A Peek at the Variety, Wonder and Trauma of Black Life, Then and Now

“There Are Black People in the Future,” a billboard installation by Alisha Wormsley in Pittsburgh. Image courtesy of the artist.

In this glowing review for the New York Times, Scaachi Koul prepares readers for Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham's highly anticipated book, Black Futures. The book collects essays, interviews, art, photography, poems, tweets, memes and screenshots, all celebrating the infinite expansiveness of Blackness. Described as an attempt to document what it might mean to be Black around the world in the past, present, and future, Drew and Wortham’s book offers its readers a wide range of topics to consider that are both public and intimate to Black life. The representation of Blackness within this text is prismatic, non-linear, and ever-growing. Rather than trying to narrow down the boundaries of its definition, Drew and Wortham provide a vibrant and beautifully complicated narrative experience.

Black Futures doesn’t try to encapsulate the whole past and present of Blackness around the world, but instead, to give us an impressive start, a blueprint for this moment and the next, for where Black folks have been and where they might be going.” - Scaachi Koul