The masthead of Denver Quarterly recognizes that we are living in a historic shift in our public understanding of race relations in the United States that is led by Black Lives Matter in response to the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, and Elijah McClain. As part of a collective series of statements issued by literary magazines and organizations that demand real action to dismantle racist systems, we voice our unequivocal support for Black life and the Black Lives Matter movement. We condemn racism in all its forms, from police brutality and extrajudicial murder, to structural and institutional racism, to interpersonal racism. We condemn the murder and mass incarceration of Black people, and the dehumanization that these systems and actions create and enforce. We support protestors across the nation and abroad who work for and affirm social justice and racial equity. In Denver, we are among these protestors. Then, now, and always, Black Lives Matter.
In our capacity as an editorial staff, we will ensure that Denver Quarterly is committed to past and future Black contributors, and will be a supportive creative space, so that the most imaginative, critical, and challenging writing and thought will be bolstered in its pages. We understand that literary institutions, spaces, and outlets have an important role to play in this moment of clarion calls for real, undeniable change. For us, this begins on the level of the word. In our editorial work, we aim to go further than inclusion alone: we seek and publish writing that imagines, indeed already lives, a more diverse and inclusive future, that illuminates what has yet been occluded from the literary-historical record. We are committed to developing our editorial practice so that we will continue to support such work, and the contributors who offer their work for our review, with the understanding that for many of our staff, we must begin with the hard work of unlearning white supremacy. This statement is only the beginning of our work.