Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Bryan-Keyth Wilson is grateful during Black History Month
I first met Houston-based writer and publisher Bryan-Keyth Wilson at the Black Writers Reunion and Conference in Tampa, Florida in 2008. Since then I have witnessed his intellect, story-telling ability and fantastic sense of humour. I wanted to know, and I wanted my readers here to know, what Bryan-Keyth was most grateful for during the month of February, which marks Black History Month in the USA and Canada.
I'm sure you will be moved and inspired, as I was when first reading the following
words. I do hope you'll engage with BKW here and read some of the authors he recommends.
Needless to say, I am grateful he took time out of his paid writing schedule to write something to share with us here.
1. I am grateful to God that has brought the African-American people a mighty long way. With Jewish Americans there was the Holocaust, and with African Americans there was Slavery. From the Middle Passage, to slavery our people have experience many hardships and yet we still remain. While in the fields working African Americans faith in God never wavered. From the singing of work songs like "Go Down Moses" to "Crossing da River Jordan" the eye on freedom was always in the valences, and with God anything was possible. Yet the problems were still to come for my people. The Civil Rights movement sprung a rising of powerful preachers, teachers and speakers that used the articles of their faith to stand on the promise that all men should be treated equally. Without faith and a strong belief system in a higher power I don't know where my people would be, but because of Calvary we still remain.
2. I am grateful for my President. Some said that it would never happen, and some thought that they would never see it in their lifetime, and yet here we are with the First African-American President. To see President Obama in the White House lets me know that hard work is never in vain. With hard work, determination, vision, and a plan you can be anything that you want to be. Outside of the political woes of his presidency President Obama will continue to be a beacon of light for not just African-Americans but to all minorities.
3. I am grateful for the gift of prose and poetry. Just to write what I am grateful for is something to be grateful for. Not so long ago African-Americans were persecuted for reading and writing, and now it seems to be a gift that we take for granted. To be able to sit at the computer or my journal and write down my thoughts and feelings is truly cathartic as well as a blessing. For people to pick up a book that I have written or published and have the opportunity to change lives through the simple medium of putting words together fills my heart with joy and conviction to press on.
4. I am grateful for my friends and family. We are familiar with the mantra that it takes a village to raise a child; I believe that it takes that and then some. I am blessed to have a family that supports me in all of my endeavors- as off the wall as some of them may be! I am blessed to have great friends that I can call on at anytime for advice as well as the ones that are there to hold me accountable. I feel that we all need accountability partners in our lives to help us stay on track. We must have a strong network of people that we can run to. I am in love with an awesome person and that truly keeps me focused as well. I continually to look to my Mamma, Daddy, Nanny, and the ancestors for guidance and wisdom.
5. I am grateful for those authors, poets, artists, civil rights leaders, and activists that came before me. James Baldwin, August Wilson, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Tia Ross, C. Mikki, Dr, Anita Heiss, Mikasenoja, Da Pholisopha, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Ntozake Shange, Dr. Cornell West, President Obama, Tavis Smiley, Al Sharpton, the list can go on and on….
I recommend reading “The President Looks Like Me” by Tanya Michelle (Bee’s Ink Publishing) and awesome children’s book!
Pic above of Bryan-Keyth and I the Black Writers Reunion and Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, June 2010.