Black Quantum Futurism presents
Community Futurisms: Time & Memory in North Philly 002 - Black Space Agency
Inspired by the legacy of the Fair Housing Act, Civil Rights and Black Liberation movements, and the space race in North Philadelphia during the 1960s, this art exhibition and community programming explores issues of affordable and fair housing, displacement/space/land grabs, and gentrification through the lens of afrofuturism, oral histories/futures, and Black spatial-temporal autonomy.
In North Philly during the 1960’s, Rev. Leon H. Sullivan, a civil rights leader and minister at Philadelphia’s Zion Baptist Church, established Progress Aerospace Enterprises (PAE), one of the first Black-owned aerospace companies. An innovator of its day, PAE had strong connections to the Civil Rights and Black liberation movements, affordable housing, economic stability, passage of the Fair Housing Act, and the space race. Sullivan, along with church members from Zion Baptist, also founded the Zion Gardens affordable housing project and Progress Plaza, Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc., and other innovative organizations and programs around the country and world. The Civil Rights movement and space race would collide, with a lot of popular resistance to the Moon landing and the space race from the Black community, such as the Poor People’s Campaign March at Kennedy Space Center, which condemned the government for pouring billions into the moon landing while ignoring the growing issues of poverty and lack of affordable housing. The Black community also spoke out against the lack of diversity in NASA astronauts and the controversial resignation of a Black astronaut a few years before the moon landing. In response to some of these critiques, NASA became briefly involved in the design and applicability of spaceship materials in “urban” and government-subsidized housing. Much of this resistance and involvement has been erased from the popular memory.
Curated by Black Quantum Futurism, art exhibition and programming collaborators include: Youth HEALers Stand Up!, Denise Valentine, Betty Leacraft, Faye Anderson, Sammus, and Metropolarity. Artwork will be on display at Icebox Project Space from April 12-April 27, 2018. Programming will take place on various dates (separate invites will be linked below). All events are free. Icebox Project Space is an accessible space. If you need additional accommodations to participate, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 14 (7-9pm)- Black Space Agency Opening Reception w/ Black Quantum Futurism performance at Icebox Project Space
April 15, 2018 - Black Space Time Matters Movie Day + Discussion + Mapping (Screening Afronauts + Space Traders + + TBA) at Icebox Project Space
April 18, 2018 - Housing Futures: Landlord-Tenant Rights workshop (to be held at Brewerytown-Sharswood Neighborhood Advisory Council at 30th and Master Street) - https://www.facebook.com/events/201195287319732/
April 21, 2018 (3-5pm) - Blue Note Salon
April 22, 2018 (12:30-3:30pm) - Youth Housing Visioning Session at Icebox Project Space https://www.facebook.com/events/436911333429302/
Community Futurisms: Time & Memory in North Philly is an ongoing collaborative art + creative research project exploring the impact of redevelopment, gentrification, and displacement within North Philly. The first iteration of the project included the award winning afrofuturist community space, Community Futures Lab. https://www.blackquantumfuturism.com/community-futurisms
Black Quantum Futurism aims to restimulate memory of all of these interconnected events and underexplored history, make the threads visible and show how they reach into and overlay the present and future(s) of affordable housing, Black liberation, and the fight for space and time in our communities. The project specifically locates these inquiries within the context of uncovering time and memory in North Philly, unburying quantum, Afro-diasporic histories, and envisioning what tools are needed to create liberatory Afrofuture(s). The project considers the ways in which memory and time are interconnected to housing and location, as well as both universal and mundane concepts of space and race.