Celebrating Black History: Malcolm X?

After reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X, Dr. Manning Marable realized something about Malcolm’s life was missing. He said, in a speech at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, NY, that the autobiography depicts departure from Muslim Mosque Inc and the Organization of African American Unity (OAAU) in which Malcolm founded. He was right: three chapters were missing. And, Marable invested 11 years of his life unfolding the truth about those missing pages.

He discovered (and so much more):

Malcolm X carefully crafted his physical life so that he could connect to black people. In The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley, the story indicates Malcolm as illiterate. In reality, he came from a well-educated family: his mother spoke French and English and his father was a baptist minister.

Unlike Dr. Martin Luther King, who did not pit black against white, Malcolm did. Malcolm put white people on the defensive with means of increasing black pride: self respect and awareness of heritage.

Malcolm X believed we, black leaders, are the leaders that,we, black people are looking for. Remember our black leaders are not here to solve the problem but motivate and increase knowledge of self through history.

Malcolm X’s legacy was not established in the US with his picture on a stamp in the 90’s, but in Iran by the Iranian government in the 80’s.

A tradition of murder amongst black leaders in our country: too many years pass and too much information is hidden before the truth is told.

After this note, I wondered who really killed the iconic legend. And according to Dr. Marable he has uncovered the truth.

If you want to know, his book “Rediscovering Malcolm X: A life of Reinvention” (Penguin)hits the stands April 4, 2011.

This book is biographical, historical, social,and political.

Dr. Manning thank you for stepping back from your life to write objective truth.

Day Two: Making a Entry

Saturday, September 19, 2009 marks the second consecutive day making an entry. As I tell my students, if you write everyday, in class on the spot writing will get easier.

So, I return with news from a high school friend that I connected with through FACEBOOK. My12-year-old insisted I get FACEBOOK.  When we logged onto to create an account, my daughter noticed I’d already created one. Hence, I needed to use this social connection. And who would have imagined that my high school friend remembered me without seeing a photo. My alum has moved back to her hometown in Trinidad. I’ve never visited Trinidad. You guessed right, if the FACEBOOK connection works out, I know where I will vacation next year.

Words to ponder

Quote from walls of MLK Center

I love quotes and  sayings, especially when they make me reexamine my life: spiritual, physical, mental and/ or  financial. Here’s a few I’ve been mulling over:

  • An inspirational moment is when we feel motivated to change. A defining moment is when we actually do change. (Girlfriends in God)
  • When a person points out your mistakes and humilates you, constantly, it gives her/him  a false sense of  power. (The Shack)
  • But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who give you the ability to produce wealth. (Deut. 8:18)

A inch away from saying ‘yes’

The evening of June 1, I received a phone call, “Angela, can you help me promote the building fire fund raising event?”

You guessed it, I said, “Yes,” without even thinking that my June plate was full. Why? The building that was destroyed by fire was the new site for our new church and we were thrilled with a move in date of October 2008. (Sorry can’t go into more details here, the site is still under investigation and church members have been asked not share unknown facts.)

However, my over zealousness threw me off balance and within 24 hours sharpening my saw was impossible. I looked at the calendar and the commitments and the time frames. I took another step back and reanalyzed, I could help, but with more time and more planning for an event in August opposed to June.

It goes to show me, I never plan to fail I can simply fail to plan, especially when dealing with emotions.

So I have to..

Continue reading “A inch away from saying ‘yes’”

Finding time for me

It’s the second day of June and I’ve planned to make no more commitments  for this month. That’s something new for me. Usually I say “yes”, and then each day becomes more stressful as I’m planning ways to do things for me in between commitments to others. Now, I can be a workaholic, but sometimes something or someone suffers due to my zealous need to meet all demands–and those demands stretch far and wide between church, community and home life, let me not forget calling my mother and meeting with my girlfriends.

So, how do I find time for me: journaling, walking, reading, creative writing, seeing a movie, relaxing at a spa or shopping for much needed new items in my wardrobe?

A few years ago, I took a time management workshop, via phone for 22-weeks. Then I thought I was organized, however I discovered, I was focusing all my energies in one area of my life.  Therefore, I learned to plan my day and my to do list by remembering Habit 7 of Highly Effective People: Sharpening the Saw.

