About Us

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

Editorial

The Winter 2019 Issue of Konch features an interview by Brenda Greene with the Doyen of Black fiction writers, Louise Merriweather, whose classic, Daddy Was A Number Runner, is as germane today as it was in 1930s Harlem. What is so discouraging is that the conditions that existed in the1930s exist today. The poor who seek relief from the government are still humiliated. For some Black youth, the only jobs available are in the underground economy. In order to help feed their families, young Black girls must remain passive as landlords and food suppliers molest them. What’s different from some novels written today;most of the molesters are not Black.

            I interview the Tuskegee aristocrat Kathryn Takara--George Washington Carver was a guest in her home when she was a child. Though many Black women writers live in the Midwest, South and North, Kathryn Takara has made her home in Hawaii. She is a Pacific writer and many of her poems are based on her travels to China.

            Two travelogues, one by Noah Pittman writing about China, and Cheryl Fabio’s Rwanda, gives us different perspectives about both countries. So does our regular contributor, Barbara Lowenstein. Her Africa in which men and women go about their daily tasks is different from the media’s dysfunctional Africa, meant to give a supremacist boost to their readers and viewers.

            Our regulars, Danny Romero and Theo Konrad Auer, are joined by Afee M. Weaver and Sere-Lys Huck McArthur in the poetry section. We have also included some new voices. For some of these writers, it’s their first publication.

            Konch is one our projects meant to demonstrate that it’s not the equipment, it’s the talent. Our film “Personal Problems” was mounted for $40,000. Art Forum and three other Cinema magazines judged it to be one of the best films of 2018!  For $5,000, in January, I sponsored a reading of my play, “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda,” at the Nuyorican Poets Café, which challenges the fib that Alexander Hamilton was an abolitionist. Other historians have challenged the basic lie of the musical, “Hamilton, The Revolution,” and I have been influenced by them. They include women who are part of a sisterhood revolt against the good-old-boy network which honors the Founding Fathers no matter how many slaves they owned or Native Americans they massacred. These historians have attracted little attention, which makes it is a good idea to take the argument to the stage. Our reading was noticed by The New York Times in two articles, The New Yorker, The New York Observer, and The Paris Review. We will be mounting a full production in May. Our goal is to raise $50,000 to cover our basic costs. If you wish to contribute, send a donation to:

Ishmael Reed,

P. O. BOX 3288,

Berkeley, CA 94703.

Make checks out to the Before Columbus Foundation. Your contribution will be tax deductible and your name will be included in the playbill as a patron.

Ishmael Reed

 

Louise Meriwether. Photograph by Chester Higgins.

In This Issue

Winter 2019