Building a new journal is complicated. I certainly paused when Myrtle Jones pitched the idea to me. However, I recognized early in the process that we had a tremendous opportunity to curate Black intellectual and creative expressions and to create a digital hub for those working in and across Afrofuturism and the Black Fantastic. Third Stone is a labor of love, and the editorial board and staff ask you to stay with us as we retool and make changes to move the journal forward into its next phases.
We are intensifying our efforts to build a living annotated bibliography of Black Fantastic artifacts. We want you to write short notes about Afrofuturisitic visual art, music, literature, websites, film, apps, technology, and more. We aspire to capture well and lesser known cultural artifacts. Our bibliography will contribute to the conversations creators, scholars, and fans of Afrofuturism are having in the midst of COVID-19 and social unrest. Third Stone is partnering with the 2021 Afrofuturism conference co-sponsored by the University of Central Florida and the Zora Festival. Participating scholars will contribute bibliography entries on Afrofuturism and Black Sound Studies.
Before joining Third Stone, I did not describe my work as Afrofuturist or Black Fantastic adjacent. However, through conversations with Dr. Maryemma Graham, Dr. Julian Chambliss, Mr. Bill Campbell, and Prof. Rochelle Spencer, I understand that much of what I do is, in fact, Afrofuturism. When I wrote my dissertation about magic and mythic realism in African Diaspora texts, I was engaging with Afrofuturism. My book chapter on Zakes Mda’s novel Cion is Afrofuturist in its rethinking of American slavery. My essay “‘Neptune is truly the ruler of the Negro Race’: Margaret Walker, Horoscopes, and a Black Future” engages directly with Afrofuturism and repositions Walker as an Afrofuturist. My foray into digital humanities is certainly an Afrofuturist act. One of the goals of the Third Stone project is to define what is meant by Black futuristic thinking and to expand the work- past, present, and future- included in this genre and aesthetic mode.
Seretha D. Williams, Editor-in-chief