Photo gallery Exploring Afrofuturism with Pierce Freelon

February 28, 2020

Black History Month keynote speaker Pierce Freelon discussed Afrofuturism with an enthusiastic crowd of more than 75 at Union South’s Varsity Hall on Feb. 27. Freelon is a professor, director, musician, Emmy Award-winning producer, and a millennial politician. He hosted a student-moderated dialogue, a freestyle beat-making session and answered thoughtful questions from the audience. Afrofuturism is the (re)imagining of the future for Black people through various mediums such as the arts, media, and literature.It’s a cultural movement that uses the future as a way to (re)imagine the realities and possibilities for those part of the African diaspora.

A speaker talks to a crowd.

Keynote speaker Pierce Freelon is flanked by student moderators Chelsea Hylton and Nile Lasana — both members of The Black Voice — as Freelon addresses the topic of "Why Afrofuturism" during a Black History Month event. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Freelon talks with student moderators Chelsea Hylton and Nile Lasana.

Freelon talks with student moderators Chelsea Hylton and Nile Lasana. Photo by: Jeff Miller

A crowd of more than 75 people attended Pierce Freelon's speech on Afrofuturism.

A crowd of more than 75 people attended Pierce Freelon's speech on Afrofuturism. Photo by: Jeff Miller

The audience was enthusiastic about the topic of Afrofuturism, which is the (re)imagining of the future for Black people through various mediums such as the arts, media, and literature.

The audience was enthusiastic about the topic of Afrofuturism, which is the (re)imagining of the future for Black people through various mediums such as the arts, media, and literature. Photo by: Jeff Miller

From left to right, audience members Karla Foster, Jaylah Batemon and Karinton DeVille cheer as Freelon leads a freestyle beat-making session during his Black History Month event talk.

From left to right, audience members Karla Foster, Jaylah Batemon and Karinton DeVille cheer as Freelon leads a freestyle beat-making session during his Black History Month event talk. Photo by: Jeff Miller

A sticker on keynote speaker Pierce Freelon's laptop computer referred to his experience in 2017 running for mayor of the City of Durham.

A sticker on keynote speaker Pierce Freelon's laptop computer referred to his experience in 2017 running for mayor of the City of Durham. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Evan Lewis, a graduate student in the Department of Afro-American Studies and native of Durham, N.C., asks about keynote speaker Pierce Freelon's experience in 2017 running for mayor of the City of Durham.

Evan Lewis, a graduate student in the Department of Afro-American Studies and native of Durham, N.C., asks about keynote speaker Pierce Freelon's experience in 2017 running for mayor of the City of Durham. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Freelon leads a freestyle beat-making session with Shannon Jones II, at left, and De'Aire Reed, at right.

Freelon leads a freestyle beat-making session with Shannon Jones II, at left, and De'Aire Reed, at right. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Freelon Pierce is the founder of Blackspace, a digital maker space in Durham where young people learn about music, film and coding.

Freelon Pierce is the founder of Blackspace, a digital maker space in Durham where young people learn about music, film and coding. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Freelon signs a poster following his talk.

Freelon signs a poster following his talk. Photo by: Jeff Miller

Freelon is pictured with members of the UW-Madison Black History Month committee following his talk.

Freelon is pictured with members of the UW-Madison Black History Month committee following his talk. Photo by: Jeff Miller

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