By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu
I am leaving 49 an activist. I envision myself forming Political Action Committees or organizations to fight corruption and discrimination in the Michigan courts, legal system, and government. For the first time in my life at 50, I wish to be an activist and change agent. Problems that are not overcome in one moment are becoming apparent to me. I heard a powerful lecture, from a curator at DIA to a non- profit leadership org for which I am a member, and he said something about polio, and when the need arises for the people to have the ability to erect an org to fight or problem solve. You cannot always rely on someone to care. Sometimes your issue is not leaderships key platform. Have you ever heard any of these presidents saying anything about American housing problems and collapsed economies? No. Do not wait for them. Sometimes, you fundraise, and drive money into an org and try to take systemic problems and break them into pieces. What will it take? What are measurable results? Everyone needs to assume some kind of platform, org, non-profit, fundraiser, group, club, social science research etc. These problems do not go away on their own. It is up to each of us to feel powerful and join forces. Sometimes the money for those problems can be driven into mine or your hands and solutions that you or I have created. So, it is time to jump into school and just stay in school if you can.
Early in my life I assumed an identity as a humanitarian. I felt humanitarianism was an “antidote,” and something that would effectively provide solutions. It led me to not just fight racism but assume a position of health-to figure out what health is and make that the true goal. I adopted things like diversity, equity and inclusion and became active in groups at jobs as well as racial affinity groups and collecting research to write on the subject. For me, diversity, equity, and inclusion are correctly positioned.
We are beautiful. We are diverse. “I choose the rainbow” became my campaign. To choose us. To arrive at the end of a struggle with a loving people. You never know who your friends or allies may be. I think it is important to campaign for health and even diversity and remember that not everyone chooses racism.
I went against “Black Lives Matter,” it is for me a low self esteem campaign. Do you say, “white lives matter?” Are we supposed to be asking or campaigning to matter at all? I do not believe in that campaign. I found it insulting and even racist. I bet a racist came up with it. Some people just want anything to say and want black on the table. I disagree with that. I think campaigns must be respectful and well positioned to be effective. I see language, TV, acting, music, denigrating the black reputation and pushes it into otherness. I am seeing more and more what it takes to really be an intellectual player. We must as a people use scholarships to cover our future bases. Make sure that what is not had right now, will be in the next few years. I hope that we can replace a lot of our lawyers and judges. Scholarships are an active to way to fight. Campaigns are also effective. Yard signs and bumper stickers promoting health enlarge a people’s vision of who is out there and how they feel.
In terms of knowledge, I have been researching books, words, writing etc. It is within this research that I realized there is theory, then there are theories books, that support theory-which was a revelation for me. One does not exist without the other. You have to buttress in knowledge. It made see books differently. The other thing that became clear is when books have strong relevancy for an era or time, when they provide people with something they need. Some book popularity made me realize that the nation has a ways to go in terms of knowledge, the less reputable or knowledgeable the books and their popularity, made me look down upon our current national status.
What is clear to me now is all my above and beyond, all my independent study and all my actions will matter to my life in the future. Even 5 minutes of exercise will impact my system. In poetry I am finding that I must write a book, then code the book with stylistic information for each writing. That one is not writing in a vacuum, but into a field and history where each poem has the potential to impact the whole field. It may be, in fact, the first of its kind? It may present content that is fresh and gift giving.
This birthday brought a new thick Spanish Dictionary, a book on Homeopathic remedies for my medical and healing library, and a Diana Hacker Writing Rules book. I am still finding it worthy to adjust to the conventionalities of my field. I am more and more fighting for a deeper professionalism in my presentation as I make submissions and “wheel and deal” in the publishing arena. I got used to being approached and having existing writings, open all my doors. I wonder sometimes if I should let my doors open on their own. If when projects are ripe, and reputation is ripe, their doors will naturally open. I am needing an agent, and I want to lead the right agents to myself. I hear about old New York Times Dinosaurs being agents who can develop writings and that is what I am longing for. I am longing to work with deep talent, that has a lot of care for the projects they work on. Apparently, as I am being submitted for several awards, perhaps those doors will eventually pop open?
I think this year I will work on getting into international markets. I appreciate the delicacy of poetic languages and cultures who show deep appreciation. I hope eventually to write in different languages but until then, there is translation.