We Support Black Lives Matter

yolk

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Yolk stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

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Yolk began as an electric conversation around a picnic table in Saint Henri Square.

Our scruffy pioneer and present prose editor had previously approached each of us with an idea, a vision: We would establish our own literary magazine in Montreal. And so it was, or so it would be. After that original encounter, eight individuals devoted to the word resolved that they would gather bi-weekly, on Sundays, and bring something new into this busy, manic world—something that might slow its spin down somewhat and cause its patronage to say: “You know what, it ain’t so bad, is it, Susan?”

We are undergraduate, graduate, and graduated students of writing. Some of us learn our craft formally from accomplished authors in seminar courses, and some of us learn by looking out the window of the world and onto the streets that sing below. Some of us learn from screaming squirrels, old curtains, departed grandfathers, and bowel movements. We learn from old lovers, long winters, imperfect mothers, and from the deep internet where a musical genius remains entombed.

Yolk is cold floors on Sabbath mornings, home-brewed ginger beer in the endless afternoon, and downpours of French-pressed coffee in assorted artisanal mugs. Our first official gathering was scheduled for a duration of two hours; most of us remained for six, departing only to attend to the summons of our own beckoning realities. Together, with time suspended, we talked endlessly of contributing something to disrupt Montreal’s literary ecosystem. Something unparalleled, something true.

But what? There was nothing to discuss. There was everything to discuss.

We volunteer our time, hounding some elusive beast composed of combustible words and works. We are hopeful, truly hopeful, that we can give something new, a new way, a new light, and that if we cannot, we might at least uphold the traditions of our predecessors, cast star-wide nets to capture their echoes. We are a thousand decisions. We are a sanctuary for the orphaned word, the solitary writer, the cereal-eating artist who yearns for company, for the comfort of a like mind; we sit together with them at foggy dawn, it rains a baptism, with our arms and hands intertwined, we form an umbrella—underneath, they scribble madly, the perfect picture.

Yolk in no way presumes to be superior to its contemporaries, but its contemporaries should not presume yolk to be anything other than loud—quite, quite loud. We are yippidy jazzed to address the oh-so-technicolorful magnificence of the human experience, but we are prepared also to address the ugliness, to stare at its wet, hairy snout and into its square depth and to roar in return at the things that yearn to devour our skin, beset our ethos, and dig graves in our own backyards.

There’s so much to say, there’s so much we don’t know, but together, with you, we can placate that ignorance, render it peaceful, tolerable, and perhaps even, fucking beautiful.

And Susan says, “Amen.”

Yolk stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. The history and present reality of systemic racial injustice must be acknowledged and condemned. We recognize our position and responsibility to act as a vehicle for those voices committed to effecting change. We want to hear yours.

Yolk is temporarily suspending its regular publishing activities to provide its readers and contributors with an opportunity to participate in the conversation surrounding BLM.

Consult this Linktree for a list of petitions, donation possibilities, educational resources, and references.

Here are some resources, bookstores and institutions you can visit to learn more about the subject.

•  Local, Black-Owned Bookstore: Librairie Racines (@racinesmontreal)

Montreal bookstore whose mandate is to put forward the history, culture, and the lives of people who face racism. It is completely run by volunteers, and 90% of their books are written by people of colour.

•  Local Bookstore Donating Profits: Librairie St-Henri Books (@st.henri.books)

Montreal bookstore offering important work and providing an important reading list by authors of colour. Will be donating 30% of sales from a select list of books - please refer to their instagram for more information. 

•  Local Bookstore Donating Profits: Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (@librairiedrawnandquarterly)

Until June 9th, this Montreal bookstore will be donating 10% of all sales to the following organizations: Hoodstock, Maison D’Haiti, Fourchettes de L’Espoir, & Resilience Montreal 

⮕ Syllabus of Montreal Black Lives Matter Writings

A list of essential Black Lives Matter texts written by people of colour living in Montreal. This working syllabus was originally written for the Montreal Review of Books.

⮕ Additional list of resources

This evolving, crowdsourced list of Montreal and Quebec centric resources was created to offer various tools for those who wish to take action.

At this time, we encourage those who can to contribute to these outstanding community resources in place of our organization.

