by RA-Moon, aka Ramon Gabrieloff- Parish, Assistant Instructor Interdisciplinary Studies
Black History is American History is Human history. Black Future is Human Future is Earth Future.
Say it again.
Why Black Futures Month? Back up. Why Black History month (and why Latinx, or…). Check the news. We as a nation still find ourselves embroiled in conflicts over how history should be taught and what history should be taught. But how else does a nation learn, grow in wisdom and compassion, but to tell the truth about itself? Black history is the African turned backward toward the ancestors to source strength for the present. It’s the Sankofa turn. But the ancestors bid us to remix their records and create anew. Recently, with the international popularity of films like the Black Panther, Black creatives, storytellers, activists and scholars have flipped history over the line of reflection. We are striving to go beyond resilience and resistance and project futures where the ancestral struggles for liberation are realized and black folk and all earth’s children have a foundation of justice and abundance to springboard into the Infinite. We set aside the month of February for Black Futures, but really, it’s a way of seeing and moving through the world.
Naropa is picking up on these future frequencies. For the 4th academic year Interdisciplinary Studies and MICIC are offering the Afrofuturism one credit online weekend intensive. This remote course offers an immersive dive into the world of Black science fiction, not only as literature, but as film, poetry, fashion, urban design, healing, community organizing and political strategy. Afrofuturism as utopian pedagogy. Uniquely this year we will offer Afrofuturism twice in one semester, once as an online weekend intensive (February 23rd-25th), and then as The Electric Black Earth Festival (EBEF) — a dive into collective liminality from April 18-21st. Using celestial timing and astrology Electric Black Earth will gather BIPOC and frequency allied community on campus and online to make a crack in the every day, and open to alternative futures that harmonize the indigenous and the high tech, the sensuous and the cybernetic, where nourishment and creativity act as universal basic currencies. In Afrofuturism part one students will prepare participatory myth art games to unfold in the April festival. And both can be “experienced’ for credit. Get on board the spaceship.
During Black Futures Month MCIC will also host a blast of offerings from Naropa and our partners. The Boulder NAACP is hosting and Naropa is co-sponsoring a free event the Annual Freedom Fund Celebration: Where Justice and Music Unite, with Anthony Ray Hinton and Danielle Ponder 3pm, February 18, 2024 @ CU Boulder’s Macky Auditorium. Free tickets and more details!
Then the celebration continues with Naropa’s, Tamika Cox’s Ecstatic Dance on Feb 15 in the Wulsin Basement from 7-9:30 pm.
On Feb 22, Naropa Alumnx, Luci Gaddie in partnership with Out Boulder, will host an Afro-Queer Watch Party for Kiki at Naropa Cultural Center from 6-9 pm.
On Feb 27 we’ll initiate the preparatory events for Electric Black Earth Fest with the Doq Ankh Transmissions an afrofuture/afrosurreal/counterculture academic ritual-theater (more details TBA).
MCIC also proudly welcomes back Lopön Karla Jackson-Brewer, a senior wisdom carrier synthesizing South, East and West. Karla will host Healing Wisdoms: Ifa and Vajrayana Alchemical Antidotes to Racial Trauma during Beloved Community time Feb. 28th– 12- 1pm.
We are also reaching into the greater community with vibrationally allied partners Treneti and Sister for the Return of the Mother Sound healing and Cacao Ceremony for Ancestral Healing on Feb 29th at Vali Soul Sanctuary from 6-9:30 pm.
Black Futures blossom in the Buddha’s garden. Black Futures call out to Brown Futures, to Indigenous Futures, to Queer Futures, to the human (and the others?) across the prismatic melanin spectrum. Rise up. We have a century to build. An age of information to alchemize into an age of wisdom. Transformed selves to transform worlds.
Say it again!Black History is American History is Human history. Black Future is human future is cosmic future. Get on the (earth) ship Naropa! Join us.
– Transmuted by Ra-Moon, aka Ramon Parish, Assistant Instructor Interdisciplinary Studies
Save the date! Electric Black Earth Festival April 18-21, 202