March 30, 2024

Black Future House Creates Space to Reimagine Liberation

At a time where DEI is being snatched away from prominent institutions, there are rooms of brilliant and accomplished Black folks creating what feels like the 2.0 liberation of us. Black Future House, is a space filled with business leaders, industry disrupters, creatives and activists with the shared goal of creating space for whats next in the Black community.

The three-day Black Future House event, takes place as SXSW transforms Austin into a bustling town on its opening weekend. I see many faces I have longed to see—so many of the folks who have been inspiring me, all in one place. It's tempting enough to want to pack up and move.

Arlan Hamilton speaks at Black Future House event in 2024. Moxie Media.

What Lauren Washington, Waziri Garuba and Victor Abijaoudi have built is a network that embodies a renaissance of Black culture, which is just beginning to establish itself in new spaces. This feels especially important as the era of George Floyd ally-ism interest feigns.

As a Black woman who grew up immersed in Black culture in Chicago, the last 10 years have been isolating in Boulder, CO. I've spent so much time inside tech, feeling increasingly distant from "home." Seeing so many of us thriving in the same room will never get old to me. I hope it never does for you. We are magnificent.

Inside the Future Goods Market at Black Future House. Moxie Media.

Black Future House is a gumbo of talent and passion, united in its intent to impact the culture. The event spans across three distinct areas: two stages hosting speakers and panels for discussions, and the Future Goods Market, brimming with beauty products and apparel from Black-owned businesses.

Even before I arrived, Waziri, the co-founder, of Black Future House, made a strong impression. He is smart, quick, and the kind of person you immediately know you’d want around in a pinch. You get the feeling he can thrive anywhere—a unique blend of warmth and absolute dogged determination -- an energy that extends into the event.

Panel discussion at Black Future House event. Moxie Media.

I'm writing this fully aware of the cynical times we live in. We are chronically critical these days. And while there’s no event that goes without folks saying they could have done better, my stance on this will always be the same: If you can do better, do it and teach us all.

I long for an era of deeply empathetic Blackness. Many are ushering in this ease, like panelist Jotina Buck, Founder of Root & Yoke Wellness, whose presence is immediately calming. It’s no coincidence she is a licensed counselor, yoga teacher, and wellness speaker. She was invited to lead a yoga session for the early birds attending the  Black Future House event.

Inside the Shag Noir Beauty Shop at Black Future House. Moxie Media.

The roster of speakers at the event covers a wide range of disciplines and interests—from Melissa Bradley of 1863 Ventures to Nat Geo TV host Jeff Jenkins. Black Ambition hosts panels interviewing some of their previous recipients, including clean fragrance founder Brianna Arps. And then there’s the food, games and parties -- which are far from disappointing. It's all such a vibe.

We need spaces for us to be ourselves and grow. We need spaces where we can experiment and play and advance. The term, "Black Excellence" gets eye rolls these days for good reason. Respectability politics has a way of creeping into places originally meant to inspire. My hope is for communities imagining the future of Blackness to welcome a wide array of characters.

From my view, I saw many of the seeds for this here.

Excited to see what happens next.

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