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Contributors

1839 Staff
Author, oral historian, and Pittsburgh native Yvonne McBride is inspired by her love for storytelling, folklore, and the rich, musical history of her hometown. She is currently working on a novel based in The Hill District during its golden era of jazz.
Yvonne McBride's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Kitoko Chargois is a graduate of Chatham University. She is a a writer and photographer living in Pittsburgh.
Kitoko Chargois's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Clare Polke is a Southern transplant and HBCU grad in search of decent sweet tea and cheese grits outside her mama's kitchen. When not mixing DIY beauty products, she's awaiting the resurgence of R&B groups.
Clare Polke's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Tameka Cage Conley, PhD is a literary artist who writes poetry, fiction, plays, and essays. She has received writing fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Workshop, and the August Wilson Center. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals and magazines. She is at work on a first novel and poetry collection.
Tameka Cage Conley's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Patrice is a high school English teacher and college counselor in Pittsburgh, PA.
Patrice Desirae's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Damon Young is the co-editor of 1839. He's also a co-founder and editor in chief of VSB (VerySmartBrothas) and a contributing editor and columnist for EBONY Magazine. Damon is busy. He can be reached at damon@1839mag.com.
Damon Young's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
janera solomon is the executive director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, a historic live arts venue in Pittsburgh now in its seventh year of presenting progressive, evocative new works in dance, music, film, education and cultural programming. janera was recently featured in Pittsburgh Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh.”  She is the publisher of 1839 magazine.
janera solomon's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Alona Williams is a first year creative writing student at Chatham University. She is also a recent theater student graduate from CAPA 6-12. She was and is now an alumni of Alumni Theater Company. She was also a finalist in the regional August Wilson Monologue competition last spring. She enjoys writing music, producing, singing, acting, dancing and creating discussion pieces, or social justice art.
Alona Williams's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Akirah Robinson is a licensed social worker, writer, and therapist who loves helping women heal. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her handsome husband and their hyperactive hound dog, Walker. Her first book, "Respected" was released in November 2014.
Akirah Robinson's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Brandon Small is currently a senior Microbiology major at the University of Pittsburgh. He is an aspiring doctor and human rights activist.
Brandon Small's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Dr. Letrell Crittenden is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Robert Morris University, and a newly-elected board member of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation. He studies and writes on issues related to diversity and inclusion with the media industry, and community journalism.
Letrell Crittenden's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Rukiya McNair is originally from the North Fayette area of Pittsburgh, PA and is currently located in Bali, Indonesia. She has a B.A. in Pan-African Studies from Kent State University and is the owner of Culture Cloz Boutique.
Rukiya McNair's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Christopher Erick is a 30-something photographer born in the Midwest and seasoned in New York City. He's here to spread love, light and creative goodness to the world.
Christopher Erick's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Joy KMT is self-taught&queer&black&femme&hood&poet&mother&lover. Her work often blends the magical with the reality of living at the crossroads of multiplicities.
Joy KMT's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Raymar Hampshire is a management consultant and social entrepreneur. His social venture, SponsorChange, helps raise crowdfunding to reward volunteers with student loan payments. He’s an advocate for access and affordability of higher education.
Raymar Hampshire's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
A Pittsburgh transplant, T.C. Jones now lives and writes in Miami. He is the associate editor of fiction at Burrow Press and Gulf Stream Magazine. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in the Atticus Review, The Monarch Review, WhiskeyPaper, Straylight Magazine, Dos Passos Review, Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland (Ice Cube Press), and others.
T.C. Jones's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Michael David Battle is a minister, artist, radical, thinker, father, & lover. Michael David invests in community through art that centers the lives and lived experiences of queer and/or trans folks of color. Michael David creates spaces that shift the focus to manifest healing the wounds of systemic and structural violence.
Michael David Battle's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Marguerite Matthews has a PhD in neuroscience that does not keep her warm at night. When she’s not mapping developing brain networks, she’s directing outreach initiatives to connect youth of color to S.T.E.M. opportunities and addressing mental health disparities in underserved communities. In her spare time, she enjoys watching ratchet TV (for research purposes), curating her Goodreads book list, learning the hottest dance trends, and blogging about all of the above. You can trust her, she’s a doctor.
Marguerite Matthews's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Deesha Philyaw is a Pittsburgh-based freelance writer and co-author of Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce, written in collaboration with her ex-husband. Her writing on race, parenting, gender, and culture has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Stepmom, Essence, Brevity, and Bitch magazines; and in various anthologies. She is also a Fellow at the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction.
Deesha Philyaw's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Melanie Dione is a New Orleans native who now calls Mount Washington home. She's a media maven who knows what matters most: her babies, her bourbon, and her Boba Fett Pez dispenser.
Melanie Dione's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
A.K. Payne is a first-year student Yale University. She has had plays produced as parts of the City Theatre's Young Playwrights Festival and Pittsburgh Playwrights' Theatre Festival in Black and White. She is a recipient of the National Portfolio Gold Medal in the Scholastic Writing Awards.
Alexis Payne's Latest Stories
1839 Staff
Samson X Horne is a freelance journalist living in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. He can be reached at samson.x.horne@gmail.com.
Samson X Horne's Latest Stories

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