Arise II

Afrofuturist Stories and Art Every Black Panther Fan Should Know

Now that Black Panther has made its royal debut on the big screen, fans might be hungry for more Afrofuturist content. Thankfully, there are plenty of artworks, books and comics that explore black experience through a sci-fi lens. Here are ten Afrofuturist works, many from Denver, that every Black Panther fan should know.

Acid of the Godz
Woven together by Denver's own Anubis Heru, Acid of the Godz is a graphic novel that explores environmental unrest and an alchemist prince's journey made alongside three companions as they search for an ancestral artifact that can put the land of Avaris at peace once again. Heru describes it as "Stargate blended with Game of Thrones."

The ArchAndroid
Janelle Monáe's second studio album takes the listener on a multigenre sci-fi journey that includes everything from funk and classical to glam-rock-inspired electro-pop. The album tells the story of Cindi Mayweather, an android slated for disassembly for falling in love with a human, who frees the city of Metropolis from the oppressive Great Divide.

Brown Girl in the Ring
Nalo Hopkinson pens an urban fantasy story about an alternate Toronto, one where the government and the privileged have pulled up stakes and left Ti-Jeanne, her newborn, her Voudoun priestess grandmother and the rest of the city's inhabitants to fend for themselves. To save her boyfriend from a gang lord, Ti-Jeanne will have to tap into the spirit world and her own Voudoun powers.

Dark Matter
Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction From the African Diaspora is the first anthology of black science fiction/fantasy that includes tales from such literary heavyweights as Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany and Tananarive Due.


Genius is a comic-book series that revolves around a girl named Destiny, who has become the current generation's most brilliant military mind. Learn what happens when she unifies South Central's gangs against the LAPD.

Joshua Mays
While not strictly a storyteller, artist and Denver native Joshua Mays most certainly tells Afrofuturist stories with brushstrokes, lines and shading.

Lilith's Brood 
A mainstay of science-fiction, Octavia E. Butler's Lilith's Brood carries the reader along on a journey with Lilith Lyapo as she's resurrected centuries after Earth is destroyed by war. Powerful aliens known as the Oankali seek to help humanity by blending with our genetics. But at what cost? And with what results?

Niobe: She Is Life
Niobe: She Is Life

This comic-book series is co-written by actress Amandla Stenberg (known for playing Rue in Hunger Games) and illustrated by Ashley A. Woods. Niobe Ayutami is an orphaned elfin teenager turned mystical messiah tearing herself away from a haunted past while on an odyssey to unite splintered nations against demonic forces.

Sorcerer of the Wildeeps/A Taste of Honey
Sorcerer of the Wildeeps and A Taste of Honey are two black fantasy novellas by Kai Ashante Wilson. Not only do both short stories take place in the same fantastical world, but they also both involve gay romance between men of color, something not often seen in traditional fantasy stories.

Sun Ra plays for the fate of the black race.
Sun Ra plays for the fate of the black race.

Space Is the Place
Space Is the Place stars Afrofuturist pioneer and music composer Sun Ra in a sci-fi film that chronicles his return to Earth. The production includes a black space colony, a card game to decide the fate of the black race, and Sun Ra's signature sound and his crew, known as the Arkestra.

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