In Issue 117, we celebrate diasporic vision and creativity with a selection of new poetry and short fiction. But first, the issue opens with a sobering selection of responses to the killing of unarmed black Americans by police, culled from Transition’s online #ICantBreathe forum.
Since our publication of Tope Folarin’s 2013 Caine Prize-winning story, “Miracle,” we have been happily overwhelmed by submissions from African and Africa-descended writers. In this issue, we share the best from our fiction inbox—the adventurous, the erotic, the audacious—each story embodying “creation working on itself,” in the words of Folarin, who introduces the collection.
Later, we explore the inner dilemma of the ‘Afropolitan’ with Taiye Selasi; wait in line for a Ugandan ID card with Mary Serumaga; pay tribute to one of our early editors, the late Ali Mazrui; and herald the opening of the new Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art with David Adjaye, Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. As Folarin writes in his introduction, we hope you will savor this issue: “Who knows? In time, you might notice that something new is blooming inside you.”
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Join us May 5th, 7:00 pm at the Harvard Book Store for a special event to launch issue 117! Details here.
The National Identity Card #OpenAccess
by Mary Serumaga
Serumaga explores how the bungled attempt by the Ugandan government to issue a standard ID card to its citizens points to the larger failings of the state.
Fiction by: Prudence Acirokop, Jekwu Anyaegbuna, Ifeanyi Chi, Fafa Foofo, Louis-Armand Garreau (trans. Sarah Jessica Johnson), Marame Gueye, Vincent Ikedinachi, Peace Adzo Medie, and Sheree Renée Thomas.
Poetry by: Ladan Osman, John Warner Smith, and Patrick Sylvain.
Other contributors: Seifudein Adem, David Adjaye, Tennille Allen, Aaron Bady, Vitshois Mwilambe Bondo, Kellie Carter Jackson, Colin Dayan, Cristina de Middel, Tope Folarin, Faith47, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt, Rym Khene, Jenny Korn, Danielle Legros Georges, Gonçalo Mabunda, Jeanine Michna-Bales, Aimé Mpané, Frédéric Nauczyciel, Charles K. Nfon, Rae Paris, Betty Press, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Nicholas Rinehart, Metta Sáma, Taiye Selasi, Mary Serumaga, Wole Soyinka, Renée Stout, Kangsen Feka Wakai, and Afaa Michael Weaver.