Halloween is usually a time of outrageous parties, terrifying haunted houses, and mountains of miniature candies. But given our current circumstance, many of those activities have either been scaled down, shifted to online, or completely eliminated.
This doesn’t mean people are throwing aside the spookiest day of the year. For many, this will be the first time they’ve socialized with anyone in months. Plus, everyone will be in costumes and masks — so a win-win.
Whether it is face-to-face or virtually, this year ditch the scary or sexy route and delve into Afrofuturism. You can tap into the Black experience while playing with sci-fi and fantasy.
I decided to highlight some content across all media for some Afrofuturistic inspiration.
The Broken Earth series (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky) by N.K. Jemisin
This Hugo Award-winning series follows Black women across multiple generations as they try to survive the “Fifth Season” after geological cataclysms.
The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
This children’s sci-fi novel follows the children of Chief of Security General Matsika — Tendai, Rita, and Kuda — as they try to escape their kidnappers in 2194 Zimbabwe.
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
A blend of Afro-Caribbean culture and magical realism, this novel sees Ti-Jeanne, a single mother, trying to find herself and reconnect with her heritage in a dystopian downtown Toronto.
Lilith’s Blood collection (Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago) by Octavia Butler
Based on Butler’s own experiences with racism, the trilogy follows a war survivor Lilith as she is torn between breeding with an alien race to survive in a dystopian future or fight to save the human race.
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delaney
Delaney’s stream-of-consciousness debut follows “The Kid” on a road trip through the city of Bellona as he tries to remember his past in the post-apocalyptic U.S.
Television and Film
Sorry to Bother You
Set in an alternative universe, a young Black telemarketer (Lakeith Stanfield) must adopt a white accent to succeed. He eventually becomes torn between success and standing up for what is right.
Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to assume the throne of Wakanda. He faces challenges from the outside world including his cousin Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Michael B. Jordan).
Blade (Wesley Snipes), a Dhampir, joins his mentor Abraham Whistler and hematologist Karen Jenson as they fight against vampires led by vicious Deacon Frost.
Star Trek: Discovery
The latest TV installment of the historic franchise follows the crew of the USS Discovery across a series of adventures with Sonequa Martin-Green as series lead Michael Burnham.
Luke Cage (Mike Colter) fights against crime and corruption in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen with his super strength and unbreakable skin.
The multi-talented entertainer and alter ego cyborg Cindi Mayweather explored a dystopian future of prejudice and oppression through a series of prolific albums. Check out The ArchAndroid and Electric Lady for more insight and listening pleasure.
The English DJ created tribal-like dance and pop music while wearing modern interpretations of African masks. Check out his work with Sampha.
The hip-hop innovator used her visuals to explore the styles and concepts of Afrofuturism from her cover art to music videos. This has only been heightened by her stage productions and lyrics. Check out her videos and performances for more.
The singer-songwriter is known for blending genres such as R&B, avant-garde pop, and trip-hop to create a unique, futuristic sound along with out-of-the-box visuals and performances. Check out her work such as EP1, EP2, and Magdalene.
The deceased producer and DJ played with sci-fi and fantasy themes through his music production and his album titles. Check out his work such as Brotha from Another Planet and Back to the Planet.