Exactly 100 years ago, Harry Pace founded America's first Black-owned record label. Black Swan Blues, my 2014 book telling his extraordinary story, inspired Jad Abumrad & Shima Oliaee’s new Radiolab series The Vanishing of Harry Pace. Over the past 12 months, we've been able to gather a lot of fresh information about Pace and Black Swan, so I've produced a expanded edition of my book which you can buy here. As a little bonus for PlanetSlade readers, I've also posted a new website essay called A Georgia Lynching, which tells the full story behind an incident Black Swan's Ethel Waters mentions in her autobiography.
Set in modern day suburbia, a women calls the police on an unfamiliar Black man in her neighborhood. Shot during the pandemic, this film explores white privilege and that Black Lives Matter. [more inside]
Ever since Minneapolis police killed George Floyd on May 25, I’ve been photographing examples of Black Lives Matter street art in my corner of northeast London. The 25 examples I’ve collaged together here – window signs, posters, graffiti – were found within a hour’s walk of my home, mostly in either Hackney or Islington. A lot of the work included has already been scrubbed away, so I’m glad I documented it while I had the chance. [more inside]
I worked with a group of friends on Fund Justice, a tool for browsing organizations, fundraisers, Black-owned businesses, and bail funds around the US. There are decent amount of organizations listed, but we've also included a way to submit a new fund via Google Form. We hope that by presenting a simplified browsing experience, you will save time and commit to other forms of activism and allyship.
One of the problems in publishing poetry is that the books are so short. Of course nobody wants to pay $10-12 for a 40-page read, but it's difficult to produce a professional book (with editors, proofreaders, cover artists, book design, printing costs, promotional costs, etc.) for much less than that. We realized that we could steal from the tradition of 18th and 19th century British and American literary annuals and the Penguin Modern Poets Series of the 1960s and ’70s, and put together three books from different poets in one volume. Somewhere between an anthology and a single-author collection, the Floodgate Poetry Series was born. Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 3 contains:
- Northern Corn by brothers Anders and Kai Carlson-Wee, which invites us on a trip across an America of dust, trains, poverty, dignity, and dreams;
- Begotten, by Cave Canem fellows F. Douglas Brown and Geffrey Davis, which unflinchingly explores fatherhood in the era of Black Lives Matter;
- and Driving through the Animal by Enid Shomer, which witnesses the tiniest details of ecological destruction and still provides some hope for the future, and which is Shomer's first poetry book since Stars At Noon (U Arkansas, 2001).