Politics

The Enchantment of Being
Convergence / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 2

The Enchantment of Being

The scene of writing has become for me a scene of hurting. As an African American woman, as a Muslim, as the single mother of a teenaged Muslim black boy, as a black feminist scholar and presumably an expert in black literature and culture, I feel summoned by language and […]

“Like Rain, Like Thunder, Like Lightning, Like Fire”
Arts & Culture / Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 1 No. 2

“Like Rain, Like Thunder, Like Lightning, Like Fire”

By the time James Baldwin took the stage at the University of Chicago in May 1963 to speak on the subject of “The Moral (or Social) Responsibility of the Artist,” an impatient authority was immediately discernible. This recently unearthed recording of the novelist, essayist, playwright, and poet, reveals a weary […]

In the Crawlspace: Hill, Franken, and #MeToo Pain
Arts & Culture / Health / Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 1 No. 2

In the Crawlspace: Hill, Franken, and #MeToo Pain

On December 6, 2017, a coalition of women Democrats led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand—Senators Kamala Harris, Claire McCaskill, Patty Murray, Mazie Hirono, Tammy Baldwin, and Maggie Hassan—demanded that Al Franken give up his senatorial seat as a result of sexual misconduct accusations from eight different women.1 One day later, Franken […]

Symphony of Combs
Arts & Culture / Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 1 No. 2

Symphony of Combs

Prelude: Victoria Santa Cruz Me Gritaron Negra! Negra Soy! They yelled at me: Black! Black I am. And black, here, is feminine, of necessity. They yelled at me, Black Woman; they called me Black Woman. Even the men in the film shout it, dance it, are swept up in its […]

Some Thoughts on Citizenship and Poetics
Arts & Culture / International / Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 1 No. 2

Some Thoughts on Citizenship and Poetics

As a poet and essayist, I think of poetry as creative heuristics, a means to investigate the world and experience through language, community, identity and politics. In poetry, writer and reader engage the contents of our categorical thinking, formally and informally (in custom and usage), as well as the limits, […]

Beyond Idiocy, Towards Involvement
Convergence / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 2

Beyond Idiocy, Towards Involvement

“It is not a matter of governing; still less of being governed.” Marcel Havrenne Hannah Arendt reminds us that “…to the Greeks, private life seemed ‘idiotic’ because it lacked the diversity that comes with speaking about something and thus the experience of how things really function in the world” (Arendt […]

Cliff Notes (or Notes for Going Over One)
Convergence / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 2

Cliff Notes (or Notes for Going Over One)

Though it would be hard to say in a single sentence, let me try to understand this: shortly before the holidays, Politico reported that a rogue band of Republican Congressmen had been convening under cover of darkness for several weeks in the shadow of the duly appointed bipartisan House investigative […]

Styles of Democracy
Convergence / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 2

Styles of Democracy

Increasingly, since the Supreme Court some thirty-plus years ago ruled to allow unlimited funding by private and corporate interests, the United States has steadily moved toward political degeneration and corrupting abuse of democracy’s frameworks. This issue stands at the forefront of any discussion regarding democracy’s present and future reality. I […]

The Substance of Style: On Being Unapologetically Black Now
Arts & Culture / Convergence / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 2

The Substance of Style: On Being Unapologetically Black Now

Why does being “unapologetically black” matter now? The Black Lives Matter movement put these words “unapologetically black” in motion through their written statements and the embodied signage of t-shirts, bags, and other body work. A Black Lives Matter t-shirt with the “nutritional facts” label for “Unapologetically Black” declares: “Serving Size: […]

Passport to Freedom
Convergence / International / Politics / Vol. 1 No. 1

Passport to Freedom

The signature page of my passport instructs the bearer—in all caps—to “See p. 27.” Reissued in 2014, my copy of this inestimable document, snugly fit in its leather case, edged at two corners in gold metal, rode my left hip for all of three years, when, one fine day, not […]