Black Imagination: Black Voices on Black Futures (Hardcover)

Black Imagination: Black Voices on Black Futures (Hardcover)

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Editor: Natasha Marin

Publisher: McSweeney's (2020)

Contributors: Kadazia Allen-Perry, Nashelle Ashton, James E. Bailey, Quenton Baker, Ebo Barton, Brian Broome, Angela Brown, Christopher Burrell, Sharyon Anita Culberson, Kiana Davis, Kahn Santori Davison, Tricia Diamond, Aricka Foreman, Kenyatta (aka Kenning) JP García, Samantha Hollins, Darnita L. Boynton Howard, Tamara Boynton Howard, Adrienne La Faye, Reagan Jackson, Robert Lashley, Raina J. León, Laura Lucas, Maisha Banks Manson, Tyler Kahlil Maxie, Jennifer Moore, Artemis Osuna, Carlos Sirah, Kilam Tel Aviv, Erwin Thomas (Baba Ifasanmi Fayemi), Kameko Thomas, Tigerlilystar, Carlos Sirah, Sharan Strange, Shayla Tumbling, William Wallace III, Keith S. Wilson, Serenity Wise, Avery Young, and Shay Young. Cover art by Vanessa German. 

What is your origin story?
How do you heal yourself?
Imagine a world where you are loved, safe, and valued.

"Witnessing is sacred work, too. Seeing ourselves as whole and healthy is an act of pure rebellion in a world so titillated by our constant subjugation,” reflects curator Natasha Marin on Black Imagination. “Craving nuance over stereotype, we sought out black children, black youth, LGBTQ+ black folks, unsheltered black folks, incarcerated black folks, neurodivergent black folks, as well as differently-abled black folks.” This dynamic collection of Black voices is an incantation of origin, healing, and imagination. Born from a series of conceptual art exhibitions, the perspectives gathered here are nowhere near monochromatic. Each insists on their own variance and challenges every reader to witness for themselves that Black Lives (and Imaginations) Matter. 

“(D)on’t think for one minute that Black Imagination is easy. As you will read here, it is hard-earned and sometimes dangerous, but it’s necessary, and radical, to claim and work towards. Listening to my people in this book gave me so much life, and I’m pretty sure, dear reader, you’re in for the same.”

–Steven Dunn

“Authentic and empowered, wistful and insistent, the chorus of voices gathered in Black Imagination sings in defiance of patriarchal, heterosexist, white supremacist erasure. Drawing from the ether of pre-memory, the soulsoil of ancestral knowledge, and depths of individual and collective longing, this collection bears witness to the many ways Blackfolk have devised/unearthed to resist the chokeholds of violence on our subjectivity. A powerful testament to the richness and resilience of Black interiority, Black Imagination reminds each and every one of us of our truest story: ‘Despite and beyond time, I am.’”

–Lauren K. Alleyne

“Like a goooood gris-gris sack comes this book. I looked inside and among the medicines found some warm balsam, some astringent drams in brilliant vials, even powerful seeds that tumbled me up into deep interiors. What Natasha Marin has curated via this anthology-as-curative she herself needed, is a multifarious and vibrant sociality of Black care; thus, a network entangling giving a damn with only one left to give. That generosity is Black Imagination’s principle ingredient pot-and-kettled into the poems, microessays, origin stories, spells, and rituals gathered for our collective dreaming and healing. How you feeling? That so? Black Imagination invites you to accept this good balm being given.”

–Douglas Kearney