Arts organization aims to bring Black science fiction genre to Mainers

A federal grant will fund efforts by a Maine non-profit to teach residents across the state about a growing Black science fiction genre.

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced this month that it had granted the Maine Humanities Council $250,000 to teach people across Maine about Afrofuturism, a cultural movement most closely aligned with science fiction that typically portrays Black people in a technologically advanced future.

Even if many Mainers don’t recognize the term itself, they are likely familiar with at least one work within the genre. The 2018 film Black Panther contains elements of it, as do works by R&B singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe, rock musician Jimi Hendrix and funk ensemble Parliament-Funkadelic.

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