Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Journey Continues: Day 6

We arrived in Aswan yesterday, the land of the Nubians, in Southern Egypt. Our hotel sits on an island on the Nile River and in the morning we can see the sunrise in the east and set in the west. This can attest to an array of Nubian contributions to the society from several different disciplines of thought. Just the sun’s rising and setting is a peaceful, self-awareness aura. Today’s discussions lead us to dissect the literary work Satire of the Trades. Found in the time of the Middle Kingdom, this satirical literary piece speaks to the education of children. It appears as though an elder or father is teaching their young child the importance of taking up the profession of a scribe and not settling for the work of a common man. In this case, I interpret the profession of the scribe as not only a writer, but a historian of the people. In relation to African-American culture, I feel as though there needs to be a revolution created for documenting the history of our people; and in particular, through the arts. The work of August Wilson, African-American playwright, documented, in a theatrical, yet historical way, the history of African-Americans over the past ten decades. His work is a true representation of the ‘scribe of today’. Even the work of this blog is a documenting tool that will last for generations to come. The piece says:

“See, there’s no profession without a boss,
Except for the scribe; he is the boss.
Hence If you know writing,
It will do better for you
Than those professions I’ve set before you,
Each more wretched than the other.”

As a writer you are in control of yourself. I think writing allows you to connect to a larger prospective of the world we live in, and more specifically, the culture you are conserving. When I was younger, my mother collected pictures, programs, and several memorabilia that document our growth from birth to about 8 years old. The question becomes, what happened to that documented information for the 13 years after that? If we don’t document our history…who will?

1 comment:

Tammi said...

I agree! Documenting our history is and has been crucial. My question to you is how do you propose to address tacking the years of historical untruth that has been taught not only to African American people but the world? More specifically, how does the message of the importance of writing get conveyed to young African Americans? What ways can you suggest to spread this message?