What can the future look like for African Americans? This, and other questions were explored during this year’s Celebrating Our Roots performance, which focused on Afrofuturism. Celebrating Our Roots is an annual arts, academic, and music showcase at Thurgood Mars
hall Academy, held during February to coincide with Black History Month.
At this year’s event on Saturday February 23rd guests heard from author Bill Campbell who shared his journey as a black science fiction author and explained why Afrofuturism is more important than ever. Then, guests enjoyed interactive demonstrations that brought the genre to life – a “beauty bar in the year 3000”, with a face-painting station and featuring iconic images of fashion, hair, and makeup; a literary room, where students dressed as characters from novels of well-known writers in the Afrofuturism genre (Octavia Butler and Nnendi Okorafor); and a social justice room, in which students shared powerful monologues from movements that gained traction on social media with memorable hashtags including #youoksis and #blackgirlmagic.
Celebrating Our Roots showcase ended with a rousing performance from students in the school’s Fashion, Dance, and Music clubs, who modeled outfits representing African gods, performed dances and sang songs from artists including Solange and Erykah Badu and Parliament.