flight suit when he attended Experience Aviation in his early teens. According to his father, Tracy Martin, “It was a badge of honor for the students to have the flight suit with the patches on it. It was part of their uniform for the program. He loved it. He loved it.”
Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures” officially opens on March 24, 2023 and will run through March 2024 in the museum’s Bank of America Special Exhibitions Gallery.