This is the sixth edition of Hard Crackers Magazine. Malcolm X once said about this country, “the South is everything south of the Canadian border.” In keeping with this general principle, we are tackling the South here. The Webster’s Dictionary definition of the word south is “the direction to the right of one facing east.” That’s enough of that. We would rather share the Medgar Evers position, “I don’t know if I’m going to heaven or hell, but I’m going there from the South.”
Lest we be accused of not being able to see the forest for the trees, Hard Crackers has always attempted to include articles that dig beneath the surface. These written pieces are usually specific to both a time and a place. We believe that they make sense collectively when placed in the context of a generality. In this issue, we have spelled out that generality in the opening essay Defining Hard Crackers. Too often, creative projects that attempt to shake things up rely on an assumed shared wisdom that hardly ever gets explained. Hard Crackers doesn’t go there. Instead, we think that it is only by getting into the causes and anti-bodies of the infection, warts and all, do any of us stand a chance at coming up with how to cure it. It is within these details that possibilities are revealed.
Hard Crackers #6 includes a trilogy of stories about the lives and struggles of people in the state of Alabama. A writer originally from the South recalls childhood memories from the Gulf Coast. And since the South is deeply affected by extreme weather, here is a look at how the television news explains these events. There’s even a short item of mystery.
And plenty more…an insight into the life of an interesting artist who might be new to most readers, an analysis of public schools in Brooklyn from someone who works in them, a tale about cabbing around Doha (the capital of Qatar), a piece about the needle and the damage done, and a hard-hitting sports column about boxing.
This issue of Hard Crackers is dedicated to Lowell May, one of our editors, who tragically passed away in December last year. We have included a written tribute to Lowell. Always respected, he will be forever missed.
Southern folklore tells of the story of the Crossroads. This is where the Delta Blues singer and player Robert Johnson shook hands with Lucifer in exchange for all of his skills as a performer. From our perspective, it’s going to take a whole lot more than a few guitar lessons.