What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th has forever changed my life. I have been called to look more deeply inside of myself and to embrace the power and responsibility that comes with creating and maintaining a literary and photo journal: inviting people to be open and honest and vulnerable, and to share their lives and their stories and talent with myself and with our readers.
There's a great amount of joy that comes within bringing these collections of stories and personalities and lives together, and with that joy comes an ever-present opportunity to not just do better, but to actually be better: to listen more closely and to do so with a more open and courageous heart; and to speak more honestly and with a greater depth of truth; and to continue to grow and operate from a more mindful and professional foundation.
It is true that Covid-19 has delayed our ability to create the journal we wish to create; but it's also true that the protests and movements brought on, and continued to be carried on, by Black voices like my own has given me an ability to remember why this journal exists, and what it is that we wish to create and to say, to and with and for our readers, our city, and the world.
Here is one truth, for which I have chosen to own: only recently have we started following Black Lives Matter (What We Believe) and the NAACP (Strategic Plan: Game Changers for the 21st Century) on Instagram. After sinking more deeply into myself over the last month, and learning to see from a more heart-centered, higher, and more focused perspective, I can say that for Curlew Quarterly to not to follow these accounts, and to listen more closely to their words, and to more deeply honor their importance and power, before George Floyd's death, was a failure on my part.
Whether the fact that I have worked in the past as a civil rights attorney, and whether my individual life and presence in this world as an African-American man is enough to convey Curlew Quarterly's connection to the important work that these organizations, and countless others, are doing is a philosophical boomerang –––– now matter how far I throw it out there, it always leads back to its starting point, myself, then the work must begin again. Who knows what the boomerang creates while in flight, or who it reaches or touches while away from me, but those answers are less important than what means the most: that these organizations are backing and giving power to groups of people who have struggled to be heard, who are tired of being silenced, ––– and for some of whom ––– are afraid for their lives.
There is an infinite amount of work for Curlew Quarterly to do in the coming weeks and months and years. As New York City gradually reopens and day-by-day, continues to remake and rebuild itself, we are doing the same. For now, our silence means we're planning. And when we launch again, we will launch from a higher state of consciousness; from a more solid foundation; and from a more beautiful and powerful place. - Isaac Myers III