Black Alive & Looking Back at You

Summer 2021. Vol. 44 No.1

The name for this issue, Black Alive & Looking Back at You, is drawn from June Jordan’s “Who look at me?” This special issue is guest edited by Chimwemwe Undi and Leslie Joy Ahenda, whose opening remarks best represent it:

“We came to this issue last year, and you know when. Communities and corporations suddenly insisted on the brief and belated urgency of Black voices. Disinterested in the temporariness of this attention, we turned to this issue to draw together, to draw collective breath.

This issue resists those and that which works to make Blackness appear synonymous with suffering to obscure how suffering is made. This issue invites Black poets to share with us their daily beauties, their curiosities, their full and complex selves, to join us in asserting our place, our sense of being and our inalienable right to joy.”

We are deeply grateful for the image that graces the cover of Black Alive & Looking Back at You, which is from Nigerian-born artist Chukwudubem Ukaigwe. In this issue, you will find an insightful interview with Canisia Lubrin, alongside new work by her. You will also find new poetry by Faith Arkorful, Ian Keteku, Joy Gyamfi, and many others.