Issue 119

Transition 119, “Afro-Asian Worlds” examines historical and contemporary moments of cultural encounter in communities on the Indian Ocean and to the East; from Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania to China. Guest Editor Krishna Lewis presents a glimpse of cross cultural interaction in these spaces.  M. G. Vassanji contemplates otherness in his childhood home of Dar es Salaam and how he found his way to writing “his” city. Anthropologist Jatin Dua investigates maritime culture and the unexpectedly congenial interactions between pirates and hostages in Bosaso and other ports. Bill V. Mullen reflects on politics and creativity in the life and work of late, legendary afro-asian jazz musician, Fred Ho.

The issue also highlights activism in its various forms, featuring insights from multiple generations of civil rights leaders in St. Louis, Missouri, including Percy Green, Tef Poe, and Jamala Rogers; startling statistics about the history of solitary confinement in the U.S. prison system in an essay by Adam Ewing; and Francis Nenik’s portrait of undersung South African poet and activist, Edward Vincent Swart. In addition to powerful poetry and fiction by Bryan Washington and Desiree Bailey, Issue 119 revives Transition’s infamous Letters section, giving our readers a forum for voicing opinions and responses.

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Featured Article:
Generations of Struggle              

Activists and scholars Percy Green II, Robin D. G. Kelley, Tef Poe, George Lipsitz, and Jamala Rogers, with Elizabeth Hinton, discuss more than five decades of black action in St. Louis, MO from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter.

"If you’re going to come into one of these communities where there’s black folks, and you’re going to pull your gun out and shoot, you will be met with resistance. We’re going to curse at you. We’re going to throw some stuff at you. We might even tip over a police car or two, depending on how we feel that day. But you will not just come into our communities and gun people down and be met with nothing." - Tef Poe



Afro-Asian materials by: Krishna Lewis, M.G. Vassanji, Erin Haney, Jatin Dua, Steven Nelson, Bill V. Mullen, Lisa María Burgess.

Essays by: Namrata Poddar, Adam Ewing, Ibrahim K. Sundiata, Francis Nenik, Erica L. Ball, Phyllis Clark Taoua and Taylor Kathryn Miller.

Opinions by: Mary Serumaga, Namata Serumaga-Musisi.

Fiction by: Bryan Washington, Nneoma Ike-Njoku.

Poetry by: Ayana Aubourg, Desiree Bailey, Carmen Wilson, Joshua Everett.

Artwork by: Benny Andrews, Angel Delgado, Jen Everett, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Samsul Alam Helal, William Kentridge, Amalia Ramanankirahina, Rozeal (cover).