Well neither did I. I thought Sun Ra was the only mofo who had these incredible theories…
it stretches over to, “Examples of seminal afrofuturistic works include the novels of Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler; the canvases of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the photography of Renée Cox; as well as the extraterrestrial mythos of Parliament-Funkadelic and Sun Ra, and the music of DJ Spooky.” And yes I’m quoting wikipedia again…they know things man, so many things.
Anyways, continuing on, “…Afrofuturist ideas were taken up in 1975 by George Clinton and his bands Parliament and Funkadelic with his magnum opus Mothership Connection and the subsequent The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein, P Funk Earth Tour, Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome, and Motor Booty Affair. In the thematic underpinnings to P-Funk mythology (“pure cloned funk”), Clinton in his alter ego Starchild spoke of “certified Afronauts, capable of funkitizing galaxies.”
I have never seen Black to the Future…I didn’t even know it existed…
“…In the late 1990s a number of cultural critics, notably Mark Dery in his 1995 essay Black to the Future, began to write about the features they saw as common in African-American science fiction, music and art. Dery dubbed this phenomenon “afrofuturism”.
In Black to the Future, Dery writes:
“Speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of 20th century technoculture—and, more generally, African-American signification that appropriates images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future—might, for want of a better term, be called Afrofuturism.
African-American culture is Afrofuturist at its heart, literalizing [the SF novelist William] Gibson’s cyberpunk axiom, “The street finds its own uses for things.” With trickster elan, it retrofits, refunctions, and willfully misuses the technocommodities and science fictions generated by a dominant culture that has always been not only white but a wielder, as well, of instrumental technologies.
In writing about Sun Ra I’m dipping into the pot of theories and philosophies that he went along with and so I too am discovering… a lot.
In my eyes, Sun Ra’s idea of living on Saturn is a metaphor; let me explain. We as a colored peoples, as minorities cannot thrive here in America…and if we can’t thrive here or anywhere else we need an entirely different place to go to…Saturn.
So I get it and I like it.