Like art, Second and Fourth is a publication forged in the flames of societal chaos and in reflection of the times. Here, the reader will find a porch to confront race, the human condition, and the aspirations of a generation.

Work Samples:

Artist Statement:

The Second and Fourth Review is a semi-annual publication founded in the summer of 2020 by Kelvin Green II and Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV. We aim to participate in and bear witness to the processes of becoming, grappling, and transcending through the contradictions imposed by existence in societies ravaged by racialization and capitalism. Beyond recounting our struggles or advancing grievances, we seek to proliferate conversations asking how it is we will become ourselves and contribute to the collective work and responsibility of living towards liberation.

The Review submits to this project as part of a long legacy. We have considered that the noise we make as newborns announces our arrival to the world. Our new, nontrivial disturbance of language sufficed for confirmation of life to our mothers. We posit that even before we are able to either understand language or control how it manifests, our authentic language has undeniable power. And we’ve come to understand that the innate power of language exists deeper than audibility, for there are those of us who know our mouths to be but one avenue for language. Some of us use our bodies, others our writings, all our language. Art is the practice of language. It is the fiercest weapon against the subjugatory ways in this world: the pillaging of people under authoritarian power written as law; the trapping of children in cages as policy; the never-justifiable destruction of black bodies; the attempts to erase hundreds of millions of indigenous dwellers, to erase tens of millions of victims forced to this land. Through all of this, our expressions of language hold their power by and for whom they’ve been written. And it is not we alone who understand this. Self-proclaimed white persons legalized the prohibition of teaching enslaved Africans to write in 1740 and our musical expressions long before. Yet this attempt by a violently kept capitalist order to lie and to disallow Black American agency in the national narrative cannot withstand the consequences of our doing language.

The Second and Fourth Review draws its impetus from nurturing this defiant language making. We are encouraged by young BIPoC artists, scholars, and organizers' responses to these times and confident in their ability to bear effective witness. We believe in deconstructing perceived impenetrable order as we construct new, honest ones. As this world continues to be filled with violence, our language identifies these stains and produces the tools to address their demands of us. What about a world where our children are valued and prioritized, not exploited? We language. What about a world where the global gift of diversity in thought, theory, mind, culture, people, and tongue are all valued, not exploited? We language. How do we get there? We language. What about a community of writers who seek to be a moon, a reflection of the liberating light shining through all of us both dim and bright that existed in times past and yet shines for us now and forevermore. What about the fire this time?

Project Description:

We are applying for a Ujima Cultural Assembly Grant to build our organization’s infrastructure and produce our next issue while enriching the community that has so far allowed us to thrive. Specifically, with an Ujima Cultural Assembly Grant, we intend to produce the following results:

Create Foundational Infrastructure for The Review

Incorporate as a Nonprofit
We have determined that incorporating as a 501c3 nonprofit best serves the continuation of our mission. Being rooted in Boston, we will incorporate as a 501c3 in Massachusetts. Incorporating will open several doors for the Review, including the ability to establish an operating fund and fundraise for both our operational and creative budgets.

Secure Our Digital Publishing Ability
It has been necessary to fund the maintenance of our website and online publishing platform entirely at cost form the founders. With funding we can continue our subscriptions with Squarespace (website host), Issuu (digital publishing platform), and Planoly (social media management platform). We publish online at no cost to the reader.

Rebuild Our Website
Our primary interface with our readership and potential contributors has been our website, via our Instagram page. With funding, we will contract with a web developer, preferably from within the Ujima ecosystem, to create a professional website based on our existing squarespace site.

Build and Grow Our Team
The Review published its inaugural issue under the management of its co-founders, both full time undergraduate students. We require a team to ensure that we can continue producing work of increasing quality and meaningfulness. With an Ujima Cultural Assembly Grant we will add the following elements to our team:

The II & IV Review Advisory Board
This six member body will consist of peers and mentors advising on the mission, vision, and strategy of the Review.

The II & IV Review Editorial Board
This five member body will consist of peers with focuses in poetry, literature, essay writing, visual arts, and music. This body, which will include the founders as editorial directors, will be responsible for curating the perspectives that appear in the Review and assisting selected contributors in refining their work for publication in the Review.

