December 30, 2012

Kwanzaa: Nia

You take a chance on Facebook. You reach out to someone you don't know--except that she is a friend of a friend--and she accepts your request. And then, one day you realize one of the reasons why she is a friend. You share a lot more than friendship through others.

Today, Vanessa Byers (Blogging Black Miami) posed an interesting question which went beyond a status update:

Good morning, family! This is the last Sunday in 2012. It is also the fifth day of Kwanzaa. The principle on which we focus is purpose. Each of us has something to contribute toward effecting positive change and uplift in our homes and the community at large. What is your purpose? Are you using it to help others?

Dear Vanessa, 

I am a storyteller. Many of my stories are about the trials of fatherless boys trying to become men and the crises within the Jamaican/Caribbean/ Black community. 

I believe in the power of stories. The more we are able to see ourselves in stories--which is why I write children's books and adult fiction--the better we will be equipped to think through some of the vexing problems we face and perhaps see the beauty in our lives. 

The work of elders/ancestors such as Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite, Dennis Scott, Bob Marley, Tony McNeill, George Lamming, Michael Anthony, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Rita Dove, James Baldwin, Lorna Goodison, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, and Orlando Patterson (and that's only the top shelf of my bookcase) showed me how complex questions of identity could be framed in a way was both intellectually challenging and aesthetically pleasing.

The stories pose the problems and some of the solutions, I believe, are in the teachings of Marcus Mosiah Garvey whose Philosophy and Opinions encompass Kwanzaa and provide a useful framework for the upliftment of Africans at home and abroad . This is why I am working for his exoneration as the first step in our eventual redemption. But we will have to do it for ourselves.

Thank you, Vanessa, for this opportunity. The purpose is unfolding.

One Love,

Blog Disclosure Policy

Geoffrey Philp’s Blog Spot receives a percentage of the purchase price on anything you buy through links to Amazon, Shambala Books, Hay House, or any of the Google ads or Google Custom Search.


Disclaimer of Endorsement

The documents posted on this Web site may contain hypertext links or pointers to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. These links and pointers are provided for visitors' convenience. I do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any linked information. Further, the inclusion of links or pointers to other Web sites or agencies is not intended to assign importance to those sites and the information contained therein, nor is it intended to endorse, recommend, or favor any views expressed, or commercial products or services offered on these outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites, by trade name, trademark, manufacture, or otherwise.

Reference in this Web site to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the site's visitors, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by this blog.

No comments: