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Writers Can Be Activists Too

Updated on February 10, 2013

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

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.

Read more of my hubs here.


Submit a Comment

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Linda, ROAR!!!!! lol I hope I live long enough to make a contribution that shakes the planet! Thanks for reading.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

    We have a voice. Let it be heard! Also, we are women, hear us roar. Same could apply to the male writers. Well done Linda. I appreciate your voice.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi watergeek! You are spot on. I've carried enough signs and organized enough demonstrations that went no where. Writing and speaking face-to-face is the way to go now. Those who are waiting or expecting government to do it are misguided and ill-informed. We have work to do. Thanks for the visit!

  • watergeek profile image

    watergeek 5 years ago from Pasadena CA

    I totally agree, Linda. I chair a Green Council at the moment, with a political activist arm that, for awhile, was very upset with me for promoting action to create a new society. They said we didn't have enough people and everyone should be out there carrying signs. Well, I've done that. And now I write my views so that more people can take part in creating the new way of life. We have to have one, and the government isn't going to do it for us.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Bill. I'm not getting notifications of yours either. Thanks for the wonderful expression though. It means a lot and yes, we do seem to be on the same track right now. I spent the day cleaning up ALL of my hubs. Whew! Glad that's done. Now I can get back to the business of writing again. Thanks for being here and sharing the journey with me. Have a wonderful evening my friend.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    What's up with the notifications....I need to check my settings because I never saw this one or the other that you posted. I love this hub...right along the lines of what I published, but that's no surprise since you and I seem to follow the same path.....good job, Linda! Wonderful thoughts expressed in this one.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you for reading and commenting Sis. It means a lot to me that you would visit and yes, I love the diversity too.

  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

    Excellent thoughts and writing -- yes, we all have a responsibility to share work that is meaningful -- and amazingly, different strokes for different folks stands the test of time here as so many interests and opinions abound among our readers. Great article -- Best/Sis

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi mckbirdbks! Thank you so much for reading and sharing too. I do so love books. I am new to writing, at least in practice. Until finding hubpages, I had only written very minimally. I still have so much to learn but I have found this community to be so encouraging and supportive that I don't think anything is impossible. The digital world is wonderful but I'll admit there is nothing like the feel of sitting with a book. It is much more personal, isn't it? Thanks again!

  • mckbirdbks profile image

    mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

    Hello, I enjoyed this. I just shared it on Facebook. You love books and writing that is apparent.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Faith, I am always happy to hear your thoughts on something I've written and this one is no exception. I "felt" this one deeply. The more I wrote, the more meaningful it became to me. Thank you so much!

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jackie, thank you so much for your lovely comment.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA


    How very inspirational indeed. You are great to encourage all of us here on HP, especially. I am thankful to know you are here using your voice through your writings to inspire change. This hub is outstanding. Voted up, awesome, interesting and useful. God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

    This is so true and when I came to hub pages I had no idea I would start writing! I was here to scream about a cause and now causes just creep into my writing! Great hub!

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you shiningirisheyes. There are amazing writers here who are using their voice and I am honored to be sharing the digital world with them. I appreciate your comment, very much.

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

    Irc - truly inspirational message for all of us Hubbers everywhere. The power of the word is awesome.

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks Curiad! I credit you and Bill Holland for my inspiration today.

  • Curiad profile image

    Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

    This is awesome and very inspirational Linda!