Issue #1: Migration and movement

Letter From the Editor

Joining the highly-esteemed writing on our website which was published during rolling submissions, we are pleased to add Issue #1 – a themed collection on Migration and Movement.

In Essays, our Nonfiction Editor, Ntando Sindane, a researcher in intellectual property law from, South Africa, sets the tone for this issue with his essay, “Some Decolonial Notes on Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing.”  Sindane minutely deconstructs the definition of freedom and shows how colonial contact, Black enslavement, and abolition have resulted in relative “freedoms” in still-colonial societies such as South Africa and the U.S.  From a West Indian perspective, writer Devonae Manderson, portrays the desire to immigrate to the U.S. as a means of survival in her essay “What We Must Do to Survive.”  Eritrean-American writer, Waverly Woldemichael, delineates the troubled consciousness that children of refugees inherit from their parents in her essay “The War Mindset.”  Closing out the essay section, in his essay “Crossing Borders for an Elusive Betterment: Filipina and Chinese Women in Japan,” British researcher and writer, Tommy Gough, presents a detailed intersectional analysis of the migration infrastructure and how its effects differ for Filipina and Chinese women immigrating to Japan.  In all of these essays, the writers examine and present a specific topic in a manner that adds insight to seemingly all of our experiences as persons colonized by economic, social, racial, gender, and ableism hierarchies.

In Poetry, Nigerian writer, Kunle Okesipe, asks the rhetorical question in his poem, “How Do I Abandon the City?”  This is a question we ask ourselves when we move from place to place in our own country.  How much more agonizing is this question when we are leaving the country of our birth?  Mexican-American poet and mathematician, Enriqueta Carrington, describes the fatal perils in crossing the US-Mexico border, while writer Peresch Aubham Edouhou, a Gabonese writer currently studying in Brazil, extends “The mythical bridge” for our migratory journeys. Barbadian national, Sharon Hurley Hall, an antiracism activist and educator, laments the losses occurred during the Middle Passage. And echoing the essay, by Ntando Sindane on freedom, American writer, Wanda Williams Jackson, shows how African Americans “packed up their dreams” and fled a southern Jim Crow only to find “a new indentured servitude” in the North.  American educator and scientist, Lavinia Kumar, writes on Black enslavement in Georgia as well as the “cheap ticket” offered Jamaicans to leave their country for Great Britain on the Windrush cruise ship – a ticket that later proved deceiving.  In her poem, “Indo-Caribbean,” Indo-Caribbean Canadian poet, Angie Budhwa, portrays the ships coming into the Caribbean filled with indentured laborers whose losses included ancestors and family languages.  South African speech therapist, Masoodah Mohamed, shows us not only how a town looks when one returns after several years but how a location changes after supposed modernization.  Keishla Rivera-Lopez, a professor of English and Latinx literatures, delineates the Puerto Rican experience of migrating to Newark, New Jersey only to be displaced by gentrification.  Finally, as we reach the definitive other side of our poetic journey, Nigerian writer, Owolusi Lucky Oluwabunmi, turns our gaze to what we left behind, assuring us, in his voice that “you know/The future, that you are African/That you are the future.”

Closing our issue are two works of Fiction.  In his story, “In the Land of Queen Elizabeth’s Head,” instructor Foday Mannah, originally from Sierra Leone and living in Scotland, writes of a déclassé immigrant in Great Britain whose life begins to revolve around a car gifted to him  which, ironically, he cannot drive. Filmmaker, María Luisa Santos, explores a return to Cuba, in the story “Islas,” and the sense of loss and fragmented identity that befalls her protagonist.

Many thanks to the contributors to our Migration and Movement issue, without whom this edition would have no meaning.  And many thanks to our editors, without whom this edition would not have been possible.

Audrey Shipp
Founding Editor

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