"Black Writers? African, Bluesy, Classical, Disrespectful, Erudite, Fiery, Groovy, Haunting, Inspiring, Jazzy, Knowing, Liberating, Militant, Nervy, Optimistic, Pugnacious, Quixotic, Rambunctious, Seductive, Truculent, Urgent, Vivacious, Wicked, X-ray sharp, Yearning, Zesty. And so, they matter!" —George Elliott Clarke
An anthology of African-Canadian writing, Black Writers Matter offers a cross-section of established writers and newcomers to the literary world who tackle contemporary and pressing issues with beautiful, sometimes raw, prose. As editor Whitney French says in her introduction, Black Writers Matter “injects new meaning into the word diversity [and] harbours a sacredness and an everydayness that offers Black people dignity.” An “invitation to read, share, and tell stories of Black narratives that are close to the bone,” this collection feels particular to the Black Canadian experience.
"Reading these stories gave me both joy and grief." —Afua Cooper
"Collected in these pages are voices that need to be urgently heard, engaged and reckoned with. Black life, Black Canadian life, Black Canadian diasporic life in full colour and full of desire is on offer in Black Writers Matter." —Rinaldo Walcott, professor at University of Toronto and author of Queer Returns: Essays on Multiculturalism, Diaspora and Black Studies
"Black Writers Matter is an extraordinary achievement, a bold and loving gathering of Black writing in its sublimity; its stylistic and thematic complexity; its regional, cultural, generational, and experiential differences; its fiercely constellated energy. Whitney French and the talented contributors to this book offer us vital new writings within a two-hundred-year legacy of yearning and truth-telling. Please read this book." —David Chariandy, author of Soucouyant and Brother
About the authors
The founder and co-editor of From the Root Zine, Whitney French has been published in Descant Magazine, anthologized in The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry, and is the host and facilitator of the Writing While Black creative writing studio. Whitney lives in Toronto.
Afua Cooper's doctoral dissertation on Henry Bibb is a pioneering work on the life of the 19th-century abolitionist. She teaches African-Canadian history at the University of Toronto and is co-author of "We're Rooted Here and They Can't Pull Us Up": Essays in African Canadian Women's History (University of Toronto Press, 1994). In February 2002, Afua curated "A Glimpse of Black Life in Victorian Toronto: 1850-1860" for the City of Toronto Museum Division. An award-winning poet, her fifth book of poetry, Copper Woman and Other Poems, is being published by Natural Heritage in the spring of 2006. Her most recent book is The Hanging Of Angelique: Canada, Slavery and the Burning of Montreal, published by HarperCollins Canada in January 2006.
Other titles by Afua Cooper
The Halifax Explosion
6 December 1917 at 9:05 in the Morning
Dear Canada: Hoping for Home
Stories of Arrival
Cher Journal : Terre d'accueil, terre d'espoir
The Hanging Of Angelique
The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal
My Name Is Phillis Wheatley
A Story of Slavery and Freedom
My Name Is Henry Bibb
A Story of Slavery and Freedom
The Underground Railroad
Next Stop, Toronto!
And Other Poems