Statement on Equality
We believe that there is a significant responsibility in having a voice in the literary landscape. Our journal is committed to giving a platform to the literary work of marginalized people. Given the recent events—the murders of Tony McDade, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, Markeis McGlockton, Korryn Gaines, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and many many others who have lost their lives from institutionalized racism and police brutality—we want to cement what we continue, and what we will always, stand by.
Insidious anti-protest rhetoric conflates “protest” with “lawlessness” in an attempt to protect systemic racism and a militarized police force at the expense of Black lives. As a journal of free expression, we stand with the protesters and their First Amendment freedoms. We stand with the voices who condemn racial injustices and seek change. We stand by those who vocalize injustices and condemn those who ignore them. We stand with those who challenge systems of oppression and marginalized-focused violence. And we stand with the Black Lives Matter movement.
These deaths have instigated further discourse surrounding police brutality. For anyone who doesn’t understand that this is a pandemic in our nation, we encourage them to read this investigative article from The Washington Post. At least 1,023 people have been shot and killed by police in the past year (as of June 4, 2020), and half of the deaths of people by the police are under-reported by police departments. “Black Americans account for less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans.” The world is watching us face these injustices, and we must live up to our ideas of freedom, even if it means changing the fundamental laws and systems upon which we have relied. Police reform is a necessary step in moving forward toward equality.
We are also left emotionally wounded by the statements made by the President of the United States. Our leaders, not only limited to government officials, have a responsibility to give justice and equality, under no uncertain terms, to Black lives, and they have failed to do so. We cannot erase the damage done from our lack of leadership, but we can focus on what we can do now as a community to ensure the change we make in the coming weeks permanently creates a safe environment for Black bodies. We urge you to contact your local representatives—to call, e-mail, or write letters—to demand police reform for the benefit of the community.
As a journal that broadcasts near the border, we have a responsibility to provide virtual asylum for the voices of Black and Brown bodies. In the Black Voices Series, Black writers and multi-modal artists discuss their work with editor Naima Yael Tokunow, contextualizing their experience and resistance to white supremacist history and barbarity. In the Voz series, Latinx authors and artists combat institutionalized silence, both in public and private spheres. We refuse to contribute to the systemic racism that has plagued our country. We will not turn a blind eye to these atrocities. Instead, we will share the voices that these injustices have affected and support those very same voices in their endeavors.
To stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and other publications who are lowering their volume of work to listen, to create space, and to honor those who have died, we have decided to postpone all pending publications for the rest of June. Doing so will create more space for Black voices to emerge and share their work, and we want to support that. We will continue to highlight our Black contributors and other Black writers on our social media.
We want to thank our current readers and contributors for your continued support of our journal, and we hope that you all strive to seek some form of justice in support of the protesters.
Puerto del Sol
Below, you will find a small catalog of recent literature by Black bodies with additional resources after to support marginalized people.
Training School for Negro Girls by Camille Acker, 2018, Short Story Collection
A Fortune for Your Disaster by Hanif Abdurraqib, 2019, Poetry
Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, 2018, Short Story Collection
Sky Raining Fists by JK Anowe, 2019, Poetry
The Sellout by Paul Beatty, 2015, Fiction
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, 2020, Fiction
Owed by Joshua Bennett, 2020, Poetry
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom, 2019, Non-Fiction
The Tradition by Jericho Brown, 2019, Poetry
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, 2015, Non-Fiction
When Rap Spoke Straight to God by Erica Dawson, 2018, Poetry
Cardinal by Tyree Daye, 2020, Poetry
Evicted by Matthew Desmond, 2016, Non-Fiction
Fairview by Jackie Siblies Dury, 2019, Play
Lakewood by Megan Giddings, 2020, Fiction
Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles, 2020, Fiction
Nobody by Marc Lamont Hill, 2017, Non-Fiction
henceforce: A Travel Poetic by Kamden Ishmael Hilliard, 2019, Poetry
Any Psalm You Want by Khary Jackson, 2013, Poetry
The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin, 2020, Fiction
Stamped from Beginning by Ibran X. Kendi, 2016, Philosophy
Night Animals by Yusef Komunyakaa, 2020, Poetry
Blue Fasa by Nathaniel Mackey, 2015, Poetry
Blood at the Root by Dominique Morisseau, 2017, Play
A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow, 2020, Fiction
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi, 2020, Fiction
White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia by Kiki Petrosino, 2020, Poetry
Refuse: Poems by Julian Randall, 2018, Poetry
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, 2019, Fiction
The Malevolent Volume by Justin Phillip Reed, 2020, Poetry
The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, 2017, Non-Fiction
We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, 2019, Fiction
Counting Descent by Clint Smith, 2020, Poetry
Homie by Danez Smith, 2020, Poetry
Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith, 2008, Poetry
Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith, 2019, Poetry
Real Life by Brandon Taylor, 2020, Fiction
Heed the Hollow by Malcom Tariq, 2019, Poetry
The Burning House by Anders Walker, 2018, Fiction
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, 2017, Fiction
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, 2010, Non-Fiction
The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, 2019, Fiction
Az iZ by Tyrone Williams, 2018, Poetry
John Keene's "Translating Poetry, Translating Blackness"