Copy Editor
This will be a per-issue contracted position responsible for proofreading final written contributions for usage of grammar, syntax, and punctuation, where appropriate, and ensuring that the Review’s style guidelines are followed.

Graphic Designer
This will be a per-issue contracted position collaborating with the Editorial Board and responsible for designing the graphical elements of each issue (i.e. front and back cover and visual layout of the contributions).

Social Media Manager
This will be a per-issue contracted position collaborating with the editorial directors in maintaining a social media presence during the development cycle for each issue (ie. advertising the review to potential contributors, advertising the existing issue, and advertising the release of the upcoming issue).

Publish the Next Issue of The Review
While publishing the inaugural issue of the Review was a success, with it came several lessons. Based on these, we have established the following priorities for the publication of our next issue in 2022:

Contributor Stipend
The largest challenge to engaging our ecosystem of potential contributors has been our inability to offer compensation. We believe that artists should be paid for their work. With funding, we will offer meaningful stipends to contributors.

Expanding the Ecosystem
The first slate of contributors drew largely from our network of friends and peers engaging with topics relevant to the inaugural issue. With funding, we will reach deeper into our ecosystem of Boston area university and high school scholars, artists, and organizers via partnerships with schools and community organizations like Ujima and its partners.

Printing the Publication
We intend to distribute free copies of this publication to our partners within our ecosystems as a way of fostering community and conversation around the perspectives we curate. We also see the sale of printed issues (i.e. on consignment in local bookstores) as an avenue to raise funds to support the compensation of contributors, editorial board members, advisory board members and contractors.

Community Engagement
We aspire for our pages to exist as a social space. In this space, we will build community and conversation around the lived experiences defining the political economies and artistic expressions, the freedom dreams, of our generation BIPoC artists, scholars and organizers. With funding, we will be supported in designing and producing free and accessible gatherings showcasing contributions to the review and engaging prominent authors and artists relevant to the themes being explored in our issues.

Our contributors are not only those whose experience defines cultural Blackness, but also those bound up in the oppressions emanating from the creation of political blackness. That is, they are those maligned by the vicious project of racial capitalism and its corollary political, social, and cultural assaults. We understand our contributors and readership to be the next generation in a lineage of peoples offering their submission to the Black Radical Tradition defying this project. They are engaged with the proliferation of a culture of cooperation and collectivism. So affirming the dignity of life, they chart evernew humanities towards the realization of explicit and amorphous freedom dreams, the afrofuture. We believe that BIPoC communities in Boston, and especially those invested in the Ujima ecosystem, will resonate with this because these are objectives which they share. Just as our forebears Wallace Thurman, Zora Neale Hurston, Aaron Douglas, John P. Davis, Richard Bruce Nugent, Gwendolyn Bennett, Lewis Grandison Alexander, Countee Cullen, and Langston Hughes did in their publication “Fire!!”, we intend to honor the perspectives at the intersection of our generation of BIPoC and QTBIPoc youth. This publication offers a new opportunity for BIPoC youth of intersecting identities to contribute to fulfilling the collective work and responsibility of defining new pathways towards collective liberation through creative expression.

We believe that they will find the Second and Fourth and our community hospitable, affirming, challenging, and fertile as we nourish one another on our journeys of being and becoming. Boston’s young BIPoc scholars, artists, and organizers will find within the Review an insistence on embodying the truth in the Bantu notion of Ubuntu, that “I am because you are”. Together we will find and re-find ourselves and perhaps our way forward, by the sparks of ourselves reflected in each other. With pragmatic hope in the face of unmitigated destruction, we will keep our fires by being in community. And when the time comes, we may use these fires to set ablaze the barrelling deviousness intent on killing us as it crumbles, the rules for our survival re-written.

We believe that BIPoC communities in Boston will understand this and that there is much to gain with The Second and Fourth Review. At least, with the publication of the Review we will bear witness to a generation coming into our voices and lives’ work with Ubuntu as a redemptive citation. We will affirm that we have much to fight for and refine just what it means to survive with our humanity intact. We believe that BIPoC communities in Boston will resonate deeply with The Second and Fourth Review because we intend to fulfill that most fundamental role of community: to facilitate the process of knowing, so that we may live, liberated and whole.