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Saturday, March 25 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Before Black Panther: Reclaiming the Legacies of Proto-Afrofuturist Comic Books and Sequential Art

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The cultural production space known as Afrofuturism has become mainstream. A great deal of this interest was generated by the success of the Marvel Entertainment film Black Panther. John Jennings (Abrams/Megascope), Stanford Carpenter (Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival), and Ajani Brown (San Diego State Univiersity) will examine several comics, cartoons, and sequential art narratives that were created before the Black Panther was imagined by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966. This includes the first Black “space opera” character, Neil Knight (1950), which was published by the popular black newspaper The Pittsburgh Courier. It will also examine a character that pre-figures the Black Panther. That hero, Lion Man, was published by a Black comic book company called All-Negro Comics in 1947. The end goal of this research is to restore, archive, and propagate speculative sequential art that centers on Black protagonists and their use of futuristic technologies. It also seeks to reposition Afro-speculative comic books alongside music, literature, fashion, and film as a pillar of Afrofuturism.

Saturday March 25, 2023 11:00am - 12:00pm PDT
Room 300E