Founded in 1975, Obsidian supports—through publication and critical inquiry—the contemporary poetry, fiction, drama/performance, visual and media art of Africans globally. Recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as one of the premier journals dedicated to Africa and African Diaspora Literatures, Obsidian is published biannually in print, and year round online at this new website and also at our Obsidian website hosted by Illinois State University.

Since its inception, Obsidian has featured a range of acclaimed writers and critics including Elizabeth Alexander, Houston A. Baker, Abena John Brown, Octavia Butler, Wanda Coleman, Thadious Davis, Melvin Dixon, Gerald Early, C.S. Giscombe, Terrance Hayes, Essex Hemphill, Gayl Jones, Yusef Komunyakaa, Brenda Marie Osbey, Claudia Rankine, Jerry Ward, and Gloria Wade Gayles among others.

Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora is a peer-reviewed journal published by the Publications Unit, Department of English, Illinois State University, a body corporate and politic of the State of Illinois and a 501(c)(3) recognized organization.