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Biography

 

Ytasha L. Womack is a critically acclaimed author, filmmaker, dancer, independent scholar, and champion of humanity and the imagination. Her book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi & Fantasy Culture (2013) is the leading primer on the exciting subject which bridges science fiction, futurisms, and culture. The book is a 2014 Locus Awards Non Fiction Finalist.

Womack tours the world championing Afrofuturism and the role of the imagination. Her works in Afrofuturism have been translated into Portuguese and Spanish for markets in Brazil and Latin America. Afrofuturism is taught in high schools and universities across the world.

Her film "A Love Letter to the Ancestors From Chicago" (2017) is an Afrofuturist dance film. It was featured in Afropunk Brooklyn, Black(s) to the Future Fest in Paris, Cultura IberaAmericana in Cuba, Afrotopia in Bristol, England, Reel Time Film Fest in Lagos, Nigeria and the Black Harvest Film Fest in Chicago among others. The film won Best Experimental Film at the Collected Voices Festival.  

She's currently developing other Afrofuturist films including Bar Star City (www.barstarcity.com).

Rayla 2212, a time travelling/reincarnation book series follows the character Rayla Illmatic and inspired the Race in Space Conference at Duke University. 

She's published essays in the anthologies Black Quantum Futurism: Space Time Collapse, Artists Against Police Brutality. The short Afrofuturist Prince ode  "For Digital Girls Who Drink Tonic Water When Purple Rain isn't Enough" appeared in Jalada.com and 2709 Books (Spanish Translation).  

Womack's other books include Rayla 2213 (2016) Post Black: How a New Generation is Refining African American Identity (2010), which was a Booklist Top 10 Black History Reader,  and Beats, Rhymes and Life: What We Love & Hate About Hip Hop (2007). 

 Her films include the romantic comedy Couples Night (2018/screenwriter) starring Tony Rock and Reagan Gomez Preston; The Engagement (Director) starring Bernadette Stanis and Clifton Davis, and Love Shorts (Producer/Writer). She was also coproducer for the documentary Tupac: Before I Wake and appeared on E True Hollywood Story’s Rappers Wives documentary as a guest commentator. 

Womack frequently lectures and keynotes conferences on Afrofuturism, innovation, and science fiction around the world. She's a frequent panelist at Comic Cons across the country. Engagements include
Sonic Acts Festival (Amsterdam)
WOW Festival (Liverpool, England)
Afrofuturism Conference, New School (New York City, US)
Deutsche Kinemathek (Berlin, Germany)
Sun Ra Conference (Chicago)
Planet Deep South (Jackson, Mississippi, US)
HTMlles Festival (Montreal, Canada)
New York Comic Con (New York City, US)
She was Guest of Honor at Convergence in Minneapolis, Urban Roundtable 40 Under 40, and a Locus Awards Finalist for Best Nonfiction reader for her book Afrofuturism. 

Womack also leads youth dance programs and cultivated a an Afrofuturism dance therapy program for teens and adults. 

A Chicago native, she began her career as a journalist. She is a former editor-at-large for Upscale Magazine and former reporter/columnist for the Chicago Defender. She guest edits for NV Magazine and her works have appeared in Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, Ebony, Essence, VIBE, and more. 

She received a BA in Mass Media Arts from Clark Atlanta University and studied Arts, Media, and Entertainment Management at Columbia College Chicago. She has a certificate in Metaphysics Studies (Better Living) from the Johnnie Coleman Institute.

 

 

News & Updates

 

Twitter

 

Learn more about Afrofuturism and the film Black Panther. Includes an interview with Ytasha Womack. CLICK HERE

 Palette Podcast with Harvard Graduate School of Education interviews  Ytasha on Afrofuturism. CLICK HERE

Palette Podcast with Harvard Graduate School of Education interviews

Ytasha on Afrofuturism. CLICK HERE

oct 18

AFROFUTURISM SYMPOSIUM-ANCIENT EGYPT, NUBIA, AND THE INFLUENCE ON COMICS & AFROFUTURISM - ORIENTAL INSTITUTE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, OCT 7 - Enjoy presentations by Egyptian and Nubia scholars along with comic book experts. Presenters include Dr. Bruce Williams, Dr. Biran Muhs, Dr. Tasha Vorderstrasse, and Dr. Stanford W. Carpenter. Moderated and Co organized by Ytasha L. Womack, 155 E. 58th St. Chicago, 1pm. Includes the Black Kirby Art Show with John Jennings and Stacey Robinson running throughout October.

AFROFUTURISM SYMPOSIUM, DAY 2: BLACK QUANTUM FUTURISM & TIME TRAVEL at the Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry, University of Chicago, OCT. 10, 6 pm, 929 E. 60th St., Chicago. Learn from these assemblage of artists and scientist. Includes a presentation by D. Denenge Akpem and a panel featuring Floyd Webb, David Boykin, and Daniel Holtz. Ytasha L. Womack is the moderator and co-organizer.

W

oct 18

 

APRES LA REVOLUCION, Ecole Nationale Superieure d’ Architecture de Saint Etienne, France OCT 16 - Ytasha L. Womack presents on the value of dance as health practice in society and her Afrofuturism Dance Therapy Program, 1, rue Buisson
42003 Saint-Etienne
France.

“A LOVE LETTER TO THE ANCESTORS FROM CHICAGO” screens at the MIDWEST BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION ALLIANCE’S MATINEE NOIRE - BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION SHORTS PROGRAM Oct 28, Cincinnati & Hamilton County Library, 3400 Brookline Ave., Clifton , Cincinnati Ohio, 1:30 -4:15 PM

nov 18

 

EMERSON COLLEGE WRITER IN RESIDENCE VIRTUAL LECTURE, BOSTON, NOV 7…7pm EST

EMERSON COLLEGE, WRITER IN RESIDENCE, MASTER CLASS, taught by Ytasha L. Womack, Nov 14, 3 pm EST.

MCCORMICK SEMINARY, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, CLASS LECTURE, Nov 15, 8 am.

“A LOVE LETTER TO THE ANCESTORS FROM CHICAGO” screens at the 7th Annual I’ve Known Rivers Film Fest with Collected Voices, Saturday and Sunday Nov 17-18th, Los Angelos, Leimert Park, 90008, 2-8pm Screenings and live performances.

JAN 19

BERLIN, AN EVENING WITH YTASHA L. WOMACK - Date Forthcoming