It’s Black History month and I feel a perfect storm brewing.
I’ve always had a strong feeling that it’s important to highlight the many achievements of black Americans, which for so long were excluded from the history books, but I have a growing longing for black history to become a seamless part of “our” history.
I believe I feel it happening. I’m an Obama supporter. He inspires me and makes me feel like “we” can be a great nation and feel good about ourselves as Americans again. When he says "we", I picture every last one of us. I haven't felt like I was part of a "we" for a long time.
This video was one of my favorites from the late 80’s. This was another. I’ll never forget the first time I actually saw it. I was stationed in
Vernon Reid founded The Black Rock Coalition:
“The Black Rock Coalition was founded in 1985 by guitarist Vernon Reid, journalist Greg Tate and producer Konda Mason in reaction to the constrictions that the commercial music industry places on Black artists.
A collective of artists, writers, producers, publicists, activists and music fans assembled to maximize exposure and provide resources for Black artists who defy convention. To date, the BRC is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to the complete creative freedom of Black artists.”
For me it was the start of something very cool in the music industry.
Yesterday at Carleen’s Brice’s site – Don’t forget to buy your copy of her fabulous debut novel, Orange Mint and Honey – available at fine booksellers everywhere and your local Target store – and found a fabulous new blog, Ringshout:
"RingShout was founded following Martha Southgate's essay "Writers Like Me" in the New York Times Book Review in July of 2007. The response in the blogosphere and in the literary world was enormous. So Martha wanted to harness this energy. She contacted Cornelius Eady and Alison Meyers of Cave Canem , a group she greatly admired, for insight into how they had formed their organization. The next step was contacting several writers, editors and a bookseller (Sarah McNally of McNally Robinson Books who participated in our first couple of meetings) who she knew and respected. The five got together over a period of six months and brainstormed until they had come up with a way to form a book list and a tool kit that would help carry out the group's mission. We kicked off with a party to drum up support and volunteers on February 1, 2008. At the present time, we remain an all-volunteer effort that is unaffiliated with any larger organization."
Writers (black, white, Latino, Asian, Indian, everybody!) please check it out. The most recent post is about a desire for "our books to be for everyone--Barack style."
This new blog has brought to the forefront a conversation that many of us have been having on and off for a long time. A fine book is a fine book and needn’t be separated into an ethnic category and I’m delighted to have discovered some new voices in American literature.
“We’ve” got some cool things happening.