The infamous billboard There Are Black People in the Future by Alisha B. Wormsley was on display in Downtown Detroit for an exhibition held by Library Street Collective and curated by Ingrid LaFleur, titled Manifest Destiny.
On the project Wormsley states: ‘It started out as a black nerd sci-fi joke. A response to the absence of non-white faces in science fiction films and TV. Very much a response to many Afrofuturist writings, like Florence Oyeke’s: “After all, to quote musician Gabriel Teodros “ If we don’t write ourselves into the future, we get written out of tomorrow as well.” — Afrofuturism dares to suggest that not only will black people exist in the future, but that we will be makers and shapers of it, too.”
LaFleur’s perspective on the work and its timeliness also demonstrates the work’s importance in making space for people of color when discussing what the future might hold, saying "the bold statement made by Alisha Wormsley, There Are Black People in the Future, is a claiming of a future that has been historically denied to Black bodies. The billboard reaffirms that Black people have access to the future, a future that is of their choosing. I chose to bring this billboard to Detroit because I wanted to make sure as we welcome an influx of new people to the city that it is understood that Black people are weaving the fabric of Detroit’s future. It cannot be avoided nor should it be. Worms-ley’s assertion, I hope, will prompt questions as to why it even needs to be stated. But one thing is for sure, as Detroit transforms, establishing a healthier relationship to Black bodies will only make Detroit more prosperous and it begins with imagining thriving Black people in the future."