Lilian Cotton: A Slow Battle

The artist in her own words: I was born in Lithia Springs, a suburb of Atlanta, GA and spent most of my childhood in various cities in the north and southeast.  I attended a magnet art school for visual and performing arts; concentrating in painting and drawing.  During high school I attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.   In 2008 I received a B.F.A in Painting and Drawing from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.  In that same year I received the Rohm and Haas Fine Arts Achievement Award. Since graduating from college my work has been shown at various venues and…

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Hunger, by Natasha Labaze

Every day, every hour, every minute, every second The stomachs growled with hunger… The stomachs moaned in yearning… The stomachs growled with anger… The anger Frustration The hunger Rumbled beneath the earth Earthquake Earth sake Forsake For God’s sake… The Hungry stomachs rumbled, So loud Not to destroy But to be heard To find solace They heaved a sigh A sigh released with a wave of destruction Since the distended bellies And dusty bare feet vanished in the dust exhaled by the proud SUVs The earth rumbled from below A fault line Line between the have and have-nothing A fault line Cracked The World crumbled The walls crumbled…

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Learning Creole, by Juderns Exceus

My grandmother taught me Kreyòl. You must know where you come from, so you understand where you’re going, she said. Kreyòl: an open door to the culture of my ancestors. Once a year, my grandmother arrived to the US with two overweight suitcases stuffed with presents; the packages were first enfolded in newspaper, then in colorful Christmas or birthday gift wraps, our names written on a piece of masking tape. Fresh kasav and Haitian peanut butter for my father, sweet Haitian honey and chanm chanm for me, lwil maskriti for my mother—the list goes on. Grandma sat on the bed, my mother and my aunt [name] at her…

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Yolaine M. St Fort: Flight

she fled from mahogany-hued skin dark velvet in winter and through spring summer skin, coated like black beans. she cried under her bed comforted by the cold of the linoleum the children on People Street said you can’t see coal in the dark. autumn skin, like eggplants they say the midwife dyed her skin purple black.  oh what a curse! her sun-shined fairy begged her to bathe mahogany-black-bean-eggplant-shaded skin in a beautifying balm, sacred like holy water sacred like white skin. She was fleeing from skin sprinkled with black spices from Haiti’s womb “she’s like the bottom of a frying pan visible in a blackout if she smiles.”…

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