Djembe was inspired by Natifafa Yakor, a student from Ghana, and was first published in 2009. By presenting the voices and worldviews of innumerable cultures, he sought to educate and encourage dialogue about those cultures. We continue this tradition by presenting various forms of literature and artwork. 

The journal’s name (pronounced jem-bay) was taken from the African drum for its universality of cultures throughout the world, and its symbolic uniqueness of different cultures due to the drum’s many shapes and sizes. When traced to the Bamanankan language of Mali, the word “djembe” means “to gather everyone.” Thereby, this journal gathers authors, artists, and readers alike into an open community where global engagement can take place.