Fashioning Africanfuturism: African comics, Afrofuturism, and Nnedi Okorafor’s Shuri

James Hodapp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Internationally renowned Nigerian-American sci-fi writer Nnedi Okorafor recently wrote that she no longer wants her work to be considered Afrofuturism, preferring her own term Africanfuturism. Okorafor argues that despite the potential for Afrofuturism to underscore global Blackness, in practice it has privileged African American concerns while marginalising those of Africa. Okorafor, whose work includes several comics including Black Panther, Shuri, and LaGuardia, argues that her work should be understood as explicitly African rather than part of the Black diaspora. She puts this notion into practice by writing novels and comics set in Africa with African characters ‘sometimes with aliens, sometimes with witches, often set in a recognizable, future Africa, with African lineages–that are not cultural hybrids but rooted in the history and traditions of the continent, without a desire to look toward Western culture.’ Okorafor’s need to assert the notion of Africa as an important site of Blackness in comics highlights the marginal standing of representations of Africa in discourses of global Blackness in comics, even in the contemporary era of diversity, inclusion, and equity. This article examines Okorafor’s Marvel comic Shuri to further elucidate Africanfuturism and consider the concept as a paradigm for approaching African comic content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-619
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022


  • Africa
  • Africanfuturism
  • Afrofuturism
  • Okorafor
  • Shuri
  • black panther

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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