If you make a visual album and get nominated for crazy amounts of awards, you should probably honor your performers. Beyoncé gets this (or her people do, which is close enough to the same thing), once again proving that she stands apart as an unbelievable performer and public figure. In case you didn’t catch the VMAs, Beyoncé made sure […]
The violence of the past days has left the nation in a state of shock, and citizens are reacting with the full range of human responses to crisis. Many artists can be counted among those who demand we respond as a country to the violence against black bodies. To name a few: The Game and Snoop Dogg organized a protest against police brutality in […]
Author Daniel José Older talks about his new novel, Shadowshaper, noir influence in urban fantasy, gentrification, white privilege and the publishing industry, and why we need diverse books, now more than ever.
On April 12th, four Baltimore bicycle police arrested 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Gray sustained injuries while in police custody. He asked for medical assistance repeatedly before slipping into a coma. A week later, he died.
When the grand juries failed to indict Darren Wilson or Daniel Pantaleo, they added to a lineage of injustices enacted against black people in America. Rumpus contributor Kaveh Akbar speaks to Claudia Rankine about her poetry collection Citizen, which explores the microaggressions supporting the system that let it happen: I didn’t have a directive in […]
Art has to be a confession. I don’t mean a true confession in the sense of that dreary magazine. The effort, it seems to me, is: if you can examine and face your life, you can discover the terms with which you are connected to other lives, and they can discover, too, the terms with […]
In the wake of the events surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, science fiction can offer a particularly compelling alternative to illustrate a future without violence and inequality. Mary Hansen at Yes! talks with author and activist Walidah Imarisha, who coined the term “visionary fiction:” I think that science fiction and visionary fiction, […]
This week, last week, men who have taken lives are walking away unpunished, unquestioned even. We have their victims’ names: Mike Brown. Eric Garner. We have their final words: Hands up, don’t shoot. (Six shots fired.) I can’t breathe. (Repeated until his breath is forever gone.) To stand with these two men is to go […]
In July, unarmed black man Eric Garner died after he was placed in a chokehold by a white police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, on Staten Island, a suburban borough of New York City. This might sound eerily similar to the case of Michael Brown. Or similar to Akai Gurley. Or to any of the hundreds of […]
Early in August, unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. While protests broke out in the weeks following Brown’s death, Wilson remained free, awaiting a grand jury indictment. Grand juries decide whether or not a crime has been committed, not […]
Rembert Browne flew to Ferguson last week. Out of interest in the town’s newfound notoriety, the crowds contesting it, and the general ennui surrounding Contemporary Black Youth, the usual-sports writer compiled the meat of his thoughts in an essay for Grantland: The history of being black in America is the history of nonviolence versus “fight […]
The news of Michael Brown’s death cannot be ignored. When one of our young people dies from shots fired by a police officer, there will be sadness and confusion. There will inevitably be questions, and questions left unanswered will lead to anger. This is a week, perhaps, when we need fiction and art to help […]