Many of you know that I absolutely adore and cherish the literary works of Alice Walker. Often times declaring that the literary works of Walker and Maya Angelou, essentially saved my life and gave me a voice. As a writer, she is to me ,what one of the most profound Black women writer’s, in history; author of ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ Zora Neale Hurston, was for her. An aunt and hero through literature and God. As the summer comes to an end for me, due to the fact that I will be heading back to school for my senior year of college in two weeks; this whole idea of ‘PURPOSE’ keeps haunting me, in a beautiful and methaporical sense.
The entire summer for me has been nothing short of one of the most important life lessons. It was filled with growth, in the sense that, I’ve outgrown my hometown of Flint, Michigan and everything that I “thought” it once represented. I was down and or in a state of depression due to the fact that my internship that I initially had with Flint’s 93.7 (our local urban radio station) didn’t fall through as planned. It made me feel defeated, after countless attempts in reaching out. After all, it was one of the closest things to my “purpose” or what I want to do within media in the near future, that was here in Flint. It had me questioning myself and essentially what my purpose was in life. My self- worth, my reasoning for being here, but then I thought of the many successful people in the media industry whom were once turned down or around, or not taken seriously. It was meant to happen.
I’ve outgrown people, and this way of life that seems to be presenting itself here at home. I suppose this summer has been a breakthrough, and I am extremely grateful for each painful moment, for I know that what I’m destined for is almost within reach.
I’ve almost read all of Alice Walker’s books, and this summer I finally got around to reading ‘In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens’, of her first collections of nonfiction, and collection of essays. There are many quotes and memorable things that I took away from reading this book. In one section of the book ‘Looking for Zora’, Alice Walker talks about her journey in going to Hurstons’ home town and finding where she was buried. It tells the story of how Walker found Hurston and purchased ” a headstone for an aunt”. Before then, Hurston did not have one. On the headstone reads..
Zora Neale Hurston,
“A GENUIS OF THE SOUTH”
In reading that, it prompted me to go and visit my great grandmother’s gravesite to sit, write, reflect and wonder. I’ve felt a connection with my great grandmother, forever although I’ve never met her physically. She passed three years before I was born, and her birthday is four days after mine, which is on June, 20th, her’s being June, 24th. I visited my great grandmothers gravesite before, but this was the most liberating experience yet.
The Soul of purpose:
I have not labeled myself yet. I would like to call myself revolutionary, for I am always changing, and growing, it is hoped for the good of more Black people. I do call myself Black when it seems necessary to call myself anything, especially since I believe one’s work rather than one’s appearance adequately labels one. I used to call myself a poet, but I’ve come to have doubt about that. The truest and most enduring impulse I have is simply to write. It seems necessary for me to forget all the titles all the labels; and all the hours of talk and to concentrate on the mountain of work I find before me” – Alice Walker (Duties of the Black Revolutionary Artist) ‘In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens
My purpose in life is to be the voice for the voiceless. To uplift and inspire through my art, my words, my writing. To heal through my content, future novels, scripts, films, etc. there is reasoning for my dreams being as huge as they are. It’s only the beginning.
“The artist then is the voice of the people, but she is also The People” -Alice Walker