In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Anthem
  • Lisa Pegram (bio)

They say, Girl you black as midnight.And, though it’s not meant as a compliment,without missing a beat, I say:

Thank you.I’m also Black as rhythm. Blackas gravity. Black as inkthat makes thought immortal. Blackas red + yellow + blue….or blood + sun + seaBlack as tourmalineBlack as kohl & kajal that ward off sand storm, day glareand the evil eye. Black as sleepBlack as drama and glamourBlack as the Great MysteryBlack as alchemy. Blackas Africa—the cradle of humanityLike, yo original mama Black.

Claro que si. I’m Black Black.

Black as seductionBlack as rebellionBlack as the pupil of the eye, which allows light to enterBlack as silenceBlack as crude oilBlack as fertile soilBlack as devotion—bottomless Black

Soy negra, como tu espíritu eterno.

Black as what captivates youkeeps your feet on the groundallows you to see and sets you free

I’m Black as conception & the ash of resurrectionBlack as womb and tombBlack as everything that birthed you and keeps you alive

Black as afterlife. [End Page 20]

Lisa Pegram

Lisa Pegram is a writer, educator, and author of Cracked Calabash (Central Square Press.) She has over 20 years of experience in literary program design for such organizations as the Smithsonian, Corcoran Gallery of Art and National Geographic, and served as DC WritersCorps program director for a decade. Her poems and essays have been published by Random House, Black Classic Press, Atlas Obscura, and L’Officiel magazine, among others. Lisa completed an MFA, as well as an Executive Certification in Arts & Culture Strategies at UPenn. A Washington, DC native, she is currently based in St. Maarten.