This episode features the lit and musical choices of Emmanuelle Regis, Ursula Troche, and Rajiv Mohabir 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!
CALL FOR MATERIALS
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:
- 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].”
- The song you’d like played after your piece.
- A 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?
- 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.
- Your pronouns, so we can refer to you accurately.
- Your social media handles (if you want them shouted out).
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Emmanuelle Regis is an Afro-Caribbean, US expatriate raised in international communities in California and Hawaii who has lived and taught in 8 different countries. She spent her teens and twenties working for racial justice in California and left the country 12 years ago to pursue her childhood dream of traveling the world. This choice has also been an effort to heal from the systemic racism that pervaded her life and that of everyone around her in the US. While she has found that systemic racism is pervasive throughout the world, living abroad affords her a sense of freedom and restored dignity rarely experienced in her home country. For her, the Black Lives Matter movement may finally be turning the American nightmare into a dream unifying and amplifying the unheard vital voices of Black and indigenous communities globally.
She would like to acknowledge the incredible work of the Haitian-American author, Edwidge Danticat, whose work highlights the internalized racism and false separation within and between Haitians and Dominicans, mirroring a history and pain that can be found in every country still bearing the brunt of colonization.
She would also like to acknowledge Nas for telling like it is and uplifting all at the same time. Emmanuelle says his music empowered her through her twenties as she straddled many worlds.
Ursula Troche is a writer and artist on her second migration – having migrated, at age 19, from Germany to London, Britain, and then within Britain from London to a small town by the Irish Sea near Scotland. Become identified with wrong places and locations, she ended up so in identity studies, postcoloniality, and psychogeography. She has written this piece as a foreigner (in residence: i.e. a migrant who is not leaving), speaking as a foreigner who is concerned, in particular, to wake up white foreigners to the cause of black liberation. Black writers who she wants to shout out are Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and Toni Morrison. Instagram: @trocheursula Twitter: @ursulatroche3
Rajiv Mohabir, poet, translator, memoirist, is currently based in the Boston area where he teaches creative writing at Emerson College. He lives with his partner Jordan Miles, his kitty Enkidu, and his puppy Kajal. He loves Anjoli Roy and is so glad to be on It’s Lit! For a good time, find him on social media @rajivmohabir. His website is http://www.rajivmohabir.com. Finally, Black artists who have influenced him include Martin Carter, Walter Rodney, Aimee Cesaire, Edouard Glissant, Kamau Brathwaite, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Langston Hughes, to name a few.
- LIT: Emmanuelle Regis’s “I Am Not Black”
- Lido Pimienta – “Eso Que Tu Haces” (The chorus translates to: But don’t ignore me, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that it hurts me. But don’t ignore me, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that you wound me. That thing you do, is not love.)
- LIT: Ursula Troche’s “Circular Ritual Insight“
- The Jamaicans – “Peace and Love”
- LIT: Rajiv Mohabir’s “Daughter of the Sea, Child of the Mountain“
- Lord Invader’s “Rum and Coca Cola” (This is the original version of the song and has a postcolonial critique; later versions were appropriative and removed this vital messaging)
The deadline to be featured on this show was July 9; this episode was be recorded + released July 11.