Red Spring Part II: Upheavals & Resistance

Out of the ‘cyclical chaos’ impacting Black lives, Black art, Black futures comes clarity, renewed strength and vision. Red Spring explores the circular nature of systemic racism and the public policies—public safety, health, and wealth—that adversely impact Black and indigenous communities.

Chango Quatrefoil (2020) by Gerardo CastroNew York Live Arts

Wild Child (2020) by Jacqueline JohnsonNew York Live Arts

"It could have been me"

—Jean Michel Basquiat, in response to the beating death of Michael Stewart and his painting Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart), 1983

Lay-In Drapeau for Eric Garner and Radio Raheem (2015) by Zeal HarrisNew York Live Arts

Don't Shoot, Don't Shoot (2019) by Jorge Eliecer Bermudez LemusNew York Live Arts

“Tommy Gun” Yasin Allah AKA MMilk, 2019

On Yasin Allah aka Mmilk's music

When Yasin Allah aka Mmilk presented his first solo release, The Album I Owe, he wanted to focus on lyrics for this project, so he recruited underground legend Paragon Assassin to produce the beats. Yasin returned to his Iron Mic Coalition roots and collaborated with DJ Capital A. For recording and mixing, he went back to the essence and grabbed DJ Kojack. Finally, he added his own deadly acrobatics, a style of rapping he calls Tennessee Hill Repertoire. The result is Yasin’s best work to date, a classic album for devout backpackers, grimy trap rappers, and every other music enthusiast riding the spectrum, locked in struggle, critical rhymes for critical times…

Say Her Name (2020) by Mawhyah MiltonNew York Live Arts

"Forty Acres Bang Boogie" by Yasim Allah aka Mmilk

Oluwatoyin Salau (2020) by Mawhyah MiltonNew York Live Arts

Rage from a Queen (2020) by Mawhyah MiltonNew York Live Arts

Ferguson Memorial (2020) by Winifred HawkinsNew York Live Arts

The Surrender of Lee (2020) by S. Ross BrowneNew York Live Arts

:"Gravity" by Hippy Soul

On Hippy Soul's music

Hippy Soul captures the spirit of urban life in North Memphis, evoking Japanese anime and manga, and the mercurial moods of those who navigate depression while seeking higher ground. Together the rap duo, Idi Aah Que and Teco Tate, offers a smooth, chilled out lyricism with bursts of Black Boy Joy and energy that is refreshing. They remind us that “you ain’t gonna reach your full potential if you ain’t being you.”

Tempos Insanos (Insane Times) (2020) by Nicki Monteiro, Roland Mulderian, and Jackie BNew York Live Arts

False Pharaohs (2020) by Patience LekienNew York Live Arts

This America (excerpt)
by Jacqueline Johnson

Soft leaves of a real Spring /
bursting free on every branch. /
So glad to be a part of creation. /
Seven artists sitting in a half shell /
each a lit flame; we don't have /
all the answers our people crave....


Proctect Your Energy (2020) by Adeyemi AgdebasanNew York Live Arts

Ride for You (2020) by Janessa JenkinsNew York Live Arts

"Trippin" by Hippy Soul

Urban Goddess (2020) by Andrea RushingNew York Live Arts

Dark Matter is all that Matters

Dark Matter Is All That Matters (excerpt)
by Linda D. Addison

We must live, even while systemic death /
allows generations to weep, /
each drop staining the animals /
in human skin, barking madly at their /
own predicament. No matter how hunted, /
we persist, even when outnumbered....


Inner Flame: The Power to Create and Destroy (2020) by InnerGyNew York Live Arts

There she stands in her glory
The expression in her eyes tell a story
just a glimpse, a flash, a vision
you'll enjoy
of how she wields her powers to create or destroy. -@innergyinme

Deimos and Phobos Conquered (2019) by S. Ross BrowneNew York Live Arts

"For we fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand…"

—Ephesians 6: 12-13 The Bible

Refugee Twenty Thirty (2020) by Muniyra DouglasNew York Live Arts

Credits: Story

Thank you to our Contributors

Linda D. Addison
Adeyemi Agdebasan
Jackie B
S. Ross Browne
Gerardo Castro
Mike Cooley
Audra D
Muniyra Douglas
Zeal Harris
Winifred Hawkins
Hippy Soul
Janessa Jenkins
Jacqueline Johnson
Patience Lekien
Jorge Elecier Bermudez Lemus
Mahwyah Milton
Yasin Alah AKA Mmilk
Nicki Monteiro
Roland Mulderian
Andrea Rushing
A. Slate

View all Contributors and bios HERE

Origin Story

Conceived by Reynaldo Anderson and Stacey Robinson of the Black Speculative Arts Movement and guest-curated by Sheree Renée Thomas, Danielle L. Littlefield, and Dacia Polk, this four-part exhibition brings together the voices and visions of artists from around the world. Created in the height of the Black Lives Matter movement and during an increasingly distressing international pandemic, this work responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, cyclical anti-Black violence, rising climate change that is having an immediate, real-time disastrous effect on communities of color, poor governance, trans-humanism, and an accelerating, technologically driven, predatory global economic system on the verge of collapse that intentionally exploits "undeveloped" nations for their natural resources around the world.

The visual art, music, animated shorts, graphic collages, photographs, stories, poems, and experimental explorations are representative of Afrofuturism in its many forms. From the streets to the academy, urban and rural, these works are intergenerational and intersectional, touching upon Ancestral Memory, Social and Civil Upheavals and Resistance, Afrofuturism and New Myths, Environmental Wildseeds and New BlackFutures. 

These gifted artists continue to create and innovate during times that are challenging for everyone, but impact creative artists in specific ways. Their creations show that art is the language of humanity and that we need artistic expressions that excavate, reveal, translate, and extrapolate now more than ever. These border-crossing, genre-smashing works contain worlds within worlds. We invite you to take your time to enter these spaces from any entry point you choose. Inspired by the age-old tradition of speculative fiction, these works explore the role of memory, the power of resistance in the face of great adversity, the liberatory and revolutionary power of the imagination, the strength and resilience of the Black family, the wisdom of the elders, the joyful anachronistic and brilliance of cosplay, Wakandan and lolita, the resourcefulness of futuristic fashions from recycled treasures, and the imperative to explore new worlds, within ourselves, within each other, and here on earth and beyond, never ceasing, ever growing/going forward.  

We offer our gratitude to each of these special artists for their contributions and time and for our partners, Bill T. Jones's NY LIVE ARTS, BSAM: The Black Speculative Arts Movement, particularly BSAM St. Louis, BSAM Memphis, BSAM Canada, Vescent Design, Black Pot Mojo Arts, Neighborhood Heroes, Afroflux, Afro_Futures UK, The Afrofuturist Affair, Gerardo Castro, Black Kirby, NubiaMancy, Kaos Network, Blerd City Con, Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, Zion Network, and Google Arts & Culture. For more artworks, visit and @bsamstl on Instagram.

Credits: All Media
The visual art, music, stories, poems, videos, and essays may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed above, who have supplied the content.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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