Poet and essayist Michael Kleber-Diggs offers an episodic meditation on black joy, conjuring memories of family, food, drink, the barbershop, the city, the museum, and the future.
“Three African American women singing and walking in a street in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the day of the Million Man March in Washington, D.C.” Photo by Duncan Spencer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.…
Black Is a Country
Some of the most important dialogues we engage in as artists are the ones we have with those we love. In this piece, developed through Penumbra Theatre's My America project, Wendy Thompson Taiwo addresses her daughter in a tender dialogue on the challenge of engaging with whiteness as someone with black identity in America.
“black girl magic” by Johnny Silvercloud is licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.…
What Does a Black Liberation Future Look Like?
To catalyze their editorial work with Mn Artists, Free Black Dirt hosted a dinner and curated conversation on the topics of Afrofuturism, healing, prison abolition and transformation. A video by Adja Gildersleve captures the highlights.
When we first visited the James J. Hill House on Summit Hill in St. Paul, it was the leather wallpaper in the dining room that stopped us. The walls were covered with the rippled skin of an animal—no, dozens of animals. The tour guide said that Hill had imported the hide from the U.S.…
Black Men on the Moon
Maya Beck charts a lineage of black trailblazers, from John Coltrane to Kid Cudi to her own father, examining the particular loneliness that arises when cultural innovators reach the outer limits of expectation, convention, and community knowledge.
My father lives in the middle of a desert. If you walk a couple of blocks, jump a fence, take the sidewalk until there is no more sidewalk, you can easily end up surrounded by nothing but faded shrubbery and dust.…
Colonel Guion S. Bluford Jr. Photo courtesy US Air Force.
When the Problematic Fuels Your Creative Drive
Writer S.D. Chrismon considers how to relate to problematic media representations of Black characters—from Black Mirror to Gone with the Wind—and asks how to reenvision pop culture lineages in order to craft new Afrofuturist narratives.
As a Black/Biracial woman in America, my writing is uniquely informed by my positionality in the world. My writing is informed by my privileges and my politic.…
"'Gone With The Wind (1939) - Vivien Leigh & Hattie McDaniel" by Rossano aka Bud Care is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Senah Yeboah-Sampong delivers a fresh reading of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein through a contemporary Afrofuturist lens, considering how bodies come to be read as monsters out of fragility and fear.
Someone, or something, took the life of a young boy from a well-to-do family. The only suspect was the victim’s housekeeper, Justine.…
"'La Créature de Frankenstein' by KLAT @ Plainpalais @ Geneva" by Guilhem Vellut is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Imagination Blueprint, Liberation Technologies: A Conversation with Free Black Dirt
Mn Artists welcomes Free Black Dirt as the guest editors of our editorial platform.
Free Black Dirt was born serendipitously in a community college LGBTQ literature class in 2001, when two nerdy Black girls connected for the first time.…
Free Black Dirt. Photo: Sarah White/Fotos for Barcelona Photography.