Torch is out!!!
How can I say this... Amanda Johnston is a force of nature. This woman is brilliant and beautiful and gives so much to the world. She is an incredible poet, a weaver of emotions and images. She is a dynamo; I love that she collectively helps us remember each other by the simple acts of taking our photographs and posting them on the internet. And now, she has published the online journal - TORCH - a journal dedicated to the writings and artwork of African American women.
I have not "studied" the history of publishing of black women's writing here in the States. But, I think I've only known of a few spaces where this has happened, this being the specific publication of black women's writing in one place. I can only think of Kitchen Table Press - which is no longer in operation, but was the avenue for the publication of radical works by women of color, and black women in particular. I am thirsty and would love to learn of more avenues/spaces where this has happened.
Something that came up in the discussion with Sekou Sundiata last week was the role of the artist in teasing out, collecting and creating memory. Because memory is what helps us stay continuous, and gives us something to stand on. Storytellers are memory keepers; our elders are memory keepers. These endeavours, all the love, energy, time and resources that go into creating these spaces and avenues for the chorus of voices, are so so important.
So, thank you Ms Johnston for giving this to the world. And congratulations.