Convergence

Arthur Jafa, Ms Hill_Lagos, C-print, printed 2018 (2015). Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York/Rome
Arts & Culture / Convergence / Vol. 2 No. 1-2

There She Was

“one new york critic had accused me of being too self-conscious of being a writer / … yes / being an afro-american writer is something to be self-conscious abt” — Ntozake Shange, “my pen is a machete” I don’t remember when I first encountered Ntozake Shange’s work because it was […]

Image Credit: Sheila Anozier, Bousou in Black & White, (2019), Acrylic on paper, 12 x 18 inches, Courtesy of the artist
Arts & Culture / Convergence / Vol. 2 No. 1-2

The Skin of the Thing

The sea rivets memory Recalling boat names, ship titles Manifests- handwritten or typed. Holds forgetting: stowaways tossed Suicides unknown. Refugees’ fabrics, heirlooms, jewels removed. ————————————–   This human cargo Tongues in search of listening ears— The sea is here, the sea is there, the sea Flicks waves against a high cliff’s […]

Image Credit: Gopal Dagnogo, End of an era n 4, 2016, 150 x 150cm, Courtesy of the artist
Arts & Culture / Convergence / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 1-2

from Defining Moments Montage

Betty Jean Owens, an African American woman who was raped by four white men—Patrick Gene Scarborough, David Erwin Beagles, Ollie Odell Stoutamire, and William Ted Collinsworth– in Tallahassee, Fl; May, 1959. The trial was a landmark case, covered at the time by the BBC and international news outlets. This was […]

Convergence / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

Convergence 3: A November’s Tale: Assaults on the Franchise

“A November’s Tale: Assaults on the Franchise” lends the title and substance to Convergence 3, our spring/summer double-issue, which closes out our inaugural year. We aim here to turn the spotlight on the ballot–supposedly democracy’s proudest achievement and one of the central linchpins of Republican governance. The extent to which […]

The Present Order: A Note
Convergence / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

The Present Order: A Note

It is safe to say that we have rounded a bend. And by “we” I have in mind, simultaneously, that enduring plea and effort contained in something dubbed a nation, a country, or, not so lately now, a republic; and, a specific and newly energized segment of U.S. civilization. Ten […]

Ballot Box Terror and The Impossibility of the Black Vote
Convergence / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

Ballot Box Terror and The Impossibility of the Black Vote

The slave, the nigger, the Negro, the Colored, the Afro-American, the African American, the Black does not and has never had the right to vote. To riff off of Calvin Warren’s assertion, “the figure [of the free Black] does not exist. It is impossible for any Black to be free […]

California, the Beautiful, Or, Why the Killing and Incarceration of African Americans Won’t Budge the Ballot
Convergence / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

California, the Beautiful, Or, Why the Killing and Incarceration of African Americans Won’t Budge the Ballot

Take me out to the ball game, Take me out with the crowd; Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care if I never get back. Let me root, root, root for the home team, If they don’t win, it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, […]

Remembering Sally Hemmings. November 5, 2008.
Arts & Culture / Convergence / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

Remembering Sally Hemmings. November 5, 2008.

Remembering Sally Hemings* On November 5, 2008 Whose silken fetters all the senses bind And soft captivity involves the mind. Imagination! Who can sing thy force? (Phillis Wheatley. On Imagination.) Sally Hemings Albemarle County, Virginia Dear Miss Phillis Wheatley, Or would you prefer Mrs. Phillis Peters? A name contains so […]

The U.S. Vote: Control. Fault. Delete.
Convergence / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

The U.S. Vote: Control. Fault. Delete.

Over time, voter suppression as political praxis has produced variously sophisticated means of keeping African Americans and others away from exercising the franchise. Even gerrymandering—the redrawing of electoral districts to produce an outcome favoring one political party and a quite ordinary way of cooking the vote—today seems passé. This notion […]

Our Dreams Cannot Fit Into A Voting Booth
Convergence / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

Our Dreams Cannot Fit Into A Voting Booth

An tears will not satisfy I to preserve a democrisy whereby youtful lives pay de penalty for politicians’ irresponsibility Michael Smith In his essay “Notes on the House of Bondage,” James Baldwin, contemplating the dispiriting presidential choices in the 1980 election year, dismissed both major candidates for being “as well […]