Reflections on Blackness

These pieces discuss Blackness in the contemporary space. #BlackLivesMatter is a present-day social movement–a new fight in the longstanding trajectory of the Black Liberation Struggle. These authors consider identity and #BLM in their writing. What does it mean to think, live, and breathe in a time when extrajudicial killings are recorded, mourned, and contested in the public sphere? Kashema Hutchinson discusses her experiences as a Black woman graduate student and worker. Tiffany M.B. Anderson explores what Blackness means to her as a mother and an African American studies professor. Zahra Gordon teases apart fixed notions of Blackness and Americanness in the United States from an immigrant perspective. Tiffany L. Jones speaks to her ancestry–a Blackness that survives colonial oppression–and shares the beauty of her identity and work through poetry and art. Through an allusion to Eric Garner’s death, James “SoSoon” Gantt expresses the perpetual threat to safety by white violence. Moreover, all contributors in this section stretch Black identity across demographics and institutional spaces, embodying the personal and the political with consideration for the public implications.

–Robert P. Robinson