Ep. 119 Write Now / Writing for Radical Futures: In Support of Black Lives

This episode features the lit and musical choices of Sarah Daniels, Malialina Derden, Shani Shay, Rosamond S. King, Lesego Butindaro, Paolo Bicchieri, Timothy Dyke in response to our Write Now / Writing for Radical Futures: In Support of Black Lives call for materials. This call for submissions remains open, and we hope you’ll consider sending us your work!


Tens of thousands of people continue to flood the streets worldwide demanding the end of white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence against Black people. We stand with Black people with a deep investment in our collective liberation: none of us is free until all of us are free.

In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, we invite lit that reflects on/seeks to document elements of this key moment in time along with lit that looks to the future. As alternatives to policing, what does community-led public safety look like? What will our world be like without white supremacy? What anti-racist, coalition-building, radical futures are you envisioning? How is Black Lives Matter a global movement, vital in Oceania too? (See, for example, Joy Enomoto’s “Where Will You Be? Why Black Lives Matter in the Hawaiian Kingdom” along with the Pōpolo Project’s 2018 interview with BLM cofounder Patrice Cullors.) Send us lit that gives vent to the rage/hope/love of this time and beyond.

Black writers, we see you and recognize your brilliance. We prioritize amplifying your voices, and we welcome lit that you feel moved to and have the bandwidth to share.

Non-Black writers, we invite lit in solidarity, reflections on how you too are working to cut out from our collective body what Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor has called “the rot of racism.” We invite discomfort and learning and growing, and your tangible actions for freedom and support. We invite your difficult conversations with loved ones and your protest journals and social media interventions.

Send us your poems, flash fiction & nonfiction—your journal entries, letters, or whatever other form your lit takes. As always, we look forward to hearing the musical choices you pair with your writing.

What to send us:

  1. A recording of your Write Now / Writing for Radical Futures: In Support of Black Lives literature. Most folks record themselves on their smart phones. Please begin your recording by saying “This is [your name] and this is my [poem/short story/CNF piece/etc] titled [title].”
  2. The song you’d like played after your piece.
  3. brief bio you like that tells people who you are. Please include a statement identifying your positionality in relation to this movement. Which communities are you writing from?
  4. The name of one or more Black writers or musicians who have changed your life so we can pool and uplift the work of Black creators who continue to feed this movement.
  5. Your pronouns, so we can refer to you accurately.
  6. Your social media handles (if you want them shouted out).

Email at itslitwithphdj@gmail.com!


Sarah Daniels is a young creative doing her best out here. She’s born and raised in KALIHI as a proud Black Filipina. Sarah is “lit” for BLM, LGBTQIA+ rights, indigenous rights, and vegan tacos. For any job recruiters listening she’d like to state that she is emotionally unavailable to be your Black/Queer/Asian TOKEN. Inspirational Artists: NAO, Saweetie, Shiloh Dynasty, Tierra Whack, Foushee (Sarah’s fav song of theirs is “Deep End”). You can find her on social media @Yung.Sriracha. 

Malialina Derden is an Afro Pinoy writer and student who was born on the island of Oahu and raised in Kalihi. She currently resides in Philadelphia. Malia is most inspired by her mother and the stories of the people around her. Some Black writers who have changed her life include Janet Mock, Sonya Renee Taylor, Raquel Willis, Audre Lorde, and Maya Angelou. You can follow her on Instagram @malialina_derden.

Shani Shay is from Hawaii. She has lived in the Bay Area for 15 years. She is a previously incarcerated student at UC Berkeley. She wants to shout out the poet Tongo Eisen-Martin, who you can find on Instagram @_tongogara_. You can also find Shani on Instagram @shanishayallday.

Rosamond S. King: I am a critical and creative writer, a black dyke child of immigrants living in Canarsee/Nyack territory, aka Brooklyn. That means I know people who have gotten sick with and died of COVID-19, as does every other black person I know. And it means that I and people I love have experienced police harassment and violence, as has every other black person I know. My first book Rock Salt Stone received a Lambda Literary Award. My second book, All the Rage will include “On the 12th Day of Protest: A Beginning” and will come out in 2021. Black writers who have influenced me include Dionne Brand, Kamau Brathwaite, Harryette Mullen, M. NourbeSe Philip. IG: @rskhappens Twitter: @RosamondDrKing FB: Rosamond S. King.

Lesego Butindaro. I’m an African from South Africa. I moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, four years ago to reunite with my now husband who was born and raised on Oahu. I hold a BA in International Relations from South Africa and I’m a UH Mānoa Political Science graduate pursuing a Masters’s degree in Teaching. A Black author I’d like to shout out is Ta-Nehesi Coates. You can find Lesego on Instagram @lessie_s.

Paolo Bicchieri is a Chicano poet, journalist, and novelist living on the West Coast. His work has appeared with Nomadic Press, Quiet Lightning, Eater SF, Standart Magazine, and more. He organizes with 826 Valencia in San Francisco. IG and Twitter: @paoloshmaolo. A black writer who has changed his life is Hanif Abdurraqib, whose work is very relevant for this moment.

Timothy Dyke is a writer and teacher who lives with parrots in Makiki. Influential Black artists and writers: too many to list, but if he were going to list only one, he’d say Gwendolyn Brooks.


  1. LIT: Sarah Daniels’s “The Color of Your Culture”
  2. “Make it Out Alive” NAO
  3. LIT: Malialina Derden’s “When the Black Femme”
  4. “Sending My Love” Zhané
  5. LIT: Shani Shay
  6. “A Song for Assata” Common
  7. LIT: Rosamond S. King’s “On the 12th Day of Protest: A Beginning”
  8. “Everybody Rejoice” (sometimes called “Brand New Day”) from The Wiz soundtrack
  9. LIT: Lesego Butindaro “Born Free to Seek the Land of the Free”
  10. “Senzenina na” (From Lesego: “This is a South African song sung in Zulu which translates into ‘What did we do?’ What did we do to deserve this treatment? A question generations of black South Africans And black people around the world have been and are still asking in the face of everyday injustice.”)
  11. LIT: Paolo Bicchieri’s “As Minneapolis Bleeds”
  12. “GOD” Kendrick Lamar
  13. LIT: Tim Dyke’s “Summertime 2020”
  14. “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess sung by Leontyne Price


The deadline to be featured on this show was June 21 and recorded + released on June 22.

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