Foreword Reviews

We Will Do This—Together

Black Lives Matter icon

Readers are getting restless. There’s the feel of it everywhere: cooped up by Covid-19 for months on end, no matter the distractions we have at our disposal in the form of paper and binding (or fully outfitted ereaders), we’re ready for release. We crave sunshine and open air and freedom—all at a safe distance, of course.

Managing Editor Michelle Schingler
When restrictions were lifted for our northern Michigan town, my partner and I caved to this hunger and headed a few counties up, to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We expected to find it quiet; though on the same reopening schedule as us, its towns are mostly small ones, and its bustle is seasonal. We anticipated natural beauty and a lot of closed signs. We resigned ourselves to empty streets and silent spaces. What we found were daily reminders that we’re all in this together.

By the time this issue reaches you, marches ignited by George Floyd’s murder will have been going for over a month, all over the country. People are fed up with institutional racism, and are everywhere demanding change that is long overdue. Our town’s first protest occurred before we left for the UP, but we encountered more activists on the road. We were moving through places still sleepy from the virus, yes, but they still came to life to declare that black lives matter, and that the way our institutions treat people of color has to change. In groups of four or five, or by the hundreds, we saw proof beyond that on the news that these demands are coming from every corner of the country, no matter how remote.

These have been otherwise dark times, but in the faces of fellow protestors, we found reason to hope that change is coming. No community is untouched. People will not be quieted. Their demands will be heard.

Ally and activist work always involves an element of self-education, so if you want to learn more about what’s going on, or to supplement your active work, with a book, we have recommendations. Jaswinder Bolina’s nuanced essay collection Of Color is included in this issue; reviewer Rebecca Hussey called it “an essential text set at the intersections between art, race, power, and culture.” Or if you’re wondering how to talk about racial equality with children, recognizing that change can’t begin too early, The ABCs of Diversity includes help for starting those conversations.

And for the coming moments when our books are closed and we’re out doing the active work of demanding equality for people of color, please know that we are wishing you and your communities healing and safety. Somewhere maybe far away, we march with you. We’ll get there together.

Michelle Anne Schingler

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