The seventh annual Know Thyself E-book Honest takes place this yr amid ongoing makes an attempt by GOP lawmakers and a few white dad and mom to stop U.S. college students from studying about how African Individuals persevered in a racial caste system.
A number of Black authors, together with Dr. Nubia Kai, will carry to gentle that historical past in the course of the ebook honest, scheduled to happen on Saturday, Feb. 6 at Thurgood Marshall Heart for Service and Heritage in Northwest D.C.
On the ebook honest, Kai, an award-winning playwright, poet and novelist, will current and promote copies of her 2016 novel, “I Unfold My Wings and Fly.” This work, a decade within the making, describes in nice element the historical past of Maroon resistance in southern Louisiana.
Whereas a lot scholarship about marronage, by which enslaved Africans escaped captivity and preserved their Afro-indigenous tradition of their independently fashioned communities, focuses on the Caribbean and South America, Kai mentioned that she has got down to spotlight comparable actions that came about in the united statesthroughout the antebellum interval.
She described it as a part of her effort to encourage, and inspire, younger people who find themselves inundated with damaging photographs and messages about their self-worth.
“It’s so necessary when youngsters know that their ancestors fought, resisted and fashioned unbiased communities proper right here within the U.S.,” Kai informed The Informer. “That inclination [for resistance[ is already in them naturally. You’re trying to make them understand that when they see what our ancestors did, they know we can do it again. We see it in the natural expression of our arts and our collective consciousness. The youth are so intelligent.”
Kai counts among several dozen authors of various ages who will present and sell literary works during the Know Thyself Book Fair. This event, sponsored by the Woodson Banneker Jackson-Bey Div. 330 of the Universal Negro Improvement Association-African Communities League and Heritage Gallery, will provide a platform for Black self-published authors across various genres, including history, poetry, art, prose, and children’s literature.
Queen Laureen Butler, president of Woodson Banneker Jackson Bey Div. 330, called the annual book fair an opportunity to start Black History Month on the right foot. For her, it’s a matter of not only preserving the legacy of Marcus Mosiah Garvey and Amy Ashwood Garvey, but familiarizing community members with those living among them who’ve created significant literary works.
“We want to emphasize that when you see these Black authors who wrote these books, you can do the same thing,” said Butler, a retired teacher with nearly 40 years of classroom experience. She organized the event with her husband and fellow Div. 330 Education Committee Chair Charles Butler. “We [also] encourage any form of studying. We wish individuals to bear in mind. There are such a lot of adults who don’t know our historical past. We wish to perpetuate that and enhance the love and necessity of studying. It’s not performing white, it’s performing African.”
Mr. Butler echoed his spouse’s sentiments, telling The Informer that the ebook honest builds upon different Div. 330 academic tasks centered on connecting younger individuals to extremely esteemed group elders. At some college districts counter makes an attempt to show Black historical past, Butler mentioned it’s incumbent upon unbiased Black-led establishments to offer that house.
“Our youngsters can’t study in a hostile atmosphere,” mentioned Butler, who’s additionally a retired educator with 40 years of expertise. “It needs to be stuffed with caring and love and that’s what Black lecturers carry to the tutorial expertise… Younger individuals don’t take heed to African historical past when individuals omit and misrepresent issues. We have now an enormous job forward of us. It received’t be finished in a single day or in my lifetime, however I wish to get the ball rolling.”
In the case of African historical past and tradition, the Know Thyself E-book Honest gives ample alternative to delve into that which has been hidden from Black individuals.
For example, Danny Queen, a widely known poet, astrologist, and archivist, informed The Informer about his plans to share 10 of his books, the most recent of which is “Astrological Love Poems.”
That work, greater than 20 years within the making, compiles poetry that’s tailor-made to every Zodiac signal. It features a foreword from globally famend astro-numerologist Lloyd Strayhorn. Queen, who began writing the ebook to higher perceive an ex-girlfriend, mentioned that conveying astrology by poetry higher helps individuals respect the authenticity of what he calls an ancestral science.
Over the previous 40 years, Queen garnered a fame because the host of “Colour Me Poetry,” a program that aired on Bowie TV all through the Eighties, Nineties, and early 2000s. He additionally served as an archivist for the late Dr. Frances Cress Welsing; he has greater than 1,700 of her lectures saved on cassette tapes, CDs, and thumb drives.
One other ebook that Queen plans to function on the Know Thyself E-book Honest, titled “The E-book of Tributes,” consists of reflections on Welsing, Pan-African historian John Henrik Clarke and different late, nice Black pioneers of assorted profession fields.
Because it pertains to astrology and poetry, Queen, an avid old-school hip-hop aficionado, mentioned he relishes the chance to additional affirm data of self by the 2 mediums. For him, such a mixture permits the readers of his books to find out about themselves, which he mentioned aligns with the theme of the upcoming ebook honest.
“Folks locally noticed what I did on this space of research and it was uncommon for a poet,” Queen mentioned. “There’s a lot extra you possibly can find out about numerology and astrology. Numbers is essentially the most precise science there’s. No matter is going on in nature, on the time and place you’re born, turns into part of your nature as a person.”