I can't believe that this year is practically over already! Didn't it just get here? It's that time of year when the markets are crowded, the temperature is dropping, and retailers are trying to sell you dreams of happiness if only you purchase this product at this amazing deal.
But more importantly, it is the week of Thanksgiving. I tried to think about what exactly that means to me. I came up with a lot of ideas, like a day to eat as if preparing for a famine, or a day to fight some random lady at my local super market because of her evil plot to buy out the entire pie crust section. Or maybe it's just an excuse to have some free time from work and spend time with the family you never have a chance to see. Or maybe, just maybe it actually is about giving thanks for everything that you feel lucky to have.
Everyone has a different take on what exactly this holiday means, if they believe that it means anything at all. For some, it really doesn't matter because Thanksgiving is just another day. Like it or not, it comes every year if you live in the United States. For others, Thanksgiving day is the best day of the year. Others still can take it or leave it.
In the eighth grade there was an ongoing contest where the principal would come up with a topic and students had the opportunity to submit their writing based on the topic. I entered the Thanksgiving week contest; the topic was The First Thanksgiving. I don't exactly remember every detail of the story that I submitted, but I do remember the basic story line: Thanksgiving was a holiday founded in Haiti by my family and it somehow made its way to the United States. Even back then, my Thanksgiving philosophy was that it can be whatever you want it to be. For me, Thanksgiving day will be a day of writing, being happy about being so loved, and purchasing a book that will make me happy (but only if I get it at an amazing price).
Founded in 2007 by a group of writers, editors and booksellers,
ringShout: A Place for Black Literature
is dedicated to recognizing, reclaiming and celebrating
excellence in contemporary literary fiction and nonfiction
by black writers in the United States.
Why the name ringShout?
One of the first dances created by
Africans brought to America as slaves
in the 1700s, the ring shout was a
sacred circle dance of salvation that enabled
a community to find perserverance,
provided solace and rejuvenation,
and sheltered many early nuances of
Africanist culture and practice. (Adapted from Thea Nerissa Barnes,
The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora Dictionary 2005-2006)
We hope that our ringShout can be the same for serious, skilled black writers creating ambitious fiction. We also want to assert our centrality to all facets of the American experience, literary and otherwise.