Text that became a movement
There Are Black People in the Future
Alisha Wormsley’s There are Black People in the Future is inspired by afro-futurist artists and writers who highlight the need for Black people to claim their place.
Through the inscription and utterance of the words “There are Black People in the Future,” the project addresses systemic oppression of black communities through space and time by reassuring the presence of Black bodies. In 2016, artist Alisha Wormsley placed these words on a billboard in East Liberty, a neighborhood in Pittsburgh’s east end that has suffered gentrification. When the billboard was removed by the city, community members protested.
In response to this community support, Wormsley has raised grant money to artists, activists, and community workers in Pittsburgh and Houston around their interpretation of the phrase “There Are Black People in the Future”. Since then, the billboard has been replicated in Detroit, Charlotte, New York City, , Kansas City and Houston, and London. The text, which Wormsley encourages others to use freely, has since been used in protest, critical art theory, essays, song, testimony and collective dreaming.