For me, this is the part of authorship when the lyrical muse sings and the creative pen dances. The greater bulk of the more rigid tasks of verification and documentation have been satisfied, and imagination may be allowed to take over the processes of narrative construction. The resulting musical flow of image and language stamp the work with its own unique identity. And its own self-defined meanings destined to merge with different readers’ interpretations of the same.
The Writer and the Times
How could that have been likely for someone who had already chronicled the global multicultural impact of the Harlem Renaissance in the pages of an encyclopedia, and whose first novel featured a cast of post-Millennials on a parallel Earth? I could no more refrain from engaging political discourse within a column bearing my name than Zora Neale Hurston could have resisted writing black dialect or Franz Kafka could have ignored the absurdities of his existential dilemmas.
This is not, of course, to say that during the same period I considered the cultural arts any less important than national or international politics. It has been more than thrilling to share with readers through this specific platform essays on such topics as: the poetry of Elizabeth Alexander, the life and legacy of Maya Angelou, the novels and ever-increasing relevance of Toni Morrison, reports on winners of the Nobel Prize, the enduring literary vision of James Baldwin, the annual global triumph of International Jazz Day, profiles of Kennedy Center honorees, and reviews of some of the most important films of our modern times.
Framing the 21st Century with Interpretive Journalism
When it came to political events and social developments, I named my style of coverage interpretive journalism for its combination of original news reportage and editorial commentary––sometimes presented with poetry. Emerging facts, such as those regarding the 7 children and 20 adults murdered by 20-year-old Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School (and in the home he shared with his mother) in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012 could send recipients of such news reeling for years with shock and disbelief. It was the potential significance behind the facts that I chose to communicate to readers and which I hoped they found useful.
- 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance
- Annual Black History Month Notebook
- Guerrilla Decontextualization
- Abbreviated Mind Syndrome
- The Michael Jackson Legacy Files
- Savannah Talks Troy Anthony Davis
- The Text and Meaning Series
More certain than anything else at this time is my commitment to completing the work at hand. It has patiently awaited my full attention for several years and the time has come to honor our faith in each other.
© 20 September, 2015