Thursday, June 21, 2007

You couldn't have known.

I have been suffering from serious writer's block these past two weeks. Ugh.

There's a short story I'm working on - started it maybe a month ago and finally made some really good progress on it and then WHAM! Blocked. Started some poems here and there and then WHAM! something comes up and I have to let them linger. Ugh.

It's interesting though because in the past two weeks I've been so busy living it up in the city: I've started a new fabulous internship - I've met/dated a man or two - I've swooned over at least one - I've got over both of them - I've shopped - I've scrimped - I've networked - I've partied - I've ate out. So I've been having fun. But something about solstices/equinoxes always makes me feel renewed - so it's fitting that on the summer solstice, I jump back into my writing efforts.

I guess living it up a little has now given me something to write about or at least a reason to write. I'm feeling inspired to write a little something based on/inspired by the Motherland - don't know what or how or when - but there will be something. The inspiration started with one of the guys I've met/dated/swooned/got over in the past two weeks - a highly intellectual man from Mali who does work involving issues on the continent and (of course) is very passionate about the work he does.

Ok. Maybe I haven't gotten over him. But I don't feel that oomph I initially felt for him anymore. Whatever. That's a whole 'nother story.

Another source of the inspiration is the latest issue of Vanity Fair:

(Edit: There once was a picture of Iman and Alicia Keys here. A lovely photo.)

Isn't that picture of Iman GORGEOUS? She's one of my fashion icons (the others are Phylicia Rashad as Clair Huxtable, Dorothy Dandridge as Carmen Jones, and Janie from "Their Eyes Were Watching God"). To me, Iman personifies elegance. But I digress.

I love that cover but I didn't buy the magazine with her on it. I bought it - I felt I had to buy it - when I saw this:

That's right. Good ol' GW, Condi and the word "AFRICA" across the bottom is why I bought it. I don't read VF that often but I wanted to see what VF was trying to say putting THEM on a cover of their magazine! Quiet as it's sort-of kept, GW and Condi have done a bit to help efforts in the Motherland, which is interesting to me considering that GW actually called Africa a country once (True story. This was way back tho - very early in his first term). There's PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief)- which is great. And aid to Sub-Saharan Africa has increased since he's become President. I'm sort of skeptical of the editor's decision to put them on the cover - but I guess you really can't knock their efforts, so why not big them up? There are 20 of these covers total. (Check them out on VF's website. The series is pretty cool).

The overwhelming majority of the issue is dedicated to issues pervading the continent. It's a great issue - has me considering a subscription to the magazine - and has me thinking about my heritage.

Ok, so a bit more about your humble blogger:

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY but my family (both parents) are from Jamaica. My mother's mother was born in Cuba and my mother's father is from lord knows where, but apparently is/was mixed with Chinese. My mother never knew her father. My father's parents were both Jamaican but at least one, if not both, are of East Indian descent. I say at least one because I KNOW based on my grandmother's maiden name that she's Indian. My grandfather's last name - which is my last name - is as British as it gets. The last name thing doesn't mean anything though - there are plenty of Indians with Anglophone last names. My mother (who never met my grandfather) always said that my grandfather was black - but I have heard otherwise - and looking at my father and his whole siblings you wouldn't know that they were anything but Indian (he does have a half-sister that's pretty dark skinned though. Who knows.) And if you saw my face, you'd know I have a lot of East Indian in me too.

Appearances aside, it's pretty hard to deny that I come from a melange of ethnic/racial groups - I just am unclear as to who came to what country when, from what tribe/clan they came from - and so forth. How did it all come together to create me?

To anyone reading this who is unfamiliar with the history of the West Indies: please don't perceive my background as that unique. It's not. There are plenty of people of Black/Indian/Cuban/Chinese/Other descent running around the Caribbean, particularly in the British West Indies. One of the best things to come from European imperialism is the fusion of ethnicities that resulted in the West Indies. You can taste it in our food, feel it in our music, hear it in our dialects, and see it in our beautiful faces.

So in case you didn't know: I am one the greatest results of European imperialism.

Ooooh!!! I'm inspired! Off to write.


JustMeWriting said...

hey lady...that's all REAL interesting. You should join the Afrosphere (I'll send details later)in case you've not heard of it. I can't comment on the G.W

antoina said...

I have a few books on this topic. If you would like to read them let me know. There are som many others who have written about this same topic, especially the history of the Maroons.