MAAFA

The Maafa, also known as The Middle Passage, was the violent reckoning of Africans being displaced from their original homeland. It was a defining moment in the development of both AfroFuturism and AfroSurrealism. Suddenly our conscious and subconscious minds had to both develop coping mechanisms to navigate the day to day violence and be able to project ourselves into futures not promised. Both cultural aesthetics were pivotal to our survival and replicated themselves in all areas of Black life from politicians to freedom fighters, slave artisans, poets, and scientists. These women and men battled white supremacy with mythical imaginations. 

AfroFuturists like Harriet Tubman and Toussaint Louverture conceived a reality of black freedom from bondage in tangible and practical ways. Poet Phillis Wheatley and polymath, Benjamin Banneker explored liberating parallel universes that existed alongside the particular realms in which they dwelled. Both powerful impulses, helped to negate the restricting forces of subjugation and provided a vaccine for intellectual, spiritual and physical survival.

This page is dedicated to the ancestors, especially those lost to the Middle Passage. It showcases a rich collection of archival works mixed with the Teen Curators’ artistic reflections inspired by The New York Times’ 1619 Project.