Cleveland is experiencing a particularly important moment. Even to say it like that doesn’t do it justice. This is the moment of Tanisha Anderson, Tamir Rice, Timothy Russell, Malissa Williams. It’s the moment of #BlackLivesMatter and the Consent Decree, both phrases that have become shorthand in our community for so much of what needs to be fixed or at least addressed. And of course it’s not the first consent decree designed to improve relations between Cleveland’s Police Department and the communities they serve. Nor is it the first time in our history when we’ve had to remind ourselves and others that Black lives do, in fact, matter.
Cleveland is not alone. From Ferguson to Baltimore, Oakland to New York, and so many other communities and campuses, we’re having a national awakening about race, unconscious bias, and the hidden and visible structures that privilege and favor whiteness over every other ethnic or racial expression. Those are the facts.
Cleveland has something particular to offer this national dialogue. Racial divisions have defined the community for so much of its history, and we believe, in recent years, there’s newfound collective ability to have difficult but necessary conversations in new ways; to listen more closely and maybe to develop a common experience and a shared desire to step towards fixing this.
The community has been doing a bit of this at the City Club. In fact, these conversations with Bryan Stevenson, TaNehisi Coates, Rev. Joan Brown Campbell and Rev. Otis Moss, Congressman Louis Stokes, Marlon James, Rhonda Williams and others have been some of the most widely talked about and resonant forums City Club has put on in recent years.
We want to honor this moment by challenging ourselves to push our collective conversation a bit deeper. So Belt Publishing is collaborating with the City Club and Guide to Kulchur to collect some of the voices that can help define this moment and light the way forward.
We think you should be a part of it. Give us your best.
Here’s what we’re looking for:
Nonfiction essays (700-3,000 words), analysis, oral histories, comics, photography, art, poetry, journalistic works. (If things have been published elsewhere, we’ll need your help getting permission to publish.)
Deadline: January 10. (We plan on publishing in Summer 2016).
Inquiries, proposals and submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in sponsoring this title, underwriting production and/or writer stipends? Email Publisher Anne Trubek at email@example.com.