Monday, February 02, 2009
Soapdeli misses the point. Yes, my process is different. It's different because I have different influences, different culture, different ways of being. When I go to my home church, our celebrations are of Kwanzaa, of black history month. When I talk to other blacks here, our experiences are common ground. We blacks here in Memphis have our own distinct culture, our own distinct way of speaking, our own distinct way of doing things. And our culture was not born with the birth of hip hop. It is old.
From our black insurance companies and banks to the legend of Tom Lee, who the park near the river is named after because he is said to have saved thirty white people, to the story of the black millionare who rebuilt Memphis after the yellow fever epidemic, we have history, we have roots.
And we have a different literature as well. I know bell hooks, I know Eric Jerome Dickey, the children in mom's class are reading Zane, although they aren't supposed to. We watch Tyler Perry on TV, and enjoy the Neely's.
We can draw from our old traditions as well as the new. And because of the depth of experience we have, we can infuse that into our works.
Also, hey, enjoy the works of the etsy artists of color. We are awesome. Awesome *because* of our roots, and because of our culture.