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Willow Curry on the connection between activism and art; Firecracker Award finalists announced

Trisha Low. Photo: Kari Orvik

At Literary Hub, Willow Curry reflects on the connection between activism and art. “There has been no modern freedom struggle without its painters and poets, storytellers and speakers and songwriters,” she writes. “The radical artist’s work in absorbing the nature of the world around them and translating that into tangible objects is vital in helping people make order out of what can seem like chaos.”

The Community of Literary Magazines and Presses announced the finalists for its Firecracker Awards yesterday. Nominees include Trisha Low’s Socialist Realism, Carley Moore’s The Not Wives, and We Both Laughed in Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan. The winners will be announced on June 30.

Big Five publishers in the UK have responded to the Black Writers Guild’s open letter, with all named publishers supporting the group’s requests. “The guild is right in suggesting that action will ‘help nurture a thriving literary culture in this country’ and we support that aim – access to our literary culture is not equal, and that should not be the case,” said HarperCollins CEO Charlie Redmayne. “This is something all of us in this industry must work together in partnership to correct.”

“This campaign is not just about getting black authors more sales,” Yesterday is History author Kosoko Jackson tells The Guardian’s André Wheeler about the #BlackoutBestsellerList campaign. “It’s also about tilting the metrics of publishing in our favor.”

The New York Times checks in with recently reopened booksellers in London.

At Columbia Journalism Review, Mark Hertsgaard looks at the ways climate change and other environmental catastrophes disproportionately affect Black Americans and people of color and discusses how journalists can better address environmental and economic justice in their reporting.

HuffPost’s Jesselyn Cook and Nick Robins-Early examine far-right news websites like Law Enforcement Today that are aimed at American police officers. “Much of the site’s coverage focuses on law enforcement officers who have been harmed in the line of duty. It also regularly criticizes elected officials who are seeking to curb police powers, part of what the site calls a ‘war on law enforcement.’ The consistent message is that police are perpetually under attack, and that the government — with the exception of President Donald Trump — does not have their back.”