Letter from the Editor

from the Spring 2020 issue

Hi family,

I am writing to you from my parents’ home in Los Angeles, hoping you and your loved ones are safe and well. My fellow exec members, whom I miss dearly, are scattered across the country from California to New Jersey.

It feels a little funny to write an editor’s letter, since this zine, by its nature, did not require any editing. That said, I feel it is of great importance to acknowledge the evolution BlackBoard has undergone in these tumultuous times.

It has been a strange quarter for BlackBoard, as it has been for many students and organizations. We were all suddenly thrust into a bizarre new world of self-isolation, hyper-cleanliness, increased anxiety and an insufferable number of Zoom conferences. During spring break, I kept asking myself how on earth we were going to do BlackBoard in quarantine. Would we be able to communicate and collaborate effectively thousands of miles apart from each other? What would the next issue look like, and how would we produce it?

Looking back on what we have accomplished in the past eight weeks, I am
truly amazed by the resolve of the entire BlackBoard team to persist and adapt in the face of such daunting challenges. Early on, we saw that creativity had become a source of refuge for many people during COVID-19, and we recognized that this moment called for a different kind of publication–something less formal, less curated, and more immediate to the experience of our community. A zine, with its inherent DIY aesthetic, seemed the most natural format. There was no theme, guidelines or bar for entry. We wanted to see people’s authentic selves, hear their voices, and get a snapshot of what they were feeling.

In a way, BlackBoard is living up to its name more than ever before. After all, what is a blackboard, if not a space to play, invent, erase, and reimagine?

Much love,

Imani Sumbi
Print Editor-in-Chief, BlackBoard Magazine