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.
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Art & Photography
“In the Yorubá tradition of mother Africa, the river goddess Oshun is the incorporation of love, fertility and sensuality, she is the essence and the nectar of life, the protector and guardian of women and children, along with her sister Yemaya that rules over the seas. To understand the beauty of women is to honour her daughters, their vitality, intelligence and caring and nourishing abilities.”
“You belong to me is a colorful piece with man and woman. The man holds the woman’s heart in his hand. Is this love? Possession cannot be defined as love, except by the possessor. The bright colors offset the theme of this painting.
It doesn’t depict violence as its true definition, but it is more than implied.”
“My current paintings explore appropriating elements from Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism, Color Field painting and Dream Work. It is my intent to empower the viewer’s mind, imagination and soul. Each time you engage with these images you find new interpretations; one minute they are eyes then planets or just shapes.”