The Tampa Bay Afrofuturism Festival will feature three days of panels featuring heavyweights such as (left to right) Antonio Brown, Carl Lavender, Celeste Davis, Dr. Chris Warren, Basha Ferdinand, Adrian Taylor, Dr. Katurah Jenkins Hall, and Lynn Harrell Johnson.
PINELLAS COUNTY – There will be three days of free panels during the upcoming Tampa Bay Afrofuturism Festival (TBAFF), featuring local and regional heavyweights and community stakeholders in discussion.
While many think of Afrofuturism as an arts movement, TBAFF festival organizer Jake-ann Jones of afroQuantum Experiences notes that, in reality, it is more of a social justice project.
“If you look at the history of how the conversation around Afrofuturism has developed, it’s always included discussions on the social and political realities that Black folks live in, even as we look forward and strive to thrive. There’s no way to talk about Black Futures without acknowledging the historical impact of others on our freedoms and how we’ve had to rework all of our own projects around those impacts,” Jones noted.
The festival will have three panels located in Largo and St. Pete. Full panel schedule is as follows:
DAY 1: “THE JOURNEY: The Future of Black Tampa Bay” on Friday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. at Creative Pinellas during the inaugural Tampa Bay Afrofuturism Festival! Creative Pinellas is located at 12211 Walsingham Rd, Largo.
- Antonio Brown, Black Excellence Summit, Barbershop Bookclub/Central Station Barbershop & Grooming
- Celeste Davis, director of Arts, Culture, and Tourism for the City of St. Petersburg
- Katurah Jenkins Hall, GRACE-Greater Reach Alliance of Counselors and Educators, LLC
- Carl Lavender, Foundation for a Healthy St. Pete
- Judith Scully, law professor, founder of Stetson’s Social Justice Advocacy Program
- Rev. JC Pritchett (Moderator)
DAY 2: “AFROTech Tampa Bay” on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. at The Woodson Museum during the inaugural Tampa Bay Afrofuturism Festival! The Woodson is located at 2240 9th Ave. S, St. Petersburg.
- Zebbie Atkinson IV, Boundless Consulting and Contracting LLC
- Basha Ferdinand, Synapse
- Lynn Harrell Johnson, Community Tech House, Inc.
- Rose Lejiste, RL Engineering & Tech Solutions
- Adrian Taylor, Media Engagement Solutions
- Dr. Christopher Warren (Moderator)
DAY 3: “Black Family Health Day” on Sunday, Nov. 13. The panel and audience will watch a 10:30 a.m. screening of the film “SIMI” by filmmaker, educator and healer Debbie Yati Garret, and then the panel will begin at 11 a.m., at The Studio@620. The Studio@620 is located at 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg.
- Debbie Yati Garrett, artist, educator, healer
- Travis McCray, author, mental health advocate, and motivational speaker.
- Lola B. Morgan, author, life coach, health and wellness advocate
- Frederick “Rootman” Woods, artist, reiki, and meditation practitioner
- Ashaanti Dey, The PneuNaTion Sanctuary
- Dr. LaDonna Butler (Moderator)
Interested in learning more about Afrofuturism? Here are some links to explore:
- Beyond ‘Black Panther’: A brief history of Afrofuturism
- What is afrofuturism, and how can it change the world?
- Everything you need to know about afrofuturism
- What the heck is Afrofuturism?
- It’s not just Black Panther. Afrofuturism is having a moment.
- Afrofuturism: The genre that made Black Panther
For a full list of resources on Afrofuturism, visit readingblackfutures.com/defining-afrofuturism
For more information and a full schedule of festival activities, visit tampabayafrofuturismfestival.com.
The Tampa Bay Afrofuturism Festival is an initiative of Pinellas Diaspora Arts Project, Inc (PDAP). A registered 501c3, PDAP’s mission includes elevating Black and Brown art and artists in Tampa Bay, with a focus on youth and family health and wellness. Visit pinellasdap.org or follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/PinellasDAP and Instagram instagram.com/pinellasdap.