The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will open a new exhibition called “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures” to explore Afrofuturist expression and culture as it relates to music, activism, art, and more.

The 4,300-square-foot display, which is scheduled to debut next spring, will feature Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther costume, which the late actor donned in the 2018 movie “Black Panther.”

The exhibit intends to chronicle stories of Black emancipation and liberation.  The museum plans to tell one such story through the display of Trayvon Martin’s flight suit and his childhood aspirations to become an astronaut.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institutions

“Trayvon Martin’s flight suit tells the story of a dream of space flight ended tragically by earthbound violence,” said Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

According to his father, Tracy Martin, Trayvon aspired to work in the aviation field. Inspired by his uncle Ronnie, he wore this flight suit when he attended Experience Aviation in his early teens. “It was a badge of honor for the students to have the flight suit with the patches on it. It was part of their uniform for the program. He loved it. He loved it.”

Additional artifacts will include Octavia Butler’s typewriter, Nona Hendryx’s spacesuit-inspired dress, and Nichelle Nichols’ “Star Trek” uniform on display.

Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures” opens March 24, 2023 and runs through March 2024 in the museum’s Bank of America Special Exhibitions Gallery.

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