The photo above was taken by photographer Khalid Farqu. His website is http://www.blueandkream.com
If there is one thing that I do most of the time alone, it’s reading.
I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, autobiographies, and anything and everything African American & Caribbean Literature – Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Edwidge Danticat, Toni Morrison, Ta Nehisi Coates -I read it, I breathe it, I relate to it, I reflect on it and it has allowed me to gradually form opinions and views that I currently hold today.
My best hours for reading and writing occur in the late night to the very early hours of the morning. I was rummaging through my many thoughts and began to inquire about what exactly happens to the individual mind once it has discovered the many possibilities reading may hold in terms of helping to develop one’s consciousness. Yes, differing perspectives can be understood through human to human contact, verbal communication, and yes a simple wondering mind. However, just how far can that alone take an individual? I accepted at an early age that I was deeply emphatic, sensitive, and enjoyed conversations that challenged my critical thinking. I consequently accepted that everything that I needed to understand ranging from my history to society’s social construct, would not come from a classroom but from my own desire to read and understand on my own.
To be honest, I have also noticed that reading has made me aware of sentiments that I did not know I had concerning a topic. It makes sense. Your views and understanding is only as defined as your current knowledge and your ability to ask yourself critical questions. Through “Breath, Eyes, Memory” by Edwidge Danticat I was able to learn and delve into the depth of the love between a Haitian mother and daughter. In retrospect, that entire novel reflected the psychological consequences that generational fear and trauma had on Caribbean women and affected how they raised their daughters. Quite frankly, especially living in a powerful western nation, it is so easy to have societal issues, constructs, and effects of history to slip out of consciousness if we do not take the effort to seek for ourselves what really is going on. I am not saying worry yourselves so much or stress, but at least be aware. There is a reason why a conscious mind with ability to receive information, form logistical basis, and critically analyze situations is a feared one.
So what then is the significance of reading beyond average message transfer, quick communication, and amusement?
It is a means to place one’s current understanding and imagination into gear simultaneously and allow oneself to experience a variation of this according to the novel, and expand the conscious.
I see it as a dope form of exercise and discovery.
©2017 Afroetry Works