Afrofuturism featured at Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, Sept. 7-8

AmNews Staff Reports | 9/5/2019, 12:08 p.m.
From Sept. 7-8, the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair will return to the Brooklyn Expo Center for its sixth straight year.

From Sept. 7-8, the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair will return to the Brooklyn Expo Center for its sixth straight year. Since Brooklyn is a recognized hub of underground culture, this year the Fair will focus on subculture and a number of new trends in collecting, including such topics as magic, mysticism, witchcraft, underground fanzine culture and Afrofuturism.

Afrofuturism will be featured in an art exhibition and two seminars at the Book Fair. The art exhibition, titled “One Day You’ll See: A History of Afrofuturism”—which was curated by Suave Rhoomes, Stacey A. Robinson and Brian Chidester—offers a broad array of important science fiction literature, comics, movie posters, drawings, broadsides, zines and paintings by Black artists from 1920 to the present. Among the notable objects in the exhibition are a first edition copy of W.E.B. DuBois’ book “Darkwater;” an original edition of “All Negro Comics #1,” published in 1947 which featured the first Black superhero “Lion Man;” an original concept drawing of the Marvel superhero “Black Panther” from 1966; a series of original fantasy watercolors by free-jazz icon Yusef Lateef; and never-before-exhibited paintings, drawings, comics and sculptures by self-taught visionaries Charles Williams, the Prophet Royal Robertson and Kambel Smith. For more information about this art exhibition visit www.brooklynbookfair.com/.

Two seminars will also focus on Afrofuturism. The first, entitled “A Dream Today: Imagined Landscapes, Liminal Spaces, Speculative Futures and Alternate History,” is presented by art exhibition co-curator Stacey A. Robinson and delves into the symbols and subtle visual indicators of African American identity in the earliest Afrofuturist stories. It also looks at superheroes and how they have evolved through the various socio-political environments over the years.

The second seminar, presented by Phillip March Jones, entitled “The Comic Art of Charles Williams,” explores the artistry of Charles Williams (1955-1998); it includes an examination of his drawings, paintings, sculptures and comics. The seminar examines his body of work and how it became increasingly political over his lifetime.

The art exhibitions are free with a paid admission to the Fair. Tickets can be purchased at a discount in advance at www.bit.ly/brklnbook. While seminars are also free with a paid ticket, it is advised that attendees reserve seats to their seminars of choice on the same ticket site.

The Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair features 110 dealers offering over 50,000 rare and vintage books, vernacular photography and rare paper, prints and ephemera. The Fair also features art exhibitions, seminars and a free-of-charge appraisal clinic. It takes place Saturday, Sept. 7, from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 8, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be held at the Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. There will be a special “Bagels and Books” preview Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, the proceeds from which will go to scholarships to the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. The appraisal clinic is Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. People are invited to bring three books and/or ephemera for a verbal appraisal by experts. Tickets will be on sale at the door for $15 for the Book Fair and $30 for the “Bagels and Books” preview. For more details on the Fair visit www.brooklynbookfair.com.