Make no mistake: what we are experiencing is nothing less than a revolutionary moment.
Today, the Black Lives Matter movement, which started in 2013 and builds upon centuries of Black liberation work, is the biggest uprising since the 1960s' Civil Rights Movement. Across the United States and indeed, all around the world, activists and ordinary people are taking to the streets, joining and contributing to groups working for radical change, and using their life-affirming, creative energy to push us closer towards a sorely needed, massive shift in the American way of life.
We have witnessed this movement evolve from thousands of people marching in the streets to nightly direct actions to mutual aid organizing that echoes the “survival programs” of the original Black Power movement. Numerous autonomous, small-scale organizations have sprung up to fill in the gaps left by the constant syphoning off of public goods and services while the already obscenely over-bloated prison and military industrial complexes’ budgets continue to skyrocket. In Portland, OR., groups like Mxm Bloc, Herb Bloc, The Witches, PDX Care Collective, and many more are demonstrating -- not just chanting -- the adage, "We protect us."
Complementary to the marches, protest actions and mutual aid networks, and at the heart of the movement, lies the healing and transformative power of art. Adjacent to every march, in the windows of small to large businesses, in the lyrics of rappers and hip hop artists, on the pavement and sidewalks, and projected onto walls, are uplifting efforts to center the Black struggle for liberation, which holds out the promise of liberation for us all. This art - from the street to the canvas to the word - not only uplifts the people, but also communicates what this historical movement is about and helps us envision a different, brighter future.
This anthology - ranging from short stories to poems to essays to graphic art - is intended to bring together the many different ways people are experiencing and being transformed in this revolutionary moment. Our hope is to add to the chorus of voices and extend an irresistible invitation to the revolution. We do not claim to be the sole voice of the movement, nor do we want to take away focus from any of the amazing work being done across the world. Our intention is to share additional work in a format other than literary magazines, micro-blogs found on Twitter or zines that's public and easily accessible.
In short, our desire is to kindle and stoke the fire of an irresistible revolution.
- The Editors
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"The goal of the revolutionary artist is to make the revolution irresistible." - Toni Cade Bambara
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