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Gathering the Ghosts
Arts & Culture / Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

Gathering the Ghosts

“Every utopia – let’s just stick with the literary ones – faces the same problem: What do you do with the people who don’t fit in?” -Margaret Atwood The Winter 2018 issue of Radcliffe Magazine featured a picture of me on its cover. Over the last few years, I’ve deposited […]

The Coming of the Second-Time
Arts & Culture / Politics / The Stage / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

The Coming of the Second-Time

for pianist, composer, poet – friend, and mentor, Cecil Taylor The following was delivered in tribute to the great artist, Cecil Taylor (March 25, 1929-April 5, 2018), at his funeral and Memorial Service, which took place on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in New York City. A first and only note; […]

“What Kind of Freedom is This?” The Historical Question of Work and Blackness
Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

“What Kind of Freedom is This?” The Historical Question of Work and Blackness

“Why has ‘Black Freedom’ become so precarious (yet again!) at this historical conjuncture?” Taking up that question, I have posed another: “What Kind Freedom is This?”1 There is a very particular provenance for this question, which I shall elaborate in a minute, as we say. At this moment, however, I […]

Reassessment
Arts & Culture / Politics / The Stage / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

Reassessment

Take a leisure look back where it all was, the gapers and blozers, haggling whack offs standing on the platform waving so long as your train rolled past, carnival mayhem’s stale moments given to eternity. Grackles quarreling on roof tops banter much more eloquent than such nincompoops swilling malt beer […]

Convergence / Vol. 1 No. 2

Convergence 2: Styles of Governance: What’s in it for Me?

Populations around the world today suffer considerable anxiety at the hands of rulers who exercise power at the expense of the governed. Whatever stability of the global order appeared to be regnant in the aftermath of WWII—between 1945 and the rearrangements of power that roiled the colonial synthesis across Africa, […]

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, […]