excerpt, “Night Coming Tenderly” by Sandra Jackson-Opoku

The bid-whist-playing, gin-drinking, chit’lin-cooking, barbecuing, party-loving Pattersons. That was Mama’s family–loud, boisterous and slightly disreputable. Miss Jonita declared them “country,” though the Pattersons had been established in Chicago a good half-century before Miss Jonita’s people came Up North, or as Black folks ironically deemed it, “Up South” from Arkansas.

“On My Very Brief Encounter with the Russian Army” by Ilia Rappoport

It becomes increasingly clear, then, that the government does not intend to use its army as an institution of pure militaristic purpose. If it did, then it would have focused on quality over quantity, promoting a career in the army as something prestigious and sought-after rather than what it is now – a year-long fever dream between youth and adulthood for those who don’t do well on the national exams.

Why the owner of a software company in Zurich gave strangers free trips to Egypt: an interview with Tarek Mounib

“People have certain views even about building walls, etc., but that doesn’t mean they’re racist, it means they’re genuinely afraid. Of course there were the weird, psychotic people but the majority of people it seemed to me were reasonable and kind, even the ones who hold certain views,” Tarek Mounib tells ACM.

“Origin Story” by Felicia Chavez

Imprisoned behind glass in New York City’s Jewish Museum: a sinister grin in graphite.  Too big-teeth and hairy brows crowned with a jester’s coxcomb.  “I wanted something visually exciting,” Jerry Robinson said of his concept sketch of The Joker.  “I wanted something that would make an indelible impression, would be bizarre, would be memorable.”

“Ah, Arthur is Here” by David Linebarger

Solve this problem:  Your daughter’s playing with a doll, a gift she just received from a friend.  The doll is white. 1968: John Carlos gives the black power salute Arthur Ashe wins the first US Open. 1970: Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye the problem of “whiteness” as a standard of beauty Arthur Ashe wins The Australian Open. 1972: Bettye Saar The Liberation of Aunt Jemima 1975 the liberation continues Arthur Ashe outthinks Connors to win Wimbledon “no matter what I do, or where or when I do it, I feel the eyes of others watching me, judging me.”

“Maximum Compound: Fight Blood Economy” by Stephanie Dickinson

Krystal developed into a first-string basketball player, and in junior high she’d been scouted. The acting-out years began and Krystal was sent to Elan, a residential school for troubled teens. It was here that the staff treated residents criminally. Often new students would be told that their throats could easily be cut in the night if they failed to get along with staff and other students.

“A Homeroom Meeting” by Fumiki Takahashi, translated from the Japanese by Toshiya Kamei

The day before the world was supposed to end, Kasumi woke up in the morning and slipped into her school uniform as usual. She had nothing else to do. Besides, she didn’t dislike school. On the other hand, her best friend, Tomo-chan, had left for a trip a few days earlier, saying she would spend time with her boyfriend. By this time, she would have lost her virginity.