As we all still navigate the deadly maze of the COVID global pandemic, scholars of the African Diaspora continue to mine the archives (and find and create new ones), crunch the data, debate the interpretations and engage in transformative praxis based on new understandings and intellectual paradigms that have been created for a new time.

Souls has hosted a number of powerful special-themed issues that have helped to facilitate conversations on critical topics related to Black politics, culture and society. This issue, however, is our general issue that allows us to publish and showcase essays that may not fit one of our particular themes, but nevertheless provide important insights and analyses on critical topics. Of the seven research essays in this issue three themes run through most of them: the politics of art and culture, trans-nationalism and Black internationalism, and the ubiquity of anti-Black racism.

All of these writers are addressing critical questions of the day, questions that expose the violence and injustices of capitalism, colonialisms, and heteropatriarchy. They are also holding up the artists and organizers, past and present, that have envisioned and continue to envision a liberatory future, transcending borders, overcoming violent repression, and centering art.