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BLACK RAINBOW: Lesbian, Queer, and Trans-identified Women Writers from Africa and the African Diaspora

Sinister Wisdom is now accepting submissions of writing for BLACK RAINBOW: A Special Issue on Lesbian, Queer, and Trans-identified Women from Africa and First Generation Africans in the Diaspora. The Editors are interested in receiving writing in all genres and forms from women-identified Africans who are also lesbian-, queer-, and trans-identified living on the continent and in diaspora. Essays, personal narratives, short fiction, poetry, biography/autobiography, mixed-genre, black and white photography, criticism, theory and other pieces which “complicate [the] single story” of who is “African.” [Jin Hawritaworn. Blurb. Queer African Reader. 2013.] We are using “African” in a sense similar to Sylvia Tamale’s as “the ethos of community, solidarity, and ubuntu shared among . . . people within the geographical entity baptized ‘Africa’ by the colonial map-makers” (African Sexualities, 2011). We understand ”Queer,” in a similar way, as Sokari Ekine says, “to denote a political frame . . . . to underscore a perspective that embraces gender and sexual plurality and seeks to transform . . . . (Queer African Reader, 2013).
The Editors are interested in receiving a wide array of writing for this issue to include as many voices as possible. The Editors are particularly interested in writing that contests Euro-American understandings of LGBTQI Africa/ns, explores cross-generational wisdom about genders and sexualities, and envisions designs for living in the present and in the future. Topics may include: e.g., but not limited to, Immigration and Asylum, queer/lesbian/trans African girlhood; images of Queer Africa/ns in African film; militarization and Queer bodies in Africa; both at once: complexities and contradictions of Queer and African liberations; Intersex identity, invisibility, and liberation; Queer Ageing/LGBTQI Elders on the Continent and in Diaspora; first generation Queer Africans in Diaspora; Economic Disparities of African/Queer and African/Straight; Justice for LGBTQI People in Africa; African Faith and Christian Homophobia; African Literary Futurism. Please be as specific as you wish about the nation, country, town, township, region, ethnicity in writing about your topic.
Manuscripts must be submitted electronically by June 15, 2020 to blackrainbow2021@gmail.com. You may send up to 2,000 words of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, essay, or mixed genre/experimental writing. Please feel free to contact either or both editors at the emails below, if there are questions. We expect to produce the journal by early 2021.
Sinister Wisdom is a multicultural lesbian literary & art journal that publishes in the United States four issues each year. Publishing since 1976, Sinister Wisdom works to create a multicultural, multi-class lesbian space. Sinister Wisdom seeks to open, consider, and advance the exploration of lesbian community issues. As Editor and Board Members, we recognize the power of language to reflect our diverse experiences and to enhance our abilities to develop critical judgment as lesbians evaluating our community and our world.

Guest Editors:
Sokari Ekine
is a Nigerian activist, blogger and author. She has edited the books Blood and Oil: Testimonies of Violence from Women of the Niger Delta (2001), SMS Uprising: Mobile Phone Activism in Africa (2010), African Awakenings with Firoze Manji (2011), and Queer African Reader with Hakima Abbas (2013).
Cheryl Clarke is a poet and author of five books of poetry, member of the Sinister Wisdom Editorial Board, and co-organizer of the annual Hobart (N.Y.) Festival of Women Writers, which is entering its 8th year. She has co-edited with Red Washburn and Morgan Gwenwald Sinister Wisdom’s 2018 special issue, Dump Trump: Legacies of Resistance.


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