After taking this course, I feel that I have a greater understanding of one of the most important aspects of Afrofuturism, which is what the future holds for individuals of color, and what can be done to break down the barriers that are still institutionalized within society today. Related to Snead’s idea of repetition, I have learned that while the state of contemporary black life has improved in many respects compared to the past, history and culture have transformed these negative past experiences of the black community into a more subtle version of its previous self. These subtleties take on forms such as high incarceration rates for black men, racial steering and police brutality. To me then, big question then is, what’s next? How do we move forward? What can we do to make a change?
Obviously, it goes without question that there’s only so much we can do, and that the real change is in the hands of lawmakers, politicians, and other government officials. However, some works that we discussed in class, such as Dirty Computer, gave me insight into what I feel can be done on the part of everyone to further transform black life and it’s overall perception in a more positive light, while not simply wiping away the oppressed past of the black individual. One of the answers that I found through Dirty Computer was simply to speak out. To share our experiences. To embrace uniqueness, intersectionality, and individuality, and to do the exact same for others of any and every background. Speaking out can also involve voting for government officials who would support anti-discriminatory legislation and policies, and getting involved in the conversation within your community about any racial issues that are taking place. By speaking out and sharing our experiences and perspectives with the world, especially in the age of the internet, we have an ability to influence the public mindset that overtime could produce the change that we want to see.
Dr. Smith has asked us to imagine a future direction we would like to take, being academic or non-academic, given what we have learned in this course. For me, something tangible that I would like to achieve following this course is to speak out and share my experience with the world in the form of music. I have always sang and played instruments, and my goal is to get better at writing and producing music through learning the piano and practice writing. I feel that I have a lot of ideas that I would like to convey regarding my own experiences, social issues and, very broadly, the insanity of our world today. I have recently been inspired to take such a route through The 1975’s new album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, which touches upon some major social issues going on right now and the dangers of the internet in almost a plea of salvation. As stated previously, I feel that the concept of sharing ones experience, or ones perspective of what they think is important, to be a critical essence of the human experience. By sharing our experiences with the world, we have an enriching set of perspectives and stories that transcend our secular selves and puts us in the shoes of someone else. I hold this as something very important to me, and it has always fascinated me how music can serve as a uniting force, or a bridge of understanding between individuals. Music allows us to escape our current world and enter the world of another, fostering greater relatedness and understanding between us, this is something I hope to contribute towards one day.