In this issue of sx salon, Vanessa Valdés serves as guest editor for a special discussion, “Commemorating 1917.” As Valdés noted in her Call for Papers earlier this year, “1917 was a significant year in the Caribbean,” with major happenings in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. In planning the special section, we were intrigued by the eventfulness of that year; in the late stages of producing the issue, we found ourselves caught in the heart-wrenching eventfulness of this year. In an echo of her CFP, Valdés begins her introduction of this special section with “The Caribbean will forever be marked by September 2017.” The September hurricanes Irma and Maria required that we not simply revisit but critically question historical moments such as the 1917 JonesShafroth Act (granting US citizenship to residents of Puerto Rico) and the 1917 US purchase of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. Along with Valdés’s thought-provoking introduction, included in this section are Imani Owens’s examination of Caribbean intellectuals’ involvement in the 1917 East St. Louis riots; Nathan Dize’s translation of Charles Moravia’s poem “La vision du Président Wilson,” which reflects on the US interventions in the region, particularly in Haiti; Janelle Rodriques’s reading of indenture and the power inequalities of interracial romance in A. R. F. Webber’s Those That Be in Bondage; Satty Flaherty-Echeverría’s analysis of Luis Felipe Dessús’s “La Raza de Color y la Independencia de Puerto Rico” essay series on the complexities of US citizenship for black Puerto Ricans; and Tami Navarro’s reflections on the transfer of the Virgin Islands from Denmark to the United States.
Accompanying this special section on 1917, we have three reviews and brand new creative works. Solange Anduze James reviews Marcia Douglas’s imaginative novel, The Marvellous Equations of the Dread; Philip Kaisary reviews Jeremy Glick’s The Black Radical Tragic: Performance, Aesthetics, and the Unfinished Haitian Revolution, winner of the 2017 Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award (Caribbean Philosophical Association); and Alexandra Gonzenbach Perkins reviews Ylce Irizarry’s perspective-shifting monograph, Chicana/o and Latina/o Fiction: The New Memory of Latinidad. In Poetry and Prose, we offer Vanessa Pérez-Rosario’s translation of a selection of poems by Mayra Santos-Febres, whose poetry has not before been translated into English. We also publish new poetry by Christopher Williams and new prose fiction by Gilberte O’Sullivan.
As we close out this eventful year, we at sx salon hope these words on the pasts and presents of our Caribbean find you and yours safe, healthy, and hopeful.
Kelly Baker Josephs
Table of Contents
Kingston Rhythm: A Record of Lost Dreams—Solange Anduze James
A review of The Marvellous Equations of the Dread: A Novel in Bass Riddim, by Marcia Douglas
The Haitian Revolution and Black Radical Political Desire—Philip Kaisary
A review of The Black Radical Tragic: Performance, Aesthetics, and the Unfinished Haitian Revolution, by Jeremy Matthew Glick
Resisting Neocolonialism and Finding Identity through New Memory—Alexandra Gonzenbach Perkins
A review of Chicana/o and Latina/o Fiction: The New Memory of Latinidad, by Ylce Irizarry