What Will the Black Future Hold? - OZY | A Modern Media Company


Because these artists and scientists make us think that great things are coming.

By Kate Crane

For the third and final week of our Black history series (here are parts one and two), we decided to look at the future. It’s not that we have a crystal ball. At least, not a reliably functional one. But in the past year or so, we have consistently reported on men and women whose work is shaping our now — and we’re betting it all ripples into the decades to come. 

There’s celebrated actor Anna Deavere Smith, who’s fascinated with the devils who walk among us. Benjamin Clementine, the Mercury Prize winner whom we hope will forgive us for once again likening him to Nina Simone. Choreographer Camille A. Brown, who makes character-driven work that’s about “telling a Black girl’s story through the Black girl gaze and no one else’s.” Scientist John Dabiri, who’s studying jellyfish in search of answers to human problems. Astronomer and TED Fellow Aomawa Shields, who has no time for the terrestrial — she’s too busy looking for life on other planets. (What are you doing this weekend?) And Tiffany White, who shares a hobby with Genghis Khan.

Trinidad-born poet Lauren K. Alleyne speaks in one piece about “a sky so close the stars might be a chain-link fence you run your hands along as you amble through the night.” When we picture the Black future, it looks kind of like that — bright from the light of a trillion dazzling stars.


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