A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With One Step…

Tell your story.

 

 

Book Review: Ajani’s Wonderful Summer and the Imaging of the Black Boy

One aspect of the assault on the African family and on Black families has been the removal or lessening of the role of the father in the household.

The underachievement of boys in educational systems throughout the African diaspora, as well as the fact that the majority of perpetrators and victims of homicides, violent crimes and assaults in the diaspora are young men, are important issues that have been engaging the attention of people from all walks of life, for these are symptoms of crises occurring in Black communities and nation states.

Barbadian author, Dr. Akhentoolove Corbin, is concerned about the crises which exist in Black communities, especially as these affect Black boys. One of his major concerns is that many Black boys throughout the African diaspora grow up without a father figure in the house. We are well aware of this, for many of our Caribbean sociologists have drawn attention to this matter, and the absentee father has been one of the major themes of Caribbean sociology for a long time. Read More

 

 

Language of the Dispossessed

The language has become insufficient

for the expression of my experience.

I find no words

to articulate the truth of my being,

and so my experience cannot be known,

even to myself.

 

Because my experience is deeper than my known concepts allow,

the articulation of my experience is taboo.

 

Sometimes, I feel the language is my enemy

that causes me to articulate pain –

the language is very good at articulating pain –

and even a word like love

does not express what I know it to be.

 

Some words I painfully dig up from my depth

already provoke strange looks,

as if I have ventured into unholy territory,

or maybe it is that those

with whom I have had the misfortune to commune

continue to trade

the same old powerless concepts among themselves.

I suppose that might happen

to those who have not yet become aware

that language has not organically

occurred on our planet,

but is a creation of the savvy

to serve the needs of the powerful.

 

It’s no coincidence,

perhaps,

that the rich + powerful

always seem to have larger vocabularies

than the dispossessed,

who are dispossessed

precisely

because they do not know

and do not have the words to know

that the paradigm

in which they live

and labor

and endure the hardest conflicts

supresses

and makes invisible

the truth of their experiences,

expresses only the ideas of their lords who despise them,

and leaves them struggling to speak,

because everybody knows

poor people don’t talk good.

 

 

WRITE LIKE A WARRIOR: TIP# 63

KEEP A WRITING JOURNAL

A journal, whether it be a bound book or an electronic file, is an excellent tool, no matter where you happen to be in your life. Journals are indispensable to writers, businesspeople, inventors as well as people tracking various processes, including physical and mental health treatments.

Keeping a journal not only trains you to be observant as you record your experiences, it also helps you retain and develop your new ideas. Journaling is an excellent way to articulate your goals and develop them, and if you date your entries, you can review what you’ve learned over time and make significant connections between your experiences and ideas. During your pre-writing stage, securing a journal is a must.

Your journal can be anything from a simple notebook to an elaborately etched hardcover creation with lock and key to cool templates for electronic journals offered by software companies. Choosing a journal which suits your temperament would inspire you as you write.

I had been journaling since I was a girl, but I started doing it in an intuitive manner around 2008. I find it tremendously empowering. I love to review my entries over the years and inspiration in my thoughts. True, some entries are cringe worthy, but I find many of them remarkably insightful. I comment on my entries on little stickys that I paste on the side of the page, so I could see how my perspectives change over time. I notice that ideas which seemed disconnected came together. They bore fruit, by which I mean that my ideas developed to such an extent they became useful. This has shown me that journaling is a discipline that matures over time. I did not understand the value of this practice when I began in earnest in 2008, but I have definitely come to understand in now, and I can clearly see how valuable my journals are to my personal development, to my business and to my writing.

 

My Why

I named my company after one of the most charasmatic leaders of the Haitian Revolution of 1791 – Pierre Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture. The word L’Ouverture roughly translates as “the opening” or “he who opens.” I called my business L’Ouverture because I want to open my clients to possibilities. I want them to be open to the possibilities which inhere in writing, in producing a great book and becoming a knowledge leader. I want them to be open to their brilliance, to be superstars. What kind of writer is a superstar writer? One capable of using the language to make possible an emancipatory alteration in the consciousness of their audience. This is my mission, and why I think of my business, L’Ouverture, as freedom.

Bustin Out!

I’m busting out of my limitations, many of which are self-imposed. I think we were all born inside peculiar boxes that were pre-made for us. We were born within a box of social status, or a box of gender, or a box of race, or within a box of a nation or a particular community, and we inherited the limitations of our parents and our communities. And that’s okay, because we do need a framework when we’re growing up, something that orients us to the world around us. But there does come a time when we need to reshape our perceptions of the world and step out of our boxes. Writing, inscribing ourselves upon the face of the culture, is one medium by which we begin to recognise our limitations. When we are serious about our writing, we are forced to examine how we think about our experiences. For many of us who write, busting out of our boxes is one of our goals, because authentic, thoughtful and honest writing has the potential to shift our perspectives in many ways. Especially our perspectives about ourselves.

Pure Writer

I am a pure writer, meaning I don’t do anything but write. Mine is a complex writing space, with overlapping academic, artistic, trade, philosophical and spiritual sensibilities. I write into these sensibilities from an angst-ridden space of anger, frustration, indignation and sorrow. My attempt to reach for joy, forgiveness, happiness, peace keeps me writing.

