Proverbs are full of poetry and twists. They are made up of words that have been molded for centuries, if not milleniums, until a minimum of words carry an extraordinary potential for meaning.
~ Gaston Kaboré ~
Have you ever observed that we pay much more attention to a wise passage when it is quoted than when we read it in the original author?
~ Philip G. Hamerton ~
The new book is out and i've planted promotional seeds, waiting patiently now for something to sprout. Barnes & Noble have said they'll start with 75 copies but i've not seen evidence of an order yet.
The experience of producing a book for the so-called urban market has been interesting but not surprising as the responses received to date have been more or less as expected. Seeing me in person, folks do a double-take as my visage does not tally with their idea of what the author of a black text should look like. The forthcoming ones will ask what prompted me to undertake such a project to which i reply that being Jamaican, a predominantly black culture, i feel capable of recognizing wisdom that resonates with black folk. Both black and white have questioned whether souls have any color, which i think not, but i make the distinction that black folks' souls collectively share in a particular ethos, mythos and experience which would predispose them to respond favorably to selected information. My spiritual training, literary sensibility, transpersonal psychology study and multicultural exposure all combine to prepare me for this task. In any event, wisdom is universally applicable beyond the narrow confines of limiting identities.
There have been many anthologies of black quotations before this but they have been limited mostly to African American sources. One of my intentions was to broaden the scope so folks could know there's a whole lot more out there. Some of this content is familiar only to black literati and cognoscenti. We get a more complete, balanced picture reading the words also of Carthaginian theologians, Ethiopian philosophers, Martiniquan poets, Senegalese griots, Jamaican pioneers and African, Afro-Canadian and -European writers.
In the dedication, i acknowledge Anansi, Akan deity of wisdom and Caribbean spider-man, whose stories i absorbed as an infant before i was even able to read about Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin and Mickey Mouse. Many are unaware that Anansi is the direct forebear of Brer Rabbit.
I've started work on the third anthology featuring quotations from LGBT sources, called Wisdom for the Soul of Queer Folk. Let's see if i can complete it in time for Pride 2008.
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