⮕  Black Theatre Workshop  (@theatrebtw)

Black Theatre Workshop’s (BTW) mission is to promote and produce Black theatre that educates, entertains and inspires. The company strives to create a greater cross-cultural understanding by challenging its audience and the status quo. 

⮕  Hoodstock (@hoodstock_mtlnord)

Hoodstock generates spaces for both dialogue and mobilizing initiatives to eliminate systematic inequalities and develop supportive, inclusive, secure and dynamic communities in Montreal.  

⮕  Black Youth Helpline (@blackyouthhelpline)

Canada-wide helpline that provides all youth the primary prevention of social, psychological breakdown in communities by supporting and focusing on education, health, and community development.  

⮕  Les Fourchettes de l’Espoir (@les_fourchettes_de_lespoir)

Promotes and provides low-income families the access to affordable meals and food-oriented services to increase the quality of the community’s nutritional intake. 

⮕  Black Women Speak (@bwspeak)

Black Women Speak aims to give voice and create community amongst Black Women intergenerationally. Through the arts, wellness and education, they will heal, find joy and move toward liberation on their own terms.

⮕  Arts Us

Using the experiences of the African Diaspora at its core and collaborating with artists, educators, and communities of other backgrounds and cultures, ARTS-Us offers “edutainment” programs to schools, business and community environments. Their mission is to develop young leaders through the arts, culture, and sciences of the African Diaspora.

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Yolk stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. The history and present reality of systemic racial injustice must be acknowledged and condemned. We recognize our position and responsibility to act as a vehicle for those voices committed to effecting change. We want to hear yours.Yolk has and will temporarily suspend publishing new content to leave room for those who need to have their voices heard. Please refer to this Linktree for the resources we have brought forth.‍Here are some resources, bookstores and institutions you can visit to learn more about the subject. Local, Black-Owned Bookstore: Librairie Racines (@racinesmontreal)Montreal bookstore whose mandate is to put forward the history, culture, and the lives of people who face racism. It is completely run by volunteers, and 90% of their books are written by people of colour.Local Bookstore Donating Profits: Librairie St-Henri Books (@st.henri.books)Montreal bookstore offering important work and providing an important reading list by authors of colour. Will be donating 30% of sales from a select list of books - please refer to their instagram for more information. Local Bookstore Donating Profits: Librairie Drawn & Quarterly (@librairiedrawnandquarterly)Until June 9th, this Montreal bookstore will be donating 10% of all sales to the following organizations: Hoodstock, Maison D’Haiti, Fourchettes de L’Espoir, & Resilience Montreal Syllabus of Montreal Black Lives Matter Writings: https://robynmaynard.com/blacklivesmtlsyllabus/A list of essential Black Lives Matter texts written by people of colour living in Montreal. This working syllabus was originally written for the Montreal Review of Books.Additional list of resourcesThis evolving, crowdsourced list of Montreal and Quebec centric resources was created to offer various tools for those who wish to take action.‍At this time, we encourage those who can to contribute to these outstanding community resources in place of our organization.Black Theatre Workshop - @theatrebtw Black Theatre Workshop’s (BTW) mission is to promote and produce Black theatre that educates, entertains and inspires. The company strives to create a greater cross-cultural understanding by challenging its audience and the status quo. ‍Hoodstock - @hoodstock_mtlnordHoodstock generates spaces for both dialogue and mobilizing initiatives to eliminate systematic inequalities and develop supportive, inclusive, secure and dynamic communities in Montreal. Black Youth Helpline - @blackyouthhelplineCanada-wide helpline that provides all youth the primary prevention of social, psychological breakdown in communities by supporting and focusing on education, health, and community development. ‍Les Fourchettes de l’Espoir - @les_fourchettes_de_lespoirPromotes and provides low-income families the access to affordable meals and food-oriented services to increase the quality of the community’s nutritional intake. Black Women Speak - @bwspeak‍Black Women Speak aims to give voice and create community amongst Black Women intergenerationally. Through the arts, wellness and education, they will heal, find joy and move toward liberation on their own terms.Arts UsUsing the experiences of the African Diaspora at its core and collaborating with artists, educators, and communities of other backgrounds and cultures, ARTS-Us offers “edutainment” programs to schools, business and community environments. Their mission is to develop young leaders through the arts, culture, and sciences of the African Diaspora.‍