“The hardest part of the music is improvising, and it gets harder the older you are. Improvisation is a gathering together of all the evidence you have of how to resolve going from here to here to here.”
There is a need to think about the world and our lives without the distractions of the quotidian. Clearly, we cannot escape the concerns of the day. But we can and must retreat to spaces where the absurdities of the present age are not the immediate concern. We must desire the other worlds that human struggles have made possible. And we must think about them. A Gathering Together is a journal that resists the easy and often unsophisticated attempt to say profound things in the moment, in the heat of discursive battle. Building upon John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie’s words, we seek to build a place that exists for a different purpose, and plays a different note. For in playing that note, we resolve the very tensions that produced the desire to retreat. We offer a vision of the world beyond, a vision that endures and elevates us to a space of inquiry that reveals the shallow foundations that mark our lives, but can no longer be our realities.
A Gathering Together seeks to extend the best of Black thinking traditions by offering a platform for writers, thinkers, artists, and creators that embody the ethos of the ancestral imperative: “to know.” It builds upon the ancient Egyptian sesh, the djeli and doma of western Sudanic cultures, and the adanu of the Ewe, among others—thinking traditions that sought more than simple recognition and fame, knowledge traditions premised on creating and preserving that which we have created. These traditions survived the great disaster of enslavement and colonialism. They live today. Our duty in this moment is to extend the dreams of Hurston, Du Bois, and Achebe. A Gathering Together makes evident the paths to take.
We accept submissions in every genre: essays, short fiction, poetry, reviews, visual art, and film. Our hope and intent is that these works will offer more than reactions to fleeting moments. We require of our submissions what our ancestors required of their thinkers: words that speak life—especially in this moment in which death surrounds us.
Kioni Kai Jaminnia Rosalind Wells States
All work published by A Gathering Together is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.