Black Imagination, by Natasha Marin, Hardcover
McSweeney's

Black Imagination, by Natasha Marin, Hardcover

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Proceeds from sale of this book have been donated to 826NYC  who offer highly individualized creative writing instruction for over 4,000 young New Yorkers every year. Free programs throughout NYC empower young authors and develop crucial skills they need to thrive in the classroom and beyond.

“(D)on’t think for one minute that Black Imagination is easy. As you will read here, it is hard-earned and sometimes dangerous, but it’s necessary, and radical, to claim and work towards. Listening to my people in this book gave me so much life, and I’m pretty sure, dear reader, you’re in for the same.” —from the Foreword by Steven Dunn



What is your origin story?

How do you heal yourself?

Imagine a world where you are loved, safe, and valued.



“Witnessing is sacred work too. Seeing ourselves as whole and healthy is an act of pure rebellion in a world so titillated by our constant subjugation,” reflects viral curator Natasha Marin, on Black Imagination. This dynamic collection of Black voices works like an incantation of origin, healing, and imagination. Born from a series of conceptual art exhibitions, the perspectives gathered here are no where near monochromatic. “Craving nuance over stereotype, we sought out black children, black youth, LGBTQ+ black folks, unsheltered black folks, incarcerated black folks, neurodivergent black folks, as well as differently-abled black folks.” Each insists on their own variance and challenges every reader to witness for themselves that Black Lives (and Imaginations) Matter.





“Black Imagination reads like a survival guide with a sense of humor as deep as its sense of history, a literary oasis for black people fed up with the white gaze.”

The Stranger



“Our bodies and actions are under external control, but the well-spring of rebellion is our own imagination. In Black Imagination, Natasha Marin shows us how to free our imagining — as a first step toward freeing ourselves.”

—Gloria Steinem



Black Imagination is somehow as innovatively utopic as it is sincerely soulful. I’ve never felt the physical feeling of pages melting in my hands or chapters folding themselves into squadrons of black airplanes flying to freedom because I’ve never experienced an art object like Black Imagination. It is exquisite art in action.”

—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy





“Black Imagination required Natasha Marin to curate as a curate in the medieval sense—a spiritual guide that cares for souls. This assemblage—at once a book, an installation, a secret meeting and a waiting room—dares to sing an aria in white and violet with Brooks. We are challenged to move beyond the abject, beyond pure pessimism, on the wings of a different criticality—to walk with Hayden, with Douglass ‘visioning a world where none is lonely, none hunted, alien.’”


—Christian Campbell, author of Running the Dusk


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