Black Girls Create Release ‘These Bewitching Bonds’ Anthology

Feb 28, 2021

Posted by: Emma Pocock

Fan Creators, Fan Profiles, Fandom, News

Anybody who pre-ordered These Bewitching Bonds knows the excitement felt when you received the email celebrating its release this weekend, and must have been just as excited as I was to see just how beautiful and how long this anthology is!

An anthology by Black Girls Create in collaboration with literary zine experts Wizards in Space, These Bewitching Bonds set a broad theme of “magic and community” when asking for submissions from Black creators.

The collection hosts 19 creations – from short stories, to poetry, to artwork – all by Black creators sharing their work and experiences, and celebrating nostalgia, family, future and history. The collection begins with a foreword from lead editors on the anthology, Bayana Davis and Constance Gibbs, summarizes the mission of Black Girls Create in putting this out into the world:

“Critiquing media is important. Challenging content creators and franchises to do more, to push their craft, to exercise care when telling stories that don’t reflect their experiences, is always worthwhile. But it is just as important to tell our own stories ourselves. Even with our shared cultural touchpoints and community values, no one person or set of experiences are the same. Blackness has many facets, many perspectives, many voices, and who better to share your personal multitudes than yourself? That is why BGC exists: to encourage, develop, and foster spaces for Black folks to both critique and create, to play in the worlds we grew up loving and imagine our own. These Bewitching Bonds, our first ever anthology, was conjured with that mission in mind.”

Poetry Editor K. Alexandra Mills also gives an introduction to the collection, bringing together a beautiful dedication to the excellence of creations of Black people, saying: “I pray to all the deities listening that the opportunities for us as a people never cease.”

The anthology is diverse in its offerings, masterfully curated, and each and every featured work is a delight. Beginning with Owning the Story, a mythical, fairytale-like poem by Talia Franks, combining a set of poems about magic, heroism, love, pain and community. They read some of their poem during the launch party for the anthology, and I highly recommend listening below:

Moving on, the anthology features beautiful artwork like the enchanting Witches Brew by Monique Steele (see her speak about the creation of her work in the livestream above), Wash Day by Tiana Buchanan, and Soulstice by Céli Godfried, as well as pieces like Instructions for Bewitching a Pair of Size 7 Sneakers (or How to Be Good at Double Dutch without Practicing) by B. Sharise Moore – a fun, nostalgic recipe-like piece celebrating childhood and friendship. Then there are beautiful poems such as The Journey by Donnalie Jamnah, about the magic of transformation and growth, recovering depths of knowledge. The closing poem, This time in 4009 by Lysz Flo, is a lyrical celebration of Black excellence, and an imagining of a communal future of hope.

Short stories throughout the collection send you into another world; Potion Filled Heart by Zora Rosenburg, for example, puts you in a mother’s kitchen – the story takes you from watching a potion brewing to being taught spells, and through experiences of family, curses, friendships, heartbreak and growth – it’s a story that feels like a lifetime lived in five minutes.

We can’t stress enough just how awesome These Bewitching Bonds is – be absolutely sure to buy your copy of this beautiful anthology here, and while you’re at it, read from Black Girls Create’s Hogwarts BSU Archives, and listen to their #WizardTeam podcast!

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.