In 1990, African American photographer Carrie Mae Weems created The Kitchen Table Series, a collection of black-and-white photographs staged, as the title suggests, around a kitchen table. Crisply illuminated by a low- hanging lamp, Weems appears in various quotidian scenarios, sometimes in the company of friends, family, and lovers and at other times in solitude. The series positions the kitchen table, traditionally the feminine domain, as the locus of being and living—a space for community-making and self-discovery. We invite you to picture all of the contributors to this section gathered around the same kitchen table, sharing notes and stories, listening to one other, and building something new.

This section begins with Jade Evans’s review of The Black Geographic: Praxis, Resistance, and Futurity. Evans’s dynamic review outlines the contemporary discourses across Black Geographies—a field existing at the intersection of Black studies and Geography. This inherently transdisciplinarity scholarship offers scholars a cogent analytical lens on the axes of “the geography of Blackness and the Blackness of geography,” as Evans puts it. The review prompts us to consider the limits and possibilities of Black geographies as a developing field. Evans offers that “A Black geographic praxis is needed that situates Black lives on literal maps and geographies as well as more theoretical and embodied ones without rendering Black lives ungeographic.” The editors Camilla Hawthorne and Jovan Scott Lewis’s dedication to the “nonsingularity and nonuniversality of Blackness” is one of the crucial elements emphasized in the review, which stresses how this dedication underlies the diversity of thought expressed in the book. Evans characterizes the volume as a “carefully-curated gift of direction,” and it seems difficult to disagree that the analytical and methodological framework it provides is a boon to researchers working at the crossroads of Blackness and geography. However, Evans is hardly naive about the difficulties researchers of Black geographies may face. As such, the review does well in pointing to several critical concerns, such as environmentalism. As scholars attempt to develop Black geographies further, these questions will highlight the role of lateral thinking and innovative methodologies.

Interestingly, in Laura Rose Brylowski’s review of the anthology Black Feminist Constellations: Dialogue and Translation across the Americas, we see the kitchen table conceptualized as an intellectual site of discourse. Like The Kitchen Table Press, founded by Barbara Smith, this edited collection set out to highlight Black women’s intellectual, creative, and political contributions across the Global South. In her review of the anthology, Brylowski points out the symbolic importance of the kitchen table, and it is here that the communal character of transnational Black feminist discourse comes into sharper focus. This anthology disrupts the hegemony of the Anglophone academe, conceiving constellations across Latin America and the Caribbean through Black women’s epistemological frameworks, and demonstrates that knowledge production exists as a relational practice within organizing spaces. Brylowski’s review is capacious and intentional in its scope, focusing on how race and geographic location impact experiences of discursive and embodied erasure and silencing.

Further, in Miranda Allen’s review of Feelin: Creative Practice, Pleasure, and Black Feminist Thought by Bettina Judd, we are presented with a sophisticated understanding of the criticality of Black women’s authentic expression and Judd’s careful method of diminishing the boundaries between emotional experience and epistemological inquiry. In Judd’s work, feelings, sensations, and emotions take center stage. Feelin is “exceptional,” according to Allen, not least in part because it faithfully depicts the many facets of Black women’s artistic expression. Judd, a versatile creative, at once a visual artist, writer, and poet, employs a wide range of media—from poetry to QR codes, historical texts to graphs—to allow the lived realities of Black women to tell their own story. Throughout the review, Allen takes note of Judd’s exploration of themes such as pain, grief, shame, and anger, i.e., feelings that inevitably expose us to vulnerability, through music, voice, and other artistic expressions. Citing Feelin as a “ profound interrogation and celebration of how Black women’s creativity intersects with broader discourses on emotion, knowledge, identity, and self-awareness,” Allen’s review showcases the multidisciplinarity required to develop Judd’s framework.