Introductions: Black Futures
December 3, 2020
By Sharon N. Williams, Executive Director of the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas
I am so excited to be here today and to be teaming with Seattle Arts & Lectures. This is an amazing opportunity not just for me, but for Black America and the entire world, to actually get a sense and a pulse of what we’ve been going through. Blackness, as we say at CD Forum, Blackness is not a monolith. And this book, this project, this purpose, is exactly what that is, so I’m excited to bring to you Black Futures and the editors Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham, with special guest King James Britt.
One of the things that I loved about receiving this book was first, the look. I got it in the mail, and I just let it sit on a table, and I kept walking by it. It was beautiful just to see Black Futures on it. And then to read the opening introduction where it says, “This is not a past, present, or future book. This is the right now.” It reminded me of the encyclopedias I had when I was growing up as a child. But this is more than that. Because this is us in the moment, and how we, Black people, are seeing this moment as a movement.
I loved that in the intro, it says: “This is not an art book. This is not a scholarly journal. This book is a series of guideposts for current and future generations, who may be curious about what our generation has been creating during a time defined by social, cultural, economic, and ecological revolution.” This book is a revolution. And so how do I tell you to prepare for this opportunity? I say sit down, strap in your seat belt, hold on to whatever you can hold on to. Because Kimberly, and Jenna, and King James Britt is going to rock your world, mess with yo’ mind, and encourage you to do more than what you’re doing in this moment.
Blackness is not a monolith. Black futures exist. I’m excited, you should be excited. Because this is my new Black bible. Welcome to the stage, to the virtual platform, Kimberly Drew, and Jenna Wortham. I appreciate you. I respect you. And I love all that you’re doing for us, by us.
This introduction was given by Sharon to open our Black Futures event with Kimberly Drew, Jenna Wortham, and King Britt, co-presented with CD Forum on December 2, 2020.