Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Alicia Williams is grateful before, during and after Black History Month...
Tonight I’d like to introduce you to my friend Alicia Williams (yes, I am a Williams from Cowra but Alicia is from Michigan and lives in North Carolina, still its good to share a name anyways!). She’s a writer, performer, motivational speaker, dance/zumba instructor, mother to Dove and creative writing student!
Alicia’s life was full enough without me asking her to write for my blog. But she did it anyway, because she’s focussed, and kind to her friend down under. We first met in Tampa, Florida at the Black Writers Reunion and Conference in 2008. I was pleased to see how she’d upped the ante with her writing two years later when we met again in Atlanta. Alicia is also working on the release of her first book Up From Rock Bottom.
This blog was originally for Black History Month, but let’s just say we’re on ‘Koori-time!’ I’m just grateful to read Alicia’s words and learn more about history that should be important to all of us.
What Alicia is grateful for this BHM:
1. I'm grateful for Mary McLeod Bethune for investing in education. W.E.B. DuBois for challenging us to use our minds. I’m grateful to those individuals without resources and technology to lead the pack of making a difference in society without excuses: Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, and lesser named individuals. There should never be any whining, complaining, or excuses when we look at the lives of these individuals, and we owe it to them to take full advantage of our opportunities to reach our full potential.
2. I'm so grateful for every person who risked their lives chasing the dream of freedom. We know of Harriet Tubman, and her story speaks volumes. How dared she go back and forth to free others, with a bounty on her head? This woman stepped out on faith, and yet never doubted her purpose. That's why one of my mantra's when doubt creeps in is: "It's time to do it Harriet Tubman style."
3. As a storyteller, I am so thankful for the griots (elder storytellers) that came before me. As an African-American, I realized that we don't have a culture that we can pinpoint and say, "This is ours." Unless I do a DNA test, I won't know what tribe, country, or lifeline my people originated. But at least I have gleaned culture from historical stories, and the songs sung that reflected on how we are a faithful, strong people.
4. I am so grateful for every person who helped, fought, and received abuse just for the right to vote. I'm, no we, are reaping the benefits of this natural right. It is because of their preservation that me and my daughter witnessed our 44th President African-American, Barack Obama, take office.
I leave you with a quote by Oprah Winfrey: "How dare I be tired doing what I'm doing, know the trials and tribulations of my ancestors who had to work from dawn 'til dusk. They had a right to be tired. I don't."
Keep pushing . . . and never doubt.