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January 2021

International Black Voices on Race and Racism

Image: Joël Andrianomearisoa, Untitled, 2016. Textile & plastic. By arrangement with the Primo Marella Gallery.

This January, we're taking a look back through the WWB archives and revisiting some of our favorite work by Black writers across the globe. As we continue efforts toward lasting structural change within the organization, we're returning to writing that gestures toward the multitudinous experience of Black life throughout the world. Featuring Ricardo Aleixo, Germano Almeida, Johannes Anyuru, Lima Barreto, Akinwumi Isola, Naomi Jackson, Ahmadou Kourouma, Magali Nirina Marson, and the Trantraal Brothers. Stay tuned later this month for new writing from Aaron Robertson, Sandra Tamele, and Évelyne Trouillot on the meaningful changes we need to better publish Black writers from around the world in the twenty-first century.

Global Blackness: Black Writers in Translation

Engaging "the evolving dialogue that broadens definitions of global Blackness."

Three Poems

A Black man is always somebody's Black man.

The True Story of “Faccetta Nera”

A black woman, in the regime’s view, simply could not be an Italian.

Falling in Love with Bahia & Brazil: On Negritude, Saudade, & Surrender

I’d taken a few capoeira classes that left me barely able to walk.

The Grammar of Easter (You Don’t Say That in English)

“Akin Isola remains one of our most versatile Nigerian writers.”—Wole Soyinka


cover image

I'd wait till he was asleep. Then I'd cut his throat with a knife.


Writing is a post-traumatic symptom.

A Form of African Identity

It was only very gradually that we came to understand that the Europeans, out of malice or simple ignorance, had instilled in us our reluctance to accept our condition as Africans.

Black Teeth and Blue Hair

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Ignorance is a kind of blindness.”

Allah Is Not Obliged

Sit down and listen. And write everything down.

Abandoning Myself

Besides, poverty’s not interesting, and I don’t want them to pity me



Book Reviews

The Exact Number of Stars: André Naffis-Sahely Translates Ribka Sibhatu

Reviewed by Mona Kareem

The ongoing collaboration between Sibhatu and Naffis-Sahely confirms my belief that the connection between poet and translator is a lifetime commitment, to grow and write and think together.

As American as Immigration: Małgorzata Szejnert Brings to Life the Many Stories of Ellis Island

Reviewed by Mauricio Ruiz

Drawing on unpublished letters and journals, the Polish journalist always keeps an eye on revealing details in her new book "Ellis Island: A People's History," the result of extensive research into the manifold trajectories of those who set foot on a new continent and helped forge the modern US.

Recent Issues

Our Nueva York: Writing the City in Spanish

The Language of Identity: Kaaps Writing from South Africa

Voices on the Verge: Writing from Southeast Asian Creole Languages

The Slow Burn of Inner Chaos: Writing from Malaysia

Backstories: Afro-Italian Women Writers

The Queer Issue XII

Movement and Multiplicity: Writing from Mauritania

On the Edge: Writing from Iceland

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.