The Center For Afrofuturist Studies The Center For Afrofuturist Studies The Center For Afrofuturist Studies The Center For Afrofuturist Studies

Moving toward Black joy


Center for Afrofuturist Studies (CAS)
229 N Gilbert St,
Iowa City, IA 52245

Dear friends,

Along with our communities in Iowa City and beyond, the Center for Afrofuturist Studies joins the calls of protesters for radical and lasting change. We demand that murderers be held accountable for the killing of Black people and advocate on behalf of Black people for the realization of our fundamental human rights.

We are witnessing the consequences of institutionalized racism, police brutality, and continued state-sanctioned violence on Black minds, bodies, and spirits. In this global pandemic, the CAS feels sorrow and rage over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor––along with those who continue to go unnamed. We affirm the significance of Black Lives Matter and the Movement for Black Lives in the past, present and future, nationally and globally.

As an organization, the CAS supports artists whose work exposes structures of power and celebrates the complexity and beauty of Black humanity. This moment is a reminder of the relevance of these artists, who, with their collective imaginations, allow us to re-envision a future where Black people can construct lives centered around joy, autonomy, and innovation. Though the days ahead are filled with uncertainty, we can always find relief in those around us who use thought, expression, and activism to reshape the world we live in. For these reasons, we invite you to donate to the CAS between now and July 1st. On July 1st, these contributions will be fully distributed as an emergency fund for past CAS artists experiencing work disruption or other challenges.

We also encourage you to learn about other Iowa-based arts centers and social justice organizations. Though there are many organizations that tackle racial injustices, take the time to sit with a few, learn about their missions and actions in our communities, and contribute what you can to them.



Eyes on the Prize --> explores Black freedom struggles during the Civil Rights Era

13TH --> exposes the racist underpinnings of America’s criminal justice system

I Am Not Your Negro --> a powerful account of race in America through the lens of renown writer, James Balwin

Whose Streets? --> focuses on the 2014 civil rights uprising in Ferguson, Missouri

After Selma --> delves into the history of voter suppression in America

Tell Them We are Rising --> documents the rich legacy of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

BOSS: The Black Experience in Business
--> detailed investigation of Black entrepreneurship in the 19th and 20th century


When They See Us --> television mini-series that explores the impact of a false prosecution on five Black teens in Harlem. Based on true events

Selma --> historical drama that documents the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches

The Hate U Give --> contemporary drama that follows a young high school student who witnesses and speaks out against the death of her Black male friend by a police officer

If Beale Street Could Talk --> romantic drama that follows a young Black woman attempts to exonerate her partner from a crime he was wrongfully accused of

Just Mercy --> legal drama that looks at young defense attorney, Bryan Stevenson, representation of Waltern McMillian, a Black man wrongfully convicted of murder. Based on true events

Fruitvale Station --> biographical film that recounts events leading to the 2009 murder of Oscar Grant by a white police officer in the Fruitvale district station in Oakland, California. Based on true events.

Malcom X --> biographical drama that examines major events in the life of activist, Malcolm X.

Harriet --> biographical film about the life of abolitionist, Harriet Tubman.


So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde
How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson
Souls of Black Folks by W. E. B. DuBois
Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.
How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
As Black As Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Liberation by Zoé Samudzi & William C. Anderson
The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
“1619 Project” by Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times Magazine, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html
“The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/