On Our Shelves Now
An archive of collective memory and exuberant testimony
A luminous map to navigate an opaque and disorienting present
An infinite geography of possible futures
What does it mean to be Black and alive right now?
Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham have brought together this collection of work—images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry, and more—to tell the story of the radical, imaginative, provocative, and gorgeous world that Black creators are bringing forth today. The book presents a succession of startling and beautiful pieces that generate an entrancing rhythm: Readers will go from conversations with activists and academics to memes and Instagram posts, from powerful essays to dazzling paintings and insightful infographics.
In answering the question of what it means to be Black and alive, Black Futures opens a prismatic vision of possibility for every reader.
About the Author
Kimberly Drew is a writer, curator, and activist. Drew received her B.A. from Smith College in art history and African-American studies. During her time at Smith, she launched the Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art, which has featured artwork by nearly 5,000 black artists. Drew's writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Elle UK, and Glamour. She lives in Brooklyn, New York (just a few blocks away from Jenna Wortham).
Jenna Wortham is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. She is also co-host of the podcast Still Processing, as well as a sound healer, reiki practitioner, and herbalist, all of which she lovingly practices on Kimberly Drew. She is currently working on a book about the body and dissociation. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
“A dynamic mixed-media exhibition of Black creativity and culture . . . The work is vivid, juicy, thick—as fecund as all of Black culture—and equal parts anthology, scrapbook, and art xhibition. The editors and contributors make clear the ‘infinite’” nature of Blackness via more than 500 crammed pages of essays, art, interviews, and ephemera. . . . A must-own compendium illustrating the richness, joy, and power of the modern Black experience.”—Kirkus Reviews
“An intriguing and beautiful book meant to inspire . . . Punctuated throughout with photography and other artwork and using vibrant colors smartly, the book is as interesting visually as intellectually. In their introduction, the editors state that one of their intentions with this book ‘is to encourage readers to follow their interests into a deep warren of rabbit holes and discoveries.’ They succeed; every reader will engage with this work differently, and will be able to come back to it again and again for inspiration.”—Booklist (starred review)
“[A] multifaceted and visually arresting anthology of essays, poems, and art . . . Bold graphics, vibrant artwork in a plethora of styles and media, and contributions from activists, scholars, and journalists across a wide range of experiences and perspectives showcase the multidimensionality of Black voices in America. This unique and imaginative work issues a powerful call for justice, equality, and inclusion.”—Publishers Weekly