Skip to main content
Outdated Browser

For the best experience using our website, we recommend upgrading your browser to a newer version or switching to a supported browser.

More Information

International Black Voices on Race and Racism

January 2021

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

Image: Joël AndrianomearisoaUntitled, 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. Also, we feature 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
By Eric M. B. Becker
Engaging “the evolving dialogue that broadens definitions of global Blackness.”
Three Poems
By Ricardo Aleixo
A Black man is always somebody’s Black man.
Translated from Portuguese by Dan Hanrahan
The True Story of “Faccetta Nera”
By Igiaba Scego
A black woman, in the regime’s view, simply could not be an Italian.
Translated from Italian by Antony Shugaar
Falling in Love with Bahia & Brazil: On Negritude, Saudade, & Surrender
By Naomi Jackson
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)
By Akinwumi Isola
“Akin Isola remains one of our most versatile Nigerian writers.”—Wole Soyinka
Translated from Yoruba by the author
By The Trantraal Brothers
© The Trantraal Brothers. By arrangement with the authors. Translation © 2017 by the Trantraal Brothers. All rights reserved.
Translated by the author
By Johannes Anyuru
Writing is a post-traumatic symptom.
Translated from Swedish by Kira Josefsson
A Form of African Identity
By Germano Almeida
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.
Translated from Portuguese by Stephen Henighan
Black Teeth and Blue Hair
By Afonso Henriques de Lima Barreto
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Ignorance is a kind of blindness.”
Translated from Portuguese by Eric M. B. Becker
Allah Is Not Obliged
By Ahmadou Kourouma
Sit down and listen. And write everything down.
Translated from French by Frank Wynne
Abandoning Myself
By Magali Nirina Marson
Besides, poverty’s not interesting, and I don’t want them to pity me
Translated from French by Allison M. Charette