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Film Sense

Apr 28, 2019

Black Panther... Get Out... Candyman... all have become classics of speculative fiction.  They are also shining examples of AFRO-FUTURISM and the ETHNO-GOTHIC.  

With the success of these films, it may seem that a new sub-genre of fantastic cinema is being born.  But according to PROFESSOR JOHN JENNINGS, horror and science fiction have been depicting the black experience for quite sometime.  What we have instead is a Renaissance.

So join Prof. Jennings and myself as we explore this new birth.


JOHN JENNINGS is a Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside. Jennings is co-editor of the Eisner Award-winning collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art. Jennings is also a 2016 Nasir Jones Hip Hop Studies Fellow with the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Jennings’ current projects include the horror anthology Box of Bones, the coffee table book Black Comix Returns (with Damian Duffy), and the Eisner-winning, Bram Stoker Award-winning, New York Times best-selling graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler’s classic dark fantasy novel Kindred. Jennings is also founder and curator of the ABRAMS Megascope line of graphic novels.

Sound Clips:

Luke Cage - Disney Enterprises, Inc. © COPYRIGHT MCMXCI, MMI DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC. All Rights Reserved © 2016 Marvel

Sun Ra / "Calling Planet Earth" - © 1998 © 2015 D A Music / Org Music (from a 1971 live performance)

Underground Resistance / "Jupiter Jazz" - © 1992 Mad Mike Music

Get Out - © 2017 Universal Studios

Candyman - © 1992 Polygram Filmed Entertainment

Avengers: Infinity War - © 2018 Marvel

Suggested Reading from Prof. Jennings:

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler A Graphic Novel Adaptation - Illustatetd by John Jennings. Adapted by Damian Duffy

Black Kirby by John Jennings & Stacey Robinson

Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent - Edited by Reynaldo Anderson & John Jennings

Marvel Essential Luke Cage Power Man Vol. 2 by Various

The Conjure Man Dies: A Mystery Tale of Dark Harlem by Rudolph Fisher

Flyboy 2 by Greg Tate

Creating Black Americans by Nell Irvin Painter

Black Frankenstein: The Making of an American Metaphor by Elizabeth Young

Stamped From The Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Framing Blackness: The African American Image In Film by Ed Guerrero

CORRECTION: The name of the executive producer of LITTLE is Marsai Martin (Blackish).