2013: ReClaiming & hoping that we finally change the dialogue that we have exhausted generations over at nauseam by putting self determination in the back seat, where it once sat until it found itself and moved an entire community and generation to its own front seat that it built. As a new year rolls up on us, the Oscars come around and we continue to have public debates about Black validation in White cinema, literature , art etc., let us remember the words of Chinua Achebeand Day 2 of the principles of Kwanzaa that was supposed to guide the lives of African-Americans: Kujichagulia (koo-gee-cha-goo-LEE-yah) Self-Determination requires that we define our common interests and make decisions that are in the best interest of our family and community.
“The myth of the tribe is the greatest block to an understanding of Africa by the white world. It makes it impossible for the white world to know and understand what is going on in Africa … We had a lot of expectation about how Nigeria would fare…unfortunately it has not worked out that way” –There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra by Chinua Achebe
“The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”– Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
“If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own. To me, being an intellectual doesn’t mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them. Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am – and what I need – is something I have to find out myself…My weapon is literature… People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories… Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control. It is the storyteller who makes us what we are, who creates history. The storyteller creates the memory that the survivors must have – otherwise their surviving would have no meaning…The emperor would prefer the poet to keep away from politics, the emperor’s domain, so that he can manage things the way he likes…We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own…If you only hear one side of the story, you have no understanding at all…The only thing we have learnt from experience is that we learn nothing from experience…Stories serve the purpose of consolidating whatever gains people or their leaders have made or imagine they have made in their existing journey thorough the world…”
Chinua Achebe is a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. He is best known for his first novel and magnum opus, Things Fall Apart, which has sold more than 8 million copies around the world, and been translated into 50 languages. Achebe is the most translated African writer of all time. Nelson Mandela referred to Achebe as a writer ‘in whose company the prison walls fell down’. Achebe is the recipient of over 30 honorary degrees. He has been awarded the Man Booker International Prize, the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, an Honorary Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Nigerian National Order of Merit.
by Amanda Patterson – From Writers Write Via African Heritage City
“We don’t have to wait for someone to greenlight our projects we can create our own intersections..we don’t just have to act in the sitcom, we can own the show & the network..we don’t have to be at the end of the line waiting for a hand out, we can be at the front giving a hand up..we don’t have to wait for somebody to give us 40 acres & a mule we can buy our own.. U can b born into a whole lot of a nightmare but God can usher u into a dream” Tyler Perry