Whether it be celebrities like Terry McMillan, winner of The American Book Award, or Oscar winner Lou Gossett or newcomers like Brynn Saito or Alex Maynard, since 1990, Konch has been publishing American and international writers of the highest merit. Konch is sustained by Ishmael Reed, Tennessee Reed and our readers, granting us an independence that those zines with corporate sponsorship lack. Contributors to Konch have submitted work that is innovative and serene, but we reserve the right to be rowdy. The Jim Crow Media and literary Scene Have Failed Us
“My legacy was my job. Everything I did was what I was supposed to do. I worked with untold numbers of mothers to deliver 7,000 babies in Detroit, partnered with Margaret Burroughs, founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, to form the African American Museums Association... I was committed to what I defined as 'one of the most important tasks of our times,' ensuring that generations, especially young African Americans, are made aware of and take pride in the history of their forebears and their remarkable struggle for freedom. An idea came to me that African Americans needed a museum to collect and preserve our history and culture. And, with the help of many minds and hands, that idea came to fruition.” ~ Dr. Charles H. Wright
The cover photo shows Charles Ferrell, director of public programs at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and I standing before the museum,which was founded in 1965.The museum houses over 35,000 artifacts and archival materials and is home to the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, Coleman A. Young Collection and the Sheffield Collection, a repository of documents of the labor movement in Detroit.I’ve appeared twice at the museums General Motors Theater, a 317-seat facility for live performances, film, presentations and more. First in Feb. to promote my book, The Complete Muhammad Ali and second in June to attend the showing of my film, “Personal Problems,” which was part of Detroit’s Cinetopia film festival, which shares the cover..While in Detroit, I had dinner with famed Detroit poets Melba Boyd and Bill Harris. This is Melba’s second appearance in Konch. Their work appears in this issue.We also have poetry by Yuri Kageyama, Chun Yu, Ntozake Shange, Theo Konrad Auer and Tennessee Reed.
The issue features an interview with the great Attorney Howard Moore, Jr. about the Cosby case. While they have their right wing ambassadors embarrassing the name of the United States worldwide, Karla Brundage is our kind of ambassador. She is building bridges between Oaklanders and Africans. She gives us a report about her good work.I’ve included essays by two of my students during the Spring semester at California College of the Arts where I am Distinguished Professor. Sequoya Akosua Lee and Jevohn Newsome wrote original approaches to Toni Morrison’s “Tar Baby” which I am pleased to share. Finally, with the belief that there will never be peace of mind in our country until it comes to terms with its genocidal past, we continue our new feature Genocide Watch. In this issue, an excerpt from The History of King Philip’s War by Increase Mather, Cotton Mather and Samuel G. Drake. The slaughter of Indians who were dwelling in Massachusetts before the Puritans arrived is considered America’s first Viet Nam.
In This Issue
- The captive Indian seems to have been a female, and, from some cause now unknown, had incurred the vengeance of the English
- An ode to the Asian Uncle Tom by Yuri Kageyama
- The Mother by Chun Yu
- I need to talk to a Puerto Rican by Ntozake Shange
- Them Stones by Theo Konrad Auer
- Spring 2018 by Tennessee Reed
- Two Poems by Melba Boyd
- Five for Ornette Coleman by Bill Harris
Two Looks at Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby
- The Unknowable Negro: Black Hair (And-Ness) Decolonized by Jevohn Newsome
- Caught in Tar Baby: Finding Double Meanings/Understandings through Blackness+Tar+Orishá+ Black Magic by Sequoya Akosua Lee
- Editorial, Summer 2018 by Editor
- West Oakland to West Africa Travel Diary Part 1 by Karla Brundage
- Image 1: Ishmael Reed and Charles Ferrell, Vice-President, Public Programs at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit on June 9, 2018.
- Image 2: Left to Right: Attorney Howard Moore, Junior with Moses the Dog in his lap, Carla Blank, Grace Moore, Ishmael Reed and Attorney Jane Moore at Sam's Log Cabin in Berkeley circa February 2018.
- Image 3: Ishmael Reed Discusses "Personal Problems" at the Cinetopia Festival, Charles H. Wright Museum on June 9, 2018." Photographs by Carla Blank.
- Drawings: Charles Ezra Ferrell
Burkina Faso Mask Festival
Photos by Barbara Lowenstein