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Featuring ten new short stories and essays by emerging and established Black women writers from the U.S., Caribbean, and Africa, this issue introduces characters fighting themselves and others to get what they deserve, accepting love and life in different ways, and understanding the power of choice.
| Caitlyn Hunter | Courtney Johnson
Leandra Marshall | Kendra Y. Mims-Applewhite |
Valerie Morales | Justin Teopista Nagundi |
H annah Onoguwe | Crystal S. Rudds | L esley Younge
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IN THIS ISSUE
Black Girl, Coping by Caitlyn Hunter is a narrative essay about how a tiny Yorkie was passed down through three generations of Black women in her family over a four-year span. She wrote this piece because she believes the dog was a coping mechanism for women, in the same way they were for him.
In “Blue and White” by Valerie Morales, Mia and her daughter, Cleopatra, are all that is left of a four-person family. Daddy Henry is in jail. First born Josh is dead. How do they go on? First: they paint Josh’s room.
In “The Other Side” by Kendra Y. Mims-Applewhite, two strangers and their husbands check in to Paradise Resort for a much-needed break. A problem with a room reservation sets off an expected chain series of events.
Twins Gina and Reggie disagree on how to make peace with being abandoned by their parents in “My Sé or His” by Crystal S. Rudds.
Twelve years after the dissolution of their relationship, Winifred reconnects with her high school best friend, Alecia, in “Forsythia” by Leandra Marshall. Their reunion unearths memories of their bond and a fondness for Alecia that Winifred often mistook for typical adolescent idolization.
“A Threadbare Throne” by Justin Teopista Nagundi is about Ndagaano Esther, who flees the village of Mukeeka and her mother’s resentment for Kampala city. Returning home in disgrace to confront the ghosts of her past, she realizes that womanhood carries obligations both in town and country.
Josephine was a servant for many years, and on his death bed, the master promised her his bed and her freedom in “In Josephine’s Bed” by Muli Amaye.
In “Men Will Not Surprise You” by Hannah Onoguwe, Nimma has hard evidence that her husband is cheating. She is consumed with what the other woman might look like and has fantasies of confronting him with that knowledge. She is determined to shake things up—even if it destroys a friendship he values.
It’s summer in the 1970s. Ten-year-old Katherine spends weekends with her grandmother, working in her hair salon, in “Free”by Courtney Johnson. On a particular weekend, a turn of events teaches Katherine a beautiful life lesson.
In “Patching Leaks” by Lesley Younge, a married couple takes their family out for an adventurous outing. Damon and Nicole have secrets they are keeping from one another and struggle to reveal them as they navigate what should be smooth waters.