Adler Planetarium Black History Celebration to Spotlight the Contributions of African-American Innovators

Afrofuturist author Ytasha Womack will be a feature panelist in an Adler After Dark series presentation celebrating the contributions of African-American STEAM contributors (photo courtesy of Ytasha Womack).

Article Content: Our history is rich with stories of African-American innovators who have shaped our world. And looking forward, people of African descent have been infusing their culture into scientific concepts through Afrofuturism. At the heart of space science lies the scientific and technological innovation of a culture that has influenced the world in countless ways. This month, in partnership with organizations around Chicago, the Adler Planetarium will spotlight these contributions with special programming in celebration of Black History Month. 

This programming will take place on Monday, February 18 (President’s Day), during a special day of Pop-up Programs celebrating African American individuals in STEAM, black history and future in space science. Partners for the initiative include Bronzeville Children’s Museum, Robotics Lady Jackie Moore, Katrina Miller, Ashley Walker, Ytasha Womack and Gayle Ratliffe.

​Pop-Up Programs are special, one-time only programs offered during regular daytime hours, and are free with general museum admission. Please note that Feb. 18 is an Adler Illinois Resident Discount Day. All Illinois residents receive free general admission. For more information on Pop-up Programs, visit:

Additionally, the popular Adler After Dark series is back on Thursday, February 21, with A Night in the Afrofuture. Exclusively for adults 21+, this evening offers open access to the museum, exclusive shows and unique entertainment. This month, the Adler has partnered with the co-founders of Wakandacon and other notable Afrofuturists in the Chicago area to help explore Afrofuturism in the city where it was born. Join game designer Allen Turner in an immersive building-wide game inspired by the characters and worlds of Rayla 2212—a novel by Afrofuturist author Ytasha Womack. Guests can check out out a special panel including Ytasha and other Afrofuturist thinkers and scientists in a discussion surrounding dark matter, blackness, and safe spaces. There will also be performances by guest DJs, dancers, and actors who will take you on this Afrofuturistic journey.

​For more information about AAD: A Night in the Afrofuture, and to purchase tickets, visit: