Sunday, May 03, 2009

I borrowed a dvd from the library: AGAINST ALL ODDS - THE ARTISTS OF THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE. The interesting thing about it was some of the issues amongst black artists at that time. Of course, there was more discrimination and segregation during that time and their struggles surrounded that, as can be expected. There were argument's within the race of whether all arts should be to only show the positive side and to advance the race. This was the position of W.E.B. DuBois. On the other side was Alain Locke who felt that individual creativity was important. Questions surrounded whether to depict black life in art or whether to avoid it to make works more appealing to white audiences. The aim was to mix black arts in with other art in order to make it salable. Even when this was done, sales and recognition of black arts by non-blacks was little to non-existent.

What's interesting is that while this could be understood to exist in the '20's and '30's, these same arguments and struggles amongst black artists exist today, about 80 years later. There's still widespread debate on what the purpose of black writing should be. Should it be only positive and advance the race? To show we are intelligent? Is urban fiction a disgrace to the race? Does it bring us down? Should we not write about gangstas, pimps, hos, drugs, and violence? Why are our books segregated in an African American section in bookstores? Non-whites don't go there. Should we mix our books in with the other writers of the same genre to gain more non-black readers? Is that the problem? Is it because our books are segregated 100 feet away in a different section? If we change the location of the books, will they be purchased more?

80 years. Same internal positions. Same exterior arguments. The difference today is the rights gained through civil rights acts,and the increased avenues to publishing. Yet, our voices remain many faceted as it did in the past. Our perspectives are many. But is our perserverence and determination as strong as our predecessors? We have an additional motivation. Money. Black artists of yesterday knew they had to work. It appears that their passion drove their expression while in poverty. Notariety, showing exempilary talents, and assisting other aspiring artists seemed to be the motivations. We can learn a lot from history.

So what's going on now? I've gotten over the behind and just really need to catch up to survive syndrome to the really need to stay on top of things so I won't drown syndrome. All in all, I feel like I'm in a much better place. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for school. I'm midway through my Finance class and have 2 more classes to go after that. I should have completed my MBA program on August 17th, as of now. Yay! Hopefully the health issues won't interrupt that, however, got to take care of health first. Many women may be familiar with fibroids. Although not life threatening, it can have the potential to cause problems depending on how large and how connected to you. Well, mine has been determined to be large and removal is recommended. In the process of getting scheduled for that surgery. And I'm finding the headaches, which has extended to pain in limbs may be stemming from nerve damage from the slipped disc in my neck. So hoping I won't have to undergo surgery for that. Doing testing. We'll see.

Between work, school, and doctor visits, trying to focus on writing whenever I have a free moment, but that's slim to none. Not worried about it now because after August 17th, I can focus more on writing. In the meantime, I'm trying to stay connected by reading on structure when I can. About to order a couple of audio since I'm finding that helpful. Got to do what you can when you can.