A Quiet Violence

By Nothando Maphalala

The youngest country in the world was the 51st African country to confirm a COVID-19 case on April 5, 202l. As the world adjusted to the “new normal,” South Sudanese hoped that this pandemic would pass them by. Having experienced floods, a locust invasion and a fragile peace, the expression thiele riek mi mat ro jo riek mi dong [another problem should not be added on top of another problem] held much resonance for South Sudanese.

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The Irony of Growth

By Nnimmo Bassey 

The rage of the COVID-19 pandemic has been as astonishing as any epic disaster can be. What startles some of us more is the unabashed projection that millions of Africans will die, probably as soon as the pandemic ends at the current epicenters. How come some of these analysts speak with so much certainty and do not suggest that they are merely projecting from indices that only they know?

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When This Is Over

By Steve Faulkner

Worker leaders in South Africa are awakening to a new reality, as they must be all over the world. The old certainties are no longer as firm as they once seemed. It’s noticeable that the phrase “When this is over” is not automatically followed by “and when we get back to normal” but is instead left hanging in the air. What exactly will the new “normal” look like?

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A Response to the Right-Wing Reopen Business Crowd  

Be careful what you ask for*

By Bill Fletcher, Jr.

In a classic episode of Rod Serling’s original Twilight Zone entitled “The Old Man in the Cave,” a small town has survived a nuclear holocaust for 10 years while most of humanity is extinct. They have received sound advice from their leader who receives recommendations from an unseen “Old Man” in a cave.

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Blues in Chicano Time

By Bill Gallegos

Dreaming eyes piercing the velvet dawn/

            Follow the twisted shimmer of coiled wire/

It’s cutting sneer snaking along border walls.

Brown clad shapes wrapped in the dust and spikes of the arroyo/

facing the icy metal of laser-powered contempt.

Headlights burn like desert fire/ glowing beams sweeping

across lands walked by kings./

            Muffled cries of Mixtec children/ gurgle like a drying stream

Searching for ocean’s caress.

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