The Future is Black Afrofuturism Art+Tech Gallery

The Future is Black Afrofuturism Art +Tech Gallery was a 12,000 square feet interactive technological space where people can experience Wakanda in Newark by fusing Architecture, Fashion, Art and Technology.  Located at 609 Broad St. (inside of Hahne & Co.) was also a part of the 8th Annual Khem Fest. The installation was live from April 2022 -November 2022.

Khem Fest was proud to host a house of 10+ successful artists, enhancing the modern, dynamic, and creative environment of the gallery.

Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic, philosophy of science and philosophy of history that explores the developing intersection of African diaspora culture with science and technology. 

Zangar Freeman

ZMAKESBEADS LLC – Afrocentric Crafts, Jewelry, Clothing, Art

ZMakesBeads is a black owned handmade jewelry business. The pieces that I make includes necklaces, bracelets, and chokers made using semi-precious stones and other natural and unique beads. When you buy one of my pieces you are getting an experience that I refer to as, “a piece of me worn by you”. When I say this I mean that all of my pieces are original designs that come from my own artistic view on life. I am constantly creating and thinking of new designs to make based on everything I experience in life. A simple interaction with new people for me can be an idea for a new necklace or bracelet which gives my pieces a true meaning behind them. I see the world as one body that I want to cover in jewelry.

Davina Hallie

Created by Osko – Afrocentric Crafts, Jewelry, Clothing, Art

In regards to everything that has occurred since March of 2020 it really put my life and where I was and what is priority in perspective. I realized I couldn’t continue to live life as I had in the past. I picked up my pencil again I invested in myself and started to create regularly. I recently reduced my hours at work to pursue my art full time. As an African American woman it took everything that happened to really put life in perspective and realized I deserved rest, to be happy, and to pursue what I love without guilt. I’m a single mother as well and I wanted a a different norm for my children and to inspire my daughter to follow her dreams as she is an artist herself. I am really giving my all and recapturing my love for self and art.

Charles Date

VULCARMIA – Comic book/Manga and Animation

Vulcarmia – A different dimension that’s connected to the earth. Vulmans live in this world, which is a bit bigger than the earth. There are main colored tribes long ago that multiplied into districts, thus creating an entire rainbow of districts. Unfortunately, there have been wars stricken out to see who was the more reliable tribe. The oldest out of all was the Light District – shorten to L.D took a toll on the situation with peace and was crowned the rightful place for all tribes/districts to come together and to pursue their truths, believes, and dreams peacefully. But this is about a story where a princess who stands for the symbolism of peace takes on mind adventures with her team and classmates through regular and not so regular parts of their lives… What could go wrong?

Tamiah Boyer

Miss Icarus Art – Comic Book or Comic Book Related

I am a 20 year old self-taught artist with experience in digital and traditional art, graphic design, storyboarding, animation, and writing. My current goals are to finish writing my own comic and to find steady work that helps me further exercise my skills.

Alexander Guzman

Inhaletheuniverse – Afrocentric Crafts, Jewelry, Clothing, Art

Hello my name is Alexander Guzman. I was born February 2nd 2001. So from what I know I’m of Puerto Rican descent with a little bit of German in me. My goal as an artist is to captivate you with a story through my imagery alone. My style of craft is inspired by both Japanese manga and American comics. My technique revolves around strong contrasts through intense cross hatching, and saturated-yet-smooth blending of colors. ‘The Future Dynasty’ seeks to explore many today’s cultures that Africans have been influential towards.

View artwork here.

Xplore Freedom

XploreFreedom – Comic Book Oriented

Raised in Newark, New Jersey at the height of the Black Power Movement, and during the eighties, as graffiti became the newest form of self expression, XPLOREFREEDOM realized early on, the joining of these ideals would be the inspiration for his work.

The self-taught artist began experimenting with graffiti during the eighties and nineties.
He began incorporating different mediums such as markers, watercolor, and even house paint—with spray paint always remaining a constant. Since that time, he has broadened his scope of work to now include materials such as, reclaimed wood, rich textiles, and many other unconventional items.

2009 was a pivotal year for the artist. At the urging of friends, fellow artists, and collectors, he began creating work for formal exhibition.  Pieces created in the years prior were sold by word-of-mouth through a broadening circle that created an increasingly steady demand.

