From an early age, I knew that while I was Black British of West Indian parentage and African heritage, at the core of my being I was an African. “No matter what anyone tells you about being British, Afro-Caribbean or West Indian, you are Black therefore African. Be proud of it and don’t let anyone tell you any different,” my parents told my two sisters and me. These words stuck with me, soaking into every inch of my being.
On a sweltering July afternoon of 2011 at the 13th annual Harlem Book Fair in New York City, as booklovers strolled along 135th Street perusing the tables of the latest offerings by participating authors and a selection of recently released books, there was scant representation of “serious literature.” The scene was a hard-hitting reminder that urban-themed fiction and dramatic love stories have come to overshadow quality literature by Black authors — not only at book-related events but also in bookstores. Much of that upstaging has not settled well with many authors, critics, editors and publishers in the Black literary community.
If you’re waiting for your yearly vacation to unwind, you’re waiting too long. It’s far more effective to recharge as you go, according to psychologist Suzanne Zoglio, author of Recharge in Minutes: The Quick-Lift Way to Less Stress, More Success, and Renewed Energy! (Tower Hill Press).
The exhibition, which comprises “Standing with Papa Legba,” on view at CCCADI, and Le Projet Nouveau, on view at MoCADA, opened in January in time for the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti that leveled the capital and left more than 300,000 people dead and more than one million homeless.