Volume 4, Issue 7
To honor those 250,000 Africans who were enslaved for two in a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation became effective January 1st, 1863, Volume 4, Issue 7 features work that celebrates Black joy in the face of (in)justice. It’s not enough to just celebrate though. The work we have chosen for this issue proves that happiness can not be stripped from the Black community no matter the oppression they continue to experience. We are featuring poems by Yasmina Martin and Edythe Rodriguez, fiction by Morgan Christie, nonfiction by Sloane Kali Faye, and visual art by Britnie Walston.
Yasmina Martin’s poem, “We congregate in aisle ten of the twentyfour hour walmart,” immerses us in a world that has found light and beauty in the profane imagery of a Walmart in a southern town, transforming it into a sacred space where the speaker can be vulnerable.
Edythe Rodriguez’s poem, “freedom cartography,” starts off with an auntie struggling to do the speaker’s hair, a young girl. This ritual then morphs into the past where the auntie is mapping out a path towards freedom for a slave girl with every pull of hair into a braid.
“We Cannot Leave Our Truths for Dead: Why I Chose to Change My Name and Modify My Pronouns” by Sloane Kali Faye is a stirring personal essay about how one person went from hiding her/their truth to finding freedom through Black feminist theory.
“Cheese!” by Britnie Walston is a vibrant and colorful painting capturing the freedom, imagination, and endless possibility of childhood.
“Polyp Trees” by Morgan Christie follows Tulie as she takes care of her grandmother, Mebba, in the South.
To spite the ongoing violence that has occurred in the past years in the community, we hope you find as much healing and solidarity in this work as we have.
Art & Photography
“Britnie Walston is a versatile Maryland-based artist who captures energy through light and vibrant colors. Living near the Chesapeake Bay, her work is inspired by nature; often depicting the absence of human presence, liberation (‘set free’) and freedom (‘being free’).”
“I miss this moment right here—that instant when you walk into a scene or see it develop in front of your eyes. You start to determine what’s going in that frame, composing. You instantly go into cyborg mode, analyzing the scene, your foreground, midground, background, are there distractions, overlaps, measuring the edges of your frame, etc. That moment doesn’t last but an instant, and most times, just because you clicked the shutter button doesn’t mean it’s going to work. But sometimes it does – Oaxaca, Mexico”
“In this illustration, the poetry and archaicness of “the heart of me” is preceded by a careless “something something,” as if the speaker is too distracted or tired to clarify their meaning. This comic, like many of Murphy’s comics, is a one-off, produced in a moment of absent-mindedness in which text and image are put on the page stream-of-consciously.”