Writers Can Be Activists Too
My title, "Writers Can Be Activists Toot" speaks for itself. Writers are activists for whatever issues they believe in and their craft is a powerful tool for reaching out and creating positive change.
Throughout my life I have been aware of recurring themes. When the universe wants me to learn something or address something, I get these little messages from the oddest of places. I've tried on occasion to ignore them and occasionally they go away. Sometimes, they do not.
I've been thinking about the power of writing and how so many writers here on HP really care about people and life and our planet. They write with passion and conviction about things that affect all of us and they aren't doing it for money. They really care. I started thinking of them as the most powerful activists of all. They certainly do have a broader audience than the organizer who spends days on end holding a sign in Lafayette Park in Washington, DC or on the street corner on El Camino Road in Bruno, CA. They have more impact because their arguments are substantiated by the provision of additional resources. Although writer's have opinions, they rarely want to stake their reputation on opinion alone.
Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
I recently watched the 77th Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards . The award is given to the authors of books who have made significant contributions to the issue of race relations and humanitarianism. The award was established in 1935 by renowned poet, Edith Anisfield in honor of her husband and father and, to recognize writers who, like her family, care about race, diversity, and social injustice. First sponsored by The Saturday Review, the Cleveland Foundation now administers the awards. A jury of five selects the recipients for the award and is chaired by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. of "Who Do You Think You Are" fame.
The awards show, unlike many other awards shows, was enlightening and inspirational, to say the least. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. read from the winner's books and then provided an in-depth biography on each author. And once the award was announced, the author's took the stage to read from their own works. I was blown away by the passion and research invested in each piece of work and remember thinking, "There can be no higher honor than to be recognized for making a difference in the areas of race, diversity, and social justice".
The 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award Winners
This year, the awards were given in three categories. There four recipients, all worth reading..
Nonfiction: Author David W. Blight
Title: "American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era"
Publisher: Harvard University Press
David W. Blight's book takes us back through history to show that even after the Emancipation Proclamation, the Negro still was not free.
Fiction: Author Esi Edugyan
Title: "Half-Blood Blues"
Published by Picador Publishing
Born to Ghanaian parents and raised in Canada, Esi Edugyan knows what it is like to be trapped in two different cultural worlds. In "Half Blood Blues", she tells the story of a black musician arrested in 1939 in a Paris cafe who vanishes, never to be heard from again.
Lifetime Achievement: Author Arnold Rampersad
Titles: Rampersad's award winning biographies on W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe, and Ralph Ellison
Publishers: Harvard and Oxford Press
Nonfiction Author: David Livingston Smith
Title: "Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others
Publisher: St, Martin's Press
Use Your Voice To Make A Difference
- H.O.W. - The Judgement
Do you know me? I mean, really know me? Have you stood in my shoes? Walked a mile in my boots? First impressions are often wrong and hurtful. How can we stop the judgment?
- H.O.W. - Rescue a Stray
H.O.W. - Rescue a stray, contains more questions than answers. The human species often seems to be more caring and compassionate to animals than we are our own species. Have you ever thought about it or wondered why? I have a theory.
- H.O.W - Care At Home For The Care-Givers
H.O.W. can you be a care-giver for someone who is providing care at home for a loved one? It's not so hard and it doesn't have to cost a thing. But first, you have to know who they are.
What's the point, you ask?
My point is...that each of the authors started with a passion for writing and for humanity. They saw things that were wrong and realizing that they could not change the past, used their craft to influence the future. They spoke for those who did not have a voice. Yes, they published books, and for those here on HP who think you could never do that, your imagination and desire are all that holds you back. We are capable of more than we do; more than we give. We are more capable than we admit but if we do not try, we have already failed. Hub Pages has given us a platform to learn and grow until we are ready to write that book.
Look at your hubs. Aren't your best hubs the ones you really felt passionate about. Mine are. But, I write others just because I enjoy words and am trying to learn to use them in more entertaining or more influential ways. When I have found myself most satisfied though are when I have written about something that I really care about and am not concerned with money or marketing. When you leave a comment on one of my hubs and say that it touched you or inspired you, that is when I soar. You make it matter to me. You give power to my desire to make a difference.
Yes, we are activists. We don't need to stand out in the weather and hold signs. We have something more more powerful. We have the power of writing, references, and passion. Let's use is to our fullest potential. If you want to get involved in making a difference, join the new movement on Hubpages. It's called H.O.W. (Humanity One World). It's growing like a fire out of control and you can help make the world a better place. Do it now!
© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.