The Power of Setting a Goal

We all know we should set goals. But how aware are we of the deeper, spiritual significance of setting a goal? You see, creating a goal – and the name says it all – is a creative process. It is the first step of every creative endeavor. Setting a goal is vitally important for the experience of manifestation. Without a goal, a vision of a new thing, and some idea of how you’re going to acquire it, you would get absolutely nowhere.

Setting my goal empowers me to fulfil my higher destiny. When I set a goal, my entire being turns in its direction, and I begin to engage in work that reconstructs my being in a way that empowers me to achieve the goal and be the woman I need to be when I reach my goal. I even do some work on my existing foundation – all those notions taught to me when I was a child that I built my life on, some of which still influence me – removing some of the old material, laying down new material so that I become the woman I see in my imagination.

The visualization of a new thing and the corresponding charting of a course to acquire that thing is a deeply spiritual process, and if you understand it as such and are willing to put in the hard work, you can achieve ANYTHING!

NAARC Applauds Cong. Conyers on his Revised HR40 Reparations Bill – Institute of the Black World

 

Source: NAARC Applauds Cong. Conyers on his Revised HR40 Reparations Bill – dr.margaretbrito@gmail.com – Gmail

Baldwin, Brathwaite and Walcott: “Flight’s” Crewmen

by Harold Adrian Beckles

 

“..Well is one trip/[chorus] de Caribbean man/on de same ship/[chorus] de Caribbean man/an’ is one race/[chorus, as above]/in de same place …,” are the words that mark the distinctive antiphonal dynamics of a highly popular calypso of some years past, as its Trinidadian performer made an appeal for Caribbean peoples to embrace a heightened intercultural Pan-Caribbean awareness that would be founded upon a greater popular agitation for regional re-federation at the political level.  The question that emerges here, becomes this one: ‘What is this “one trip .. on de same ship,” when it is taken as the animating force that energizes the writings of a James Baldwin placed in conjunction with those of his West Indian peers Kamau Brathwaite and Derek Walcott?’  To a significant extent, the answer, as it applies to these three writer-academic, New World Africans, is, the sea.  For, according to St. Lucian-born poet and playwright Derek Walcott, “The sea is History” (derek walcott: poems  237).  The West Coast of Africa, Brathwaite’s “painfields” of the Caribbean, and the terminal ‘human marketplaces’ of the American southlands, were points that triangulated the European colonial powers’ operation of The trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.  These geographical points also serve to interweave the contemporary voices of these three writers of the Americas, across the abyss of memory within which their common ancestral spirits, in turn war against racial amnesia to awaken their sons and daughters to a purposeful vision for their people’s future.

Continue reading Baldwin, Brathwaite and Walcott: “Flight’s” Crewmen

Why the Nazis studied American race laws for inspiration | Aeon Ideas

Though the United States of America portrays itself as a model of liberal democracy, Nazi leaders of the Third Reich were of the opinion it was a trailblazer in the creation of legislation designed to maintain racial purity. When framing its own racist legislation, the German looked to America or model. Source: Why the Nazis studied American race laws for inspiration | Aeon Ideas

The Storyteller’s Culture of Warfare

CULTURE is a way people understand and respond to the statements and actions put out by a dominant power seeking to engender allegiance to itself. The term culture is often associated with the arts, and according to most definitions I’ve read, is assumed to refer to a shared system of values. Culture, however, is a concept which goes way beyond artistic expression.

Continue reading The Storyteller’s Culture of Warfare

Mastering the Storyteller’s Body of Knowledge

We must align our dream and vision for our craft with the body of knowledge relevant to the creative-business environment of the new paradigm of publishing.

As digital storytellers, we need to see the big picture of the creative/disruptive business environment in which we operate, and the process we must follow to be successful in this environment. We must align our dream and vision for our craft with the body of knowledge relevant to the creative-business environment of the new paradigm of publishing. We need to know far more than how to tell a compelling story. Actually, being able to tell a compelling story or write a great narrative is basic. It’s a given. We need to evolve our ability to discern and critique the ideological apparatus of the marketplace so we’re not intimidated or swallowed up by it. We need to know what publishers know – how to sell books. We need to be a little tech savvy: We need to know about and completely (but not uncritically) embrace the technology that powers the internet – that channel through which we distribute our ideas, messages and intellectual products, and receive the audience engagement and purchases by which we can achieve and measure our success. Continue reading Mastering the Storyteller’s Body of Knowledge

Mastering Author Entrepreneurship in a Disruptive Economy

Disruption has less to do with a new product or novel technology and more to do with a process embedded within the capitalist construct itself. As long as we continue to live in a capitalist economy, new technologies will be rolled out that will continue to alter the way we write and publish.

Writing a book is an important aspect of self-actualization, self-validation and professional development. A book bearing an author’s name is tangible evidence of her credentials, and proves her to be a woman of letters, educated, intelligent and civilized. But an author is no longer only someone who writes books. The disruptive entrepreneurship which characterizes our twenty-first century digital economies has radically altered the way people create and receive information, as well as the speed with which they process it. Twenty-first century technologies have permanently altered the way people read and write. And learn. And think. Technology has altered the author’s role in the economic system. Continue reading Mastering Author Entrepreneurship in a Disruptive Economy