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Cosmic Underground
Cosmic Underground

Cosmic Underground

A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent

Edited by Reynaldo Anderson, Edited by John Jennings, Foreword by Greg Tate



240 Pages, 8.5 x 11

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $29.95 (US $29.95) (CA $39.95)

Publication Date: March 2018

ISBN 9781941958780

Rights: WOR

Cedar Grove Publishing (Mar 2018)

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Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent and its inspiration, the ground-breaking exhibition Unveiling Visions, applies a global lens and planetary vision to the black imagination, and brings this context to a wide survey of contemporary works. This book showcases illustrations, graphic design, literature, posters, and mixed-media digital and analog artworks along with insightful analysis by brilliant scholars and amazingly talented creatives. Cosmic Underground serves as a creative, experimental and educational motive force to analyze the growing corpus of work surrounding the nexus between politics and contemporary artistic production. This project includes the areas of black cultural production situated within Afrofuturism, AstroBlackness, the EthnoGothic, Magical Realism, Sword and Soul and the AfroSurreal.


"Cosmic Underground reads and looks like a mash-up of Romare Bearden, MF Doom and Jean-Michel Basquiat on a 'ride or die' excursion through the deep space(s) of Astro/Blackness, Afrofuturism, and the Afro-Surreal. Enjoy."  —Adilifu Nama, Ph.D,  Professor of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University, author, Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes

"Cosmic Underground is a brilliant book that captures the Afrofuturist visual aesthetic as visual artists in the first quarter of the 21st Century embrace their platforms for transformation. This book underscores the desire for a radiant future/now that values humanity. Rich in color and heritage, this book highlights the vitality of artists stretching through time, both forward and backward, to affirm an eternal position in the greater universe." —Ytasha Womack, filmmaker, author, Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci Fi & Fantasy Culture

"Cosmic Underground is a stunning collection of work, filled with work that resonates deep within the soul. It not only speaks of where we've been and what we've endured, but of where we can go and what we can do. And it does this in a visual language that sparks the imagination, giving us permission to break free of life's confines, as we search explore our own evolution as human beings." David F. Walker, author, Power Man and Iron Fist

"Cosmic Underground presents convincingly the global synergy of black life from the racial politics of Black Germany to the ontologies of West African orishas to the innovations of Detroit techno. This book affirms what we all hope to be true: the visualities, soundscapes, and literary legacies of Afrofuturism are real, thriving and expanding. Indeed, through beautiful language and stunning artwork, we are offered new perspectives on the past(s), present(s), and future(s) of black liberation."  —Nikki A. Greene, Assistant Professor of Art, Wellesley College

"Cosmic Underground is, undoubtedly, very filling food for thought. It is something to be celebrated—and repeatedly taught—and boldly acknowledged for what it is: documentation of black visibility, moving in the past, stirring in the present, and actively creating a timely freedom future." —Truth Thomas, The Skinny Poetry Journal

Author Biography

Reynaldo Anderson is an associate professor of communications, executive director and co-founder of the Black Speculative Arts Movement, and the chair of the Black Caucus of the National Communication Association. He is the co-curator of the exhibition Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination at the Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture and the co-editor of Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri. John Jennings is an associate professor of art and visual studies and an award winning visual artist, designer, and graphic novelist. He is the co-author of Black Comix, Black Kirby, and The Hole. He lives in Buffalo, New York. Greg Tate leads the conducted improvisation ensemble Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber and is a music and popular culture critic and journalist. His work has appeared in many publications including Downbeat, Spin, Vibe, Village Voice, and The Wire. He is the author of Flyboy and Midnight Lightning and the editor of Everything But the Burden. He lives in New York City.