OUR VIRTUAL LAUNCH EVENT!


Learn more about the cultivation and context of this publication project with the editors. Ask questions, share ideas with potential contributors, plan for supports in the writing process. 




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OUR INSPIRATION


"Collaging is a historical practice of Black imagination,” wrote Sasha Bonét recently for The Paris Review. “It has helped us to envision unfathomable futures in the face of violence and uncertainty. It has been a creative way to love each other even though we haven’t been shown care, to express the depths of our experiences even when no one ever asked how we felt, to give evidence to all the things unseen." Further, radical historian Barbara Ransby meditates on the organizing approach of civil rights activist Ella Baker under the framework of political quilting. Ransby writes: “Ella Baker did not advocate forging coalitions of convenience: short-lived and limited. Instead, she wanted to create a movement and nurture the kind of long-term relationships that would sustain it. She tenaciously stitched together fragments of a progressive community into a patchwork of a movement.”

In this book, we plan to draw on these conceptual anchors, relics of the Black Radical Tradition, to produce a Philly-driven literary mixtape/anthology-in-action that will stitch together the activism and emotions of the 2020 Uprising. This project will be rooted in an intersectional analysis, believing it important that we celebrate the differences within our Black communities to make resolute that ALL Black lives matter. We recognize that by archiving these stories, it allows us an opportunity to contextualize this moment alongside other eras and instances of Black resistance in Philadelphia, promoting an intergenerational threading of Black activist labor, demands, and freedom dreams.

OUR INVITATION TO SUBMIT


We believe that the strength of this project will derive from authentic relationships held across Black Philadelphia, recognizing the many different avenues of struggle and the multiplying modes of care work and direct action that build and sustain a movement. While the publication focuses on 2020, we believe that the long history of Black resistance in Philadelphia is necessary to contextualize this moment and invite submissions that can thread that history.

We are looking for stories and storytellers that are oft underrepresented and too many times dismissed as expert narrators of their own experiences. These could include highlighting the experiences of Black grandmothers who sheltered-in-place while organizing mutual aid for their neighbors and families; Black gender non-conforming youth who recognized their power in protest all the while skeptical of whether those around them would defend their right to thrive; and/or Black caretakers, sanitation workers, and other essential workers who may have chosen and/or were pressured to put their lives on the line daily in the midst of a disproportionately deadly pandemic. Additionally, photos that showcase the wide spectrum of reflection and action, from Black rage to Black joy and Black love will be considered. We ask that you provide captions alongside any submitted photos to give us greater context.

Through archiving these stories, we’ll draw together diverse experiences that demonstrate the call: “None of us are free until we are all free.” Through the celebration of one’s differences, we will create a platform for Black community solidarity that shows what must be transformed so that all Black people may live dignified, joyful, and pleasurable lives. 

We are inviting contributions from self-identified Black Philadelphians, in search of: 
  • Creative Fiction. What writer/activist Walidah Imarisha’s describes as “visionary fiction” - writing that helps us imagine new just worlds. (1500 - 2000 words.)
  • Narrative and Journalistic Nonfiction & Prose. Essays, Letters, Interviews, Op-Eds. (1000 - 1500 words)
  • Poetry, Collections of Chants, Raps, Transcribed Protest Speeches.
  • Graphics, Protest Signs, and other ephemera
  • Street Photography. Contributors must have permission/documentation to use images of anyone in photo. Please contact WPCA team for guidance. 
  • Multimedia (video, audio, etc.). There is potential for multimedia works to be spotlighted on the project website.
  • Additional creative formats, including Twitter threads, text chains, captioned video grabs w/ transcribed interviews. Please contact us to share ideas!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES


  • The editorial team is seeking submissions from the public. We will review the work, and if selected for either the book publication or the project website, will work with the contributor to finalize it so that it resonates individually and in concert with the larger piece. All contributors must be open to shared revision of their work.
  • We are looking for works that are close to completion (~85 percent). We do not have the editorial capacity to guide individual submissions from start to finish. We are available for editing and some feedback. Please email us if you have any additional questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them.
  • All selected contributors will be paid a stipend (listed below).
  • Only previously unpublished works will be accepted. If a work is not chosen, the team will communicate with the author to find an alternative outlet.
  • Multiple submissions from one author will be considered. The team will most likely select only one.
  • Signed agreements are required for submissions involving intellectual property, artwork or other items from sources other than the contributor.

STIPEND FOR CONTRIBUTORS


  • With current funding, we have available a stipend of $500 each for 20 book selections and $100 each for 30 open-call website selections. Payment will be made after the mutually agreed upon final edit of the work. 
  • If you are interested in donating to this project to grow supports for more contributors, please contact us at phlblackuprising@gmail.com.

HOW TO SUBMIT / SUBMIT NOW!


  1. Complete Submission Form
  2. Upload/email submission in acceptable document formats: Word, PDF, Pages, TXT, RTF. Please provide links to media above 25MB.

FIRST DEADLINE TO SUBMIT: JANUARY 31, 2021

UPDATE (1/30/2021): SUBMISSION WINDOW WILL BE EXTENDED THROUGHOUT FEBRUARY. MORE UPDATES TO COME.




THE TEAM + CONTACT US!


Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at phlblackuprising@gmail.com. We are available to answer additional questions and provide feedback about your ideas. JOIN OUR MAILING LIST.


Fajr Muhammad, Editorial Director
Fajr Muhammad is a writer and editor. She has been awarded fellowships with the Tin House Writers Workshop, Rhode Island Writers Colony and the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Columbia University. Currently, she is at work on a novel about black liberation and black womanhood.


Christopher R. Rogers, Project Manager
Christopher R. Rogers serves as the Program Director for the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s Paul Robeson House & Museum, an internationally recognized museum that preserves the legacy of Paul Robeson, including his political commitment to anticolonial struggle and an appreciation of the arts in the fight for social justice.


This project is funded through a generous grant from the Independence Public Media Foundation Community Voices Fund to the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance/Paul Robeson House & Museum. The WPCA is located at 4949-51 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19139. Visit our website to learn more about our work and to support us as a home for activism and the arts through these unprecedented times. paulrobesonhouse.org