He currently lives and works in Newark—a limitless source of inspiration. His travels across Europe, The Caribbean, North and South America, have greatly impacted the way he sees the world around him, and with each discovery of a new locale, its traditions, and culture, it strengthens his belief that art truly has the power to invoke change in the world.  

Andre Batts

URBAN STYLE COMICS – Afrofuturism Comic Book

Creator of Urban Style Comics Dreadlocks. Commissioned work by Alberto Foche, lead artist of BlackWatch the beginning and Dreadlocks Shadow of the Jackal,

Poetcode presents:

The Dynasty of the Magi – Afrofuturism Gaming

Art Director | Lead Artist – Mshindo Kuumba

CEO | Author | Game Design – Derrick Garvin

PoetCode is an award-winning independent game development studio best known for its groundbreaking Dynasty of the Magi™ series The Dynasty of the Magi – Rites of Passage the first effort in the Metaverse Fanatasy game series, Combines a video game with an Augmented Reality novel, allowing players to influence not only the events within the game, but also future iterations of both the game and the novel. The players will Master the mystic arts to win the war for the enchanted souls of humanity in a MMORPG tournament metaverse built-in each release of the augmented reality fantasy novel series.

Rashida Lovely

Newave Studios – Afrofuturism Comic Book Artist

Newave Universe was founded in 2001 in Newark nj. One of the first black women owned self publishing companies in the area. Sand Storm was the flag ship comic book which sold over 35000 copies. To date, Newave has moved in to mobile gaming as well as animation. 

Jay Jackson


George Hagenauer – Comic Book Historian

Jay Jackson (1905-1954) joined the staff of the Chicago Defender, Chicago’s major black newspaper, in 1933 as staff Cartoonist.
Which meant he did editorial cartoons, comic strips, gag cartoons and often art for advertisers. He worked there until 1947. 
In addition to his responsibilities at the Defender, Jackson freelanced. From 1938 to early 1943 he illustrated for Ziff Davis’s 2 science fiction pulp magazines Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures. His work appeared in 50 issues. That seems to be his only contact with science fiction reading the stories that he illustrated.
Jackson created a number of pieces of art related to the war effort that ran in the defender and other outlets. 
Bungleton Green started as a humor strip in 1920 and developed into a series of continuing stories by the late 1930’s. Jay Jackson in 1942 expanded the cartoon from a single to a double tier and added a second adventure strip Speed Jaxon also a double tier strip. This made the weekly Saturday Defender comic page look similar to the color Sunday comics in other papers. 
Bungleton Green 6/9/43 : Jackson first introduced science fiction elements into his strips in 1943 with a story about Nazis doing mind control on street gangs. The next story had the characters traveling through time to 1778 America where they battled slavery. The final one had them travel to a future without racism except for one country where whites were discriminated against.
Girligags and Home Folks:
In late 1953 and early 1954, Jackson developed two comic strips- Girligags, a daily panel more sophisticated than many panel strips based on jokes about women, and Home Folks – a Sunday page size bird’s eye view humor comic. Supposedly only run after his sudden death from a heart attack on May 16,1954- the art shown predate his death suggesting they were run in the Defender but not syndicated as was Jackson’s goal.
Too learn more about Jackson:
Tim Jackson’s book “Pioneering Cartoonists of Color”, an amazing resource on the artists of the Black Press is available from Amazon 
Also check out the articles on Jackson at
Jay Jackson original art I own – sadly none are his afro-futurist art

Akinseye Brown

Akinseyeart – Afrofuturism Comic Book Artist

Akinseye (Ah-Keen-Shay-Yay) Brown is an artist, illustrator, and writer that uses African culture, science fiction, and fantasy to tell stories. His books include coloring books like Vejo Capoeira, and Umoja Force, and comic books like Sannkofamaan, and Dara Brown: 1996. His most popular work, How To Draw African Superheroes Volumes 1 and 2 have won a Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. Brown has over 20-years experience in illustrating. He has served as the Education Chairmen of the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention, Incorporated (ECBACC, Inc.), for five years and is one of the founders of the ECBACC S.T.A.R.S. (Storytelling That Advances Reading Skills) Program, which is an initiative to  improve the reading skills of young people through the use of comics. He now serves as Event Coordinator for the annual convention, which celebrates Black images in storytelling while improving youth literacy. Brown is also the editor of the convention’s two publications the Read For Fun Workbook and the ECBACC Program Guide. Brown sells his prints and paintings through his company Sokoya Productions, LLC. Brown continues to inspire and educated through art and storytelling.

