“Blessed” is the word that comes to mind after reading Brionne Janae’s After Jubilee, a collection of finely-tuned narratives presenting characters in a precarious balance between love and hate. Many voices collude to answer for both the jubilation and horror that has plagued black people from the beginning, including the black man with the white father, the parents donating their infant son’s organs to save other lives, and those ignored and forgotten in the massacre at Slocum, Texas in 1910. I find myself locating in these poems the “vital things” that make loss bearable. Janae offers one profoundly important truth: this history is as much in front of us as it is behind us; fortunately for our survival, we have not slipped past redemption. This is an excellent read, if for no other reason than the range and lyricism of Janae’s voice.
--Amber Flora Thomas