What does Blackness look like in the future? - Generocity Philly

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Feb. 14, 2018 10:00 am

What does Blackness look like in the future?

Former Inquirer reporter Sofiya Ballin asked over a dozen Black activists, educators and artists from Philly and beyond for her future-focused Black History Month photo and interview series.

Zalika Ibaorimi for Black History Untold: Future.

(Photo by Shawn Theodore)

Editor's note: This story has been updated. (2/14, 12:12 p.m.)
Black History Untold: Future seeks to discover the unknown.

For the third installment of the Black History Month photo and interview series, founder Sofiya Ballin asked over a dozen Black activists, educators and artists the same questions:

  • What does Blackness look like in the future?
  • How did or do we get there?
  • How does this propel you and your work?
  • What are some historical or present-day events/figures we should be paying attention to, to inform that future?

Most of the participants are from Philly, but many are recognizable far beyond — including British Grammy winner Estelle.

“I felt it was important to elevate the voices of educators, activists, artists, public servants and students when delving into talk about the future,” wrote Ballin, a former features reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer who also founded the Electric Lady Series, a woman-centered event series that debuted last March. “These are the people who have their hand directly in crafting, changing and imagining it.”

That includes folks such as Community Legal Services managing attorney and Afrofuturist Rasheedah Phillips; North Philly native and aspiring politician Malcolm Kenyatta; and Institute for Hip Hop Entrepreneurship cofounder Tayyib Smith.

Photo for the series were taken by Shawn Theodore. See it in full here.

Part II of the series will be released on Feb. 21 for a total of 30 profiles.

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