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This Afrofuturism Exhibit is Coming to the Smithsonian in 2023

Afrofuturism Smithsonian Museum
Photo Credit: Alan Karchmer/Smithsonian

On March 4, 2023, the exhibit “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures,” will be part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

The 4,300-square-foot temporary exhibition will display objects from Afrofuturism pioneers, including Octavia Butler’s typewriter, Nichelle Nichols’ Star Trek uniform as the character Lt. Nyota Uhura and Nona Hendryx’s spacesuit-inspired costume worn while performing with LaBelle.

One notable item is the Black Panther hero costume worn by the late actor Chadwick Boseman. This exhibit will explore the many facets of Afrofuturism popular sci-fi stories inspiring Black astronauts, to the musical influence of Sun Ra, OutKast, P-Funk and more.

Somberly, the exhibition will have items that elevate stories reflected in Black liberation and social equality, such as Trayvon Martin’s flight suit from Experience Aviation, and his childhood dream of being an astronaut.

“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 said in a statement. “We are honored to tell more of Trayvon’s story, exploring his love of flight and mechanics and his fondness for science and technology. Afrofuturism charts the joy of a rich, imagined future, often in the face of injustice.”

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