The naming of a very special issue
Coming down off the high that was the East Bay Express “4/20 Issue” (4/14), editorial staff went back to work, laying out stories for the following week. With a special increase in pages for this issue, it was decided early on that it should be filled with “some really cool sh*t,” so that became the working title: the “Cool Sh*t Issue.”
Lou Fancher’s piece on Aurora Theatre Company’s adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye sparks conversations of the late writer’s works—like Beloved, Jazz and Song Of Solomon—and how rich a legacy and how lasting an impact she created in worlds of words and history.
Janis Hashe’s piece on the vitality of protest artists meeting the necessity of the United States Postal service opens up dialogue in topics ranging from voter suppression and election tampering to wheat-paste posters and ’80s Xerox art to protest murals in the streets of Oakland—and all around the globe—today.
As stories developed around the working title, it became more and more difficult to argue that it wasn’t the most apt description.
Black speculative writer, Ayize Jama-Everett, best known for his Liminal Wars Trilogy, premiers with the East Bay Express with an article about the Oakland Hyphae Psilocybin Cup, which not only dredges up memories of Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception and the questionable authenticity of Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan, but makes us even more excited and engaged with our special issue on Afrofuturism, slated for May 12th.
In “Best Name Ever,” food-writer Jeffrey Edalatpour covers the magical culinary getaway that is San Pablo Harbor’s Black Star Pirate BBQ. With a name like that, only undeniably cool sh*t can follow.
When it came time to wrap up this issue and decide whether or not an explanatory editorial was in order, “Cool Things” and “Cool Stuff” bounced around for a bit, but ultimately, there was no way around it: The East Bay always has some cool sh*t happening, and this is the first, and probably only, “Cool Sh*t Issue” of the East Bay Express.