Late summer night on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Ten Indi-
ans are playing basketball on a court barely illuminated by the
streetlight above them. They will play until the brown, leather ball
is invisible in the dark. They will play until an errant pass jams a
finger, knocks a pair of glasses off the face, smashes a nose and
draws blood. They will play until the ball bounces off the court
and disappears into the shadows.
This may be all you need to know about Native American literature.
from One Stick Song, Hanging Loose Press, 2000:
The salmon swim
So thick in this river
that Grandmother walks
across the water
on the bridge
of their spines.
from Crow Testament
Cain lifts Crow, that heavy black bird
and strikes down Abel.
Damn, says Crow, I guess
this is just the beginning.
The white man, disguised
as a falcon, swoops in
and yet again steals a salmon
from Crow’s talons.
SHERMAN ALEXIE is an author. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award for his 2009 novel, War Dances.
36. The 1960s, BrooklynBy Raphael Rubinstein
FEB 2023 | The Miraculous
Its the mid-1960s in Bedford-Stuyvesant where some 15 or 20 young men get into the habit of harmonizing together after pick-up basketball games. One of them, an aspiring musician who is supporting himself as an elevator operator, notices some talented voices in the crowd, so one night he invites everyone back to his apartment to rehearse, hoping for something interesting to emerge.
Charles Gaines: Moving ChainsBy Zoë Hopkins
DEC 22–JAN 23 | ArtSeen
The question is simply this: Can a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guarantied by that instrument to the citizen? This question lies at the heart of the majority opinion written by the US Chief Justice Taney in the Supreme Courts 1857 ruling on the Dred Scott v. Sandford Case. And on the shores of Governors Island Charles Gaines asks this question again.
Shahzia Sikander: Havah…to breathe, air, lifeBy Lilly Wei
FEB 2023 | ArtSeen
If you enter Madison Square Park at Fifth Avenue and 25th Street from now until early June, a resplendent, golden female figure confidently holding court from within a fenced lawn will greet you. Witness (2023) by Shahzia Sikander is impossible to miss.
Dear Friends and Readers,By Phong Bui
JUL-AUG 2022 | Co-Founder's Message
In spite of the relentless and constant horrors that occur in our daily lives, both at home with the US Supreme Court officially reversing Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion, which had been upheld for nearly half century, and the ongoing sagas of public hearing by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot of January 6, 2021, seeking to lay bare the full magnitude of former president Donald J. Trumps aggressive attempts to remain in power after the 2020 election, while abroad, members of the NATO military alliance welcomed Sweden and Finland to accession protocols as the Russia-Ukraine war in the outskirts of the Luhansk region intensifies, we have no choice but to re-ask ourselves what are the primary functions of liberal democracys two opposing parties, the party of liberty and the party of equality?