For 340 years, Black people were the “Slave-Industrial Complex.” We were subjected to absolute and unspeakable horror, brutality, and oppression with no abatement and for the next 155 years, subjugated by the Black Codes, Jim Crow laws, lynchings, voter disenfranchisement, oppression, police brutality, mass incarceration, injustice, and inequality; executed and maintained by a system of white supremacy. I contend that such experiences and existence are dystopian. I set-forth several analogies to dystopian films and literature, and I provide an in-depth analysis of our experiences and how and why we are in a dystopian state.
As in some dystopian films, mostly science-fiction, there is often a way out, but not always for everyone. But, for this current dystopian reality, Black people desperately need to find a way out. In the book, I discuss several foundational references, namely Afrocentricity and ancestral memories, that are key to our journey out of this dystopia and to Afrofuturism. However, we need first to understand that Afrofuturism is not music, literature, art, or film exclusively. And, neither is it rooted in mysticism or myth or only found in Wakanda. In Divine Consciousness, From a Dystopian Diaspora to Afrofuturism, I will take you B(l)ack to the future, B(l)ack and forward, and share how Afrofuturism is real and attainable. The journey to Afrofuturism, however, requires self-affirmation, self-actualization, and self-determination. It also requires a transformation and elevation of Black collective consciousness. Then and only then, will you ascend to a divine consciousness—if you choose.
Kamal A.M. Al Mansour is an imagemaker, visual culturalist, digerati, and writer. He was the founder of AfroLink Software, the first Afrocentric interactive multimedia software company. He is currently the Creative Director of artGriot, an online gallery and art studio. As an artist, he has exhibited in galleries, colleges and universities, and museums across the U.S. He has won numerous awards for his artwork, and is in numerous collections. He holds a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a BA from UCLA, where he majored in Political Science, and minored in African and African-American Studies.