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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

 

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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

feb 18

BLACK FILM AS ART, BLACK ART AS FILM SEMINAR SCREENINGS- UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO - AFROFUTURISM- FEB 5, "A Love Letter to the Ancestors From Chicago" will be screened along with classic doc Last Angel of History, and Space is the Place at the Logan Center, 915 E. 60th St. Chicago, Room 201, 7 pm. 

CHI-KANDA, A Black Panther Celebration event, FEB. 17, including live performances, comic book art, video games and more including Djedi, Chochise Soulstar at QUE4RADIO STATION, 2643 W. Chicago, Ave, 2-7 pm. Concert with Drunken Monkee, Neodotcom, and more at SUBTERRANEAN, 2011 w. North, Ave 10 PM.  HOSTED BY Ytasha Womack & Drunken Monkeee

WELLESLEY COLLEGE, Harambee House Black History Celebration. Guest Lecturer: Ytasha Womack, FEB. 27, 4:30 pm.

MAR 18

 

THE GREEN BOOK, Pegasus Theatre, a coproduction with Spiel Performing Identity.  MARCH 11. What happens one weekend when African-American and Jewish lives intersect? A world premiere inspired by Victor Hugo Green's historical travel guide. Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago IL, 3pm. Ytasha Womack does a Q&A with historians, scholars and more following the screening.

YOUNG CHICAGO AUTHORS, MARCH 13, 1180 N. Milwaukee,Chicago 8pm. A writers chat with Ytasha L. Womack

BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY, MARCH 15-16, Bowie, MD. Class visits and screening of A Love Letter to the Ancestors From Chicago. DETAILS FORTHCOMING.

MAR 18

 

BLACK LOVE EXPERIENCE, MARCH 17, PANEL: Black to the Future-Inside Suri's Lab, Anacostia Arts Center, 1231 Good Hope Rd SE Washington, DC. 10pm-10:45pm. Ytasha Womack joins a talk on Afrofuturism with Professors Tewodross Melchisua, Jennifer White-Johnson, and writer L. Penelope

BUCKET O BLOOD, 3182 N. Elston, Chicago, 4pm.  Afrofuturism, Rayla 2212 book signing and chat.

 

APRIL 18

AN EVENING OF FILM curated by Ytasha L. Womack APRIL 4, Comfort Station, 2579 N. Milwaukee, 8-10pm. Includes A Love Letter to the Ancestors From Chicago.

 

BEST OF BLACK HARVEST FILM FESTIVAL, APRIL 18, including the short A Love Letter to the Ancestors From Chicago, Garfield Park, 300 N. Central. DETAILS FORTHCOMING.