Mother and son by Ana Ayala


Unprecedented. Challenging. Difficult. Dumpster Fire. Dangerous. Isolating. Revolutionary. All are words that we have heard over and over again to describe 2020. For some of us, these words are new to illustrate our surrounding world, and for others these adjectives are ones that have been screamed from the rooftops long before anyone was listening. 


We started KINDRED over five years ago as a way to create a community and hold space for those who wanted to share their stories. In 2009, author Chimamanda Adichie delivered a powerful TED Talk about the ‘Danger of a Single Story’. In her talk she said, “I’ve always felt that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person. The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.”


Our hope is that by gathering here, we combat the threat of the singular narrative. Now, more than ever, we need to continue to elevate voices, especially ones that are historically underrepresented. To that end, we will continue to do our part to make sure that everyone sees some of themselves inside on the pages of KINDRED. If you know someone who would like to join this community, or if you yourself would like to be a part of it, please connect with us. Our site is not currently monetized (full transparency, we don’t get paid either) so we realize this forum might not be feasible for everyone to contribute to. We are beyond grateful to those who have shared their art with us over the years and welcome the beauty and the heartache to come.


May these stories burn their way into our hearts and the hearts of others. May we breath them in and let them change us. May they inform true history and inspire the future. 


May they acknowledge our wounds, slather them with salve, and pave the way to HEALING.


To help amplify and honor Black voices and stories, the editors of KINDRED will be making personal contributions to BIPOC-led organizations and individuals such as Kimberly L. Jones, ACLU, and Grace Love. For more information on KINDRED please contact thekindredmag[at]

Our featured artist, Ana Ayala, lives in Barcelona and works as a graphic designer by day and illustrator by night. She likes to create images that invite us to reflect, they don’t have only one interpretation. Despite showing scenes of solitude, she put them in colorful places as a way to express the beauty of the moment and many times these images become emotional landscapes. To see more of her incredible art, you can visit her website or  follow her on Instagram @anayala









Learning to swim

I didn’t have to put much effort into healing until my brother Derek died. There had been heartbreak in saying goodbye to my grandparents, my aunt and my uncle. Even after all of the miscarriages, I knew I would survive. I felt, and still feel deep pain from those losses, but until I lost my…


On March 3, 2019, we adopted our daughter, Evelyn. I imagined future conversations I would have with her about her changing body, and froze at the thought of trying to teach her about something my body had not done since I was 15-years-old.   For ten years, I desired to heal – I just wanted my…

First love

I cry at the drop of a hat. It’s true. Anyone who knows me can vouch for this. Puppies, families enjoying a sunny day at the park, a toddler’s first skinned knee, a failed fledgling on the sidewalk, impromptu acoustic jams, a tiny tomato trying desperately to reach its full potential under the gray northwest…

the missile silo

the first morning we ate crackers and canned peaches with protein powder as the sun rose past the scrub brush trees and the missile silo doors and I imagined the doors flung wide to spend a dozen Titan AE-1s at our foes, real and imagined, while the boys around me chattered like the apocalypse was…

Trampled plants and other (seemingly) hopeless things

Winters here aren’t marked by blankets of snow. The gardens never have to be put to bed, but are converted to take advantage of the cool rainy season that allows us to grow the leafy greens, broccoli, garlic, and carrots that tend to wither under our summer sun. Even so, I spend that season dreaming…

Beautifully Human

Beautifully Human is a song that is a simple push back of anyone who might think that a person is less than because of the color of their skin or anything in their outward expression that might be considered different or other. It is a celebration of the sacredness and value of every human being…

In pieces

I grew up in a world where I was obligated to forgive. You must or else. The “or else” was never clear. God holding a grudge, me teetering on the edge of hell was a threat. As a child I just knew it was bad and my salvation was at risk. I must forgive and…

Hard prayer

     I go about my days  as I would have done them as if nothing was promised  as if nothing would change I’d hate to disrupt the peace of things that              would not have me back I’d hate to be given what is not suited for me  …

The blue chair

It’s summer. Bright light pours into our tiny living room and over the L-shaped sectional that we disassembled to fit the space. My husband has recently acquired his grandmother’s navy blue leather recliner, which we have lovingly squeezed into the remaining space. One wall of the living room is occupied nearly completely by a single…

Grief is a lonely place

On October 22, 2013, I went into labor unexpectedly at 23 weeks of gestation and gave birth to my firstborn.  Leonardo came into our world and 56 minutes later, he left it. When you go into the hospital to deliver a child, you don’t expect to leave without a baby in your arms. That walk…

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