In honor of Black History Month, our third issue of Volume 4 explores stories from Black writers and artists, often posing the question, “What does it mean to be Black in America?”
In “The Pain Eater,” DW McKinney’s final short fiction of her web residency with TNSF, main character Frankie experiences mysterious pains as she tries to swallow her sorrow over the murder of Black Americans.
Rochelle Spencer’s flash fiction, “But I Like Hell,” gives us a snapshot of a young Black aspiring architect’s experience in an almost all White classroom.
Britnie Walston’s two abstract art pieces, “Earth in Distress” and “Beautiful Treasure” remind us of our interconnectedness, how, ultimately, whatever mess or beauty we create, we are all in this together.
In “If God Permitted Pirates on the Mississippi,” Matthew Johnson uses rhythmic language to evoke a sense of equal destitution in the face of unyielding oppression from the powerful.
Lastly, Carmin Wong’s poem, “Black:” is a love letter to Blackness, a triumphant song of who and what and all the myriad things that Black is and can be.