Destined to become a classic in the tradition of the best-selling “Black Eyed Susans/Midnight Birds” and “Erotique Noire/Black Erotica,” “Afrekete” gives collective voice to the tradition of black lesbian writings. In the vast and proliferating area of both African-American and lesbian and gay writing, the work of black lesbians is most often excluded or relegated to the margins. Afrekete meshes these seemingly disparate traditions, and celebrates black lesbian experiences in their variety and depth. While bold, tender, and touching, the fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in Afrekete–written in a range of styles–engages a variety of highly topical themes, placing these voices at the center of literary and social discourse. Beginning with “Tar Beach, ” an excerpt from Audre Lorde’s celebrated memoir, “Zami: The Spelling Of My Name,”which introduces the character Afrekete, the collection also includes such prominent writers as Michelle Cliff, Carolivia Herron, and Alexis DeVeaux. Other pieces are by Jacqueline Woodson, Sapphire, activist and publisher Barbara Smith, “Essence” editor Linda Villarosa, and filmmaker Michelle Parkerson, with other contributions by exciting new writers Cynthia Bond, Jocelyn Taylor, Jamika Ajalon, and Sharee Nash. “Afrekete” is a collection whose time has come. It is an extraordinary work, one of lasting value for all lovers of literature. A fresh, engaging journey, “Afrekete” will both inform and delight.