This project would not be possible without the openness, willingness, and generosity of time of our contributors, and the editors who pledged to labor with us along this journey: Maya Arthur, Jasmine Combs, and Jared Michael Lowe. A grant from the Independence Media Foundation Community Voices Fund allowed us to develop this platform for community storytelling with the assistance of the literary arts nonprofit Blue Stoop. Thank you, Emma Eisenberg, for telling us to go for it. To our publisher Common Notions, we are incredibly grateful for your support, labor, and collaborative vision in nurturing this publication into something for which we will forever be proud. We offer this sincere acknowledgement as another reminder that without community, there is no liberation.


Fajr Muhammad, Editorial Director
Fajr Muhammad is a writer and editor from Philadelphia, PA. She earned her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University and B.A. in English with a minor in Women’s Studies from Kutztown University. Her writing has been featured in the Columbia Journal Online and The Hennepin Review and she was recently named 2021 runner-up for the Marianne Russo novel-in-progress award with the Key West Literary Seminar. Her work has received fellowships from the Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop, the Rhode Island Writers Colony and the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. She sits on the Blue Stoop advisory board, a nonprofit dedicated to Philadelphia writers.

Christopher R. Rogers, Project Manager
Christopher R. Rogers is an educator and cultural worker from Chester, PA. He serves as Public Programs Director for the Paul Robeson House & Museum, where he has volunteered since 2015. Additionally, he is currently a doctoral student within the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education where he studies neighborhood storytelling practices in West Philadelphia. He serves on the National Steering Committee for Black Lives Matter at School, supporting movements for racial justice in K-16 education.


Jasmine L. Combs, Poetry Editor
Jasmine L. Combs is a writer, editor, and teaching artist from Philadelphia. She is the author of two poetry collections Universal Themes (2014) and This Drowning Was A Baptism (2019). Her work has also been published in literary journals such as Apiary, Vagabond City Lit, Vinyl Poetry, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Prolit Magazine. Jasmine was the 2015 Philly Pigeon Grand Slam Champion and won the 2016 College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. Her work focuses on the intersecting relationships between Blackness, womanhood, mental illness, family, love, and home.

Jared Michael Lowe, Prose Editor
Jared Michael Lowe is a writer, digital storyteller, creative consultant and an outstanding voice on the topics of culture, people of color, sexuality, gender and race. From 2010 to 2016, he was the founding editor of, a digital curatorial experience for the savvy urbane millennial, which won numerous awards and received citations from The New York Post, ESSENCE and Okayplayer. His reporting and commentary on fashion, culture and racial politics have appeared in outlets including NBC News, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, Ebony, The Huffington Post, Essence, among others.

Maya Arthur, Editorial Support
Maya Arthur is a writer and novice archivist/artist/researcher. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English & Creative Writing in 2018. She loves gardening in her cradle graves at The Woodlands cemetery, making and reading zines, and discussing witches at length. Her poetry right now focuses on loneliness, blackness, and the mundane. She is the Program Coordinator at Blue Stoop and was a 2019 Lambda Poetry Fellow and attended the 2020 Aspen Words Writing Workshop. You can find her wandering around West Philly. This winter quarantine, she is on a mission to write letters to anyone and everyone. Her exploits are documented in her newsletter I am not doing well right now (because who is?).


Emma Eisenberg, Director, Blue Stoop
Sherry L. Howard, Volunteer, Paul Robeson House & Museum
Vernoca L. Michael, Board, Paul Robeson House & Museum
Janice Sykes-Ross, Executive Director, Paul Robeson House & Museum


Brandi Goldsborough, Web Design & Graphic Support


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.