Journey to Afrofuturism
9 in. x 12 in.
Wax on paper
Prison Artist
Wanda Sabir
2021 Exhibition
Afrofuturism Then & Now, CSUSC, CA, USA

Journey to Afrofuturism is in our famous works category as a result of its profound exploration and innovative representation of Afrofuturism, connecting the movement to California’s rich history and the legendary Queen Califia. Its impactful narrative and artistic depth, highlighted by its inclusion in Speculative City Magazine’s winter 2020 Afrofuturism issue and its feature at the University of California at Santa Cruz’s Afrofuturism Then and Now event, have established it as a pivotal work. This piece not only redefines Afrofuturism’s roots and aspirations but also enriches the cultural and historical dialogue through the lens of an HBCU student’s journey, ensuring its place in the annals of influential Afrofuturist art.

C-Note’s poem Journey to Afrofuturism stands as his most acclaimed work. Written for the 30th Annual African American Poets & Their Poetry Celebration, it delves into Afrofuturism’s roots. Inspired by the discovery that California was named for Califia, a mythical Black queen, C-Note’s poem casts her as the spirit guiding the movement.

The poem recounts the story of She, an HBCU student seeking the heart of Afrofuturism. Her quest unexpectedly leads not to Africa, but California – a land steeped in both ancient grandeur and cutting-edge progress. This journey weaves a link between Califia’s mythic kingdom and the state’s modern identity, hinting that Afrofuturism has always pulsed beneath California’s soil, from its redwood forests to its fertile valleys.

C-Note’s piece delves deeply into history, identity, and visions of the future. It challenges us to find Afrofuturism not merely on maps of the world, but woven into the vibrant cultural fabric left by the African diaspora. This work is an invitation; a journey in its own right urging readers to reimagine the past, the mythic, and the future shaped by Afrofuturism.

The poem’s success includes its initial recitation and an accompanying illustration created by C-Note expressly for a planned book on the event. Speculative City Magazine later published both works in their Afrofuturism-themed 10th edition.

Speculative fiction critic Charles Payseur praised the poem, finding within it the possibility that Afrofuturism’s true home could be in the West, its destiny shaped in California. However, Payseur senses the poem illuminates not just the singular path of Afrofuturism, but its resonance with the past as much as the future.

In 2021, the University of California, Santa Cruz, featured Journey to Afrofuturism during its inaugural Afrofuturism-focused event Afrofuturism Then and Now. The poem and image concluded the global discussions and performances, presented by Hip Hop Congress Chairman, artist Rahman Jamaal.

Be Part of the Afrofuturist Legacy

Add a celebrated Afrofuturist masterpiece to your collection. Secure your own Journey to Afrofuturism art print – a critically praised work featured in Speculative City Magazine and UCSC’s landmark event – click on the image below 👇

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