Issue 4: Spotlight

The features in this issue explore questions of proximal Blackness, specifically how Blackness is constructed and deconstructed in relation to whiteness. In our lead feature, Lindokuhe Nkosi reflects on the many ways geography impacts the experience of Blackness. In our second feature, South African musicologist Willemien Froneman introduces us to South Africa’s first Black boeremusiek star, Refentse Morake, and challenges the notion that music is inherently a great unifier.

Proximal Blackness

Beyond a hollow account of musical interracialism

Issue 3: Hindsight

The features in this issue explore the relationship between the past and present. By exploring moments in both the distant and the recent past, they serve as an invitation to sit today in the discomfort of the past’s unfinished business. Sometimes history precludes hindsight, as we remain within the continuum of dynamic relationships. The history of race is no different.

Cosmopolitan Africans, Before Colonialism

After the Signs Come Down

Issue 2: Insight

The second issue engages one of the lively debates of our time: can identity politics liberate the oppressed? By employing an explicitly transnational lens, Danielle Bowler has gone to the source of the term identity politics. Coined by the members of the Combahee River Collective in the nineteen-seventies, the concept represented a radical approach to making sense of interlocking oppressions. Since then, the term has become hotly contested across the political spectrum, and its meanings and political applications remain often obscured. Bowler’s piece offers both an understanding of Barbara Smith’s original intentions and her reflections on the current life of this idea in the world.

Identity Politics: Returning to the Source

Issue 1: Foresight

The features in this issue explore the most significant dynamics that will impact the wellbeing of Black people across the globe in the next 20 years, ranging from climate change to capital flows. This issue draws attention to some of these potentialities that receive insufficient attention, in the hopes of sparking new thought and action. These offerings are not the final word. They are invitations to a much larger conversation.

Debt that Remains

Homegoing in the 21st Century