To sharpen one’s saw simple means to take care of yourself by balancing four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. It goes like this:

  • Physical: The way you eat, exercise and rest
  • Social/Emotional: How you make social and meaningful connections with others
  • Mental: What you decide to learn, read, write, and teach
  • Spiritual: When you spend time in nature, expanding spiritual self-through prayerful mediation, music, art, and service.

Jesus did it. He walked along the shore, dined with friends, escaped to the mountain top to be alone, and prayed.

So, for the month of June, I plan to sharpen my saw with an afternoon lunch with friends, a weekend journal writing conference, strength training at least three days a week,  and completing a 25-day devotional Woman of God, Blooming in God’s Garden, which I’ve had tucked in my Bible cover since 2006 and just started on May , 20081 and read up Day 12.

Take the challenge with me, start today and sharpen your saw. Make time for you! First!

Keep your focus

When Tiger Woods is on the green, despite all his distractions on and off the course, he keeps his eye on the ball. His goal, sink the ball. A few months ago, at a Sunday monring sermon Rev. Edward L. Hunt, of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Wappingers Falls, used this as a reference about life. He said too many times, we lose our focus and get distracted by unexpected events.

At that moment, I realized I had lost my writing focus. The moment I enrolled in graduate school, I knew that the degree would advance my career. My long-term goal was to publish two novels, a book about journal writing and acquire a teaching position. Then I could create while earning cash. One semester before graduation, I ended up in a newsroom as an editor of two newspapers. Here, I used my three-legged table of talents: writing, design and editing.

The first six months I was consumed with the learning curve: getting acquainted with coworkers, community, and computers. As the months progressed, I spent less time exercising and editing my novel. I was not following the rules of my favorite quote by Jane Yolen, “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise the muscles seize up.” After surpassing the learning curve, my personal writing seized up. Each day, in the newsroom, after planning content, editing copy, writing editorials, and designing pages I had no more creative energy when returning to my own writing.

Soon, my literary life dissappeared. Or so I thought. I was spending more time doing other people’s work, and not focusing on my own. In 1997, as a freelance journalist for a newspaper in New York City I interviewed a man who retired as vice president of CBS to start his own production company. He said in the interview, one day he noticed all his creative energy was enlarging another man’s dream, not his own and in that instance he began to redirect his focus. Next he said to me, “remember when you have dreams and goals and your life becomes consumed with other people’s work, something has got to change.”

So, on that Sunday morning, after the sermon, I returned home and refocused, planning to write everyday for me first. Then, as God would have it, I received a phone call in August about an adjunct position at a community college. Two days later, I accepted the offer teaching English composition. Six weeks later, I resigned from the newsroom and nine weeks later I accepted the offer to teach a class in the spring and summer.

Now, when I’m not teaching or planning lessons, or grading papers, I’m writing. However, making time to write, everday, always comes first.

What’s new?

It’s been months since my last posting. I’ve procrastinated wondering what is the main focus of angchronicles and when will I have time to complete this blog and who will  I target as bloggers.  I the fourth revision of my novel.  An agent already has 50 pages in his hand, which just means I have to revise quicker. (Just in case)

However, since I’ve been writing more and now teaching English 101 Composition at a community college, I’ve been reading three times as much. So, in Reader to Reader I’ll have lots to share–tomorrow.

In the meantime here’s a list of books I’ve plunged through: Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes are Watching God”; “Conversations with God” by James Melvin, Washington, PhD,  “Left to Tell” by Immaculee Ilibagiza;” and “On Beauty” by Zadie Smith.

With the turn of each page you will need to stop and take a breath in these fiction and nonfiction stories.

Just 15 minutes

Writer mama says write in 15 increments especially if your life is busy with work, children, community services, and a family life. So, today is the day I’ll see what happens in 15 minute increments. that includes this entry. An entry that I did not expect to write. I did not expect to write since I was only checking my email and recieved my first comment for my blog. This weekend while footloose and fancy free with friends in VT we discussed blogs and blogging. I recommended wordpress.com Why? WordPress has categories and is easy to access. If you’re a blogger on blogspot you can export your information to wordpress.org, but not visa versa. WordPress has an awesome blogroll and when someone comments, an e-mail alerts to offering you options to delete or accept the comment. Comments are important to keep up the blog system. I need to visit my friend’s blog. She has been sending me updates but life seems to get busy and my e-mails get shoved in a read review file that is not three months long. Long is what I would say about the attempt to write for 15 minutes unexpectedly as this trying to connect the next sentence with the last word.