Jacqueline Cummerlander

Swimbylbj – Afrofuturism Clothing Brand

Born in NYC and raised in NYC and NJ. I began my fashion sense while in College studying Accounting and Modeling. While working in the fashion industry as a model and NY Fashion Week Production. Swimbylbj was birth. 

Tyrone Chablis

ChablisDesigns – Afrofuturism Stylist

The old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” might certainly apply to fashion designer Tyrone Chablis. While growing up in his hometown of Newark, NJ. Chablis discovered an old discarded sewing machine and it changed his life. What followed was a path of learning, hard work and innovation. Initially having taught himself, Tyrone furthered his education at Arts High School in Newark, NJ and Traphagen School of Fashion in New York City. He is credited as one of the architects of the still thriving New Jersey fashion show production scene. A major influence on the local fashion culture, for more than thirty years, Chablis has been a fixture of the tristate area fashion scene. He plays many roles – from commentator to show producer to master tailor to his most prominent and passionate pursuit – designing and making fabulous clothes.

His distinctive style is sultry, campy, and daring and edgy! His experiences while traveling in the Caribbean and throughout Europe influence his unique concepts. His designs grace runways, boutiques and a high profile clientele in the entertainment and private sectors. His swimsuit collections are shown annually in well-appointed beachfront and cruise events. Creating his own footsteps while inspired by legendary artists such as Patrick Kelly, Alexander McQueen and Edith Head; Chablis has developed a collection which can be only described as art in and of itself.

When you wear Chablis designs you feel the freedom of your own personal style and fashion choice…and in case you didn’t realize it by now “You don’t just drink Chablis, you wear it”!

Description of current collection

I see this collection as a collection of worlds – industrial fabrics colliding with the world of fantasy to make the most beautiful bridal capsule; suitable for black tie affairs and events. The biodegradable materials look stunning in the three available shades: Cream, Steel Grey and Black. Critics have described it as having, “the most bad ass Matrix feeling” and “ideal for evening seduction”.

The current collection looks equally stunning walking down the aisle of a church on your special day – as well as seizing the night attending a Hollywood movie release.

Janira Dunkins

Central HS Student, Newark, New Jersey

My name is Janira Dunkins and I was born on the 27th of December, 2003 in Newark, New Jersey. I was adopted when I was 11 by Carolyn and Frank Dunkins. But with being adopted I was introduced to a whole new family and what was 4 siblings turned into 11. I moved from Newark to Pennsylvania and completed most of my education in Pennsylvania I graduated from Farmersville Elementary School. However, I did attend Avon, Ivy Hill and James Buchanan Elementary School before that. Then completed all of middle school at East Hills Middle School. Eventually high school came and I went to Freedom High School for a few short months then I moved and attended Easton High School for about 3 years. Only to decide to move back to Newark and complete the rest of my Senior year at Central High School. My hobbies are shopping, reading, and definitely working. I really enjoy shopping because I love to be fashionable and I do enjoy hearing the compliments. I adore reading because it’s the best escape from my reality as soon as I open a book. It’s like I’m engulfed in a different world and all my problems in the real world fade away. I definitely love work not just because of the money but for the relationships I’ve been able to form with my customers and just being able to build a relationship with the people. I do dream of being successful and I have to admit right now it’s just a dream. I want to make an impact in people’s lives because I know there are people who have been in similar situations that I have and it’s easy to feel alone and I want to reach those children or even those adults that aren’t alone. I’ve always been an optimistic girl despite being closed off at times even as a child I’ve always been a free spirit . I’m very creative and friendly. I love to make people feel welcomed and I’m always full of hope. My family is my spirit and my sister is definitely one of my biggest inspirations. She’s always there whether things are good or bad and can always count on her even when my backs are against a wall. She’s my angel on earth. My biggest supporter and definitely the best sister ever! Without her I don’t know where I would be but I’m grateful for her guidance and love over the years. It’s definitely been helpful and shaped me into the woman I am today.