Lessons of Silence and Reclaiming My Voice


We have a special post this week that highlights the need to find our voices.  This is a great theme considering the mission of The Chronicles of Travelling Womanists is to provide an opportunity to showcase the voices of Black Women throughout the disapora as the travel through the world.  We thank you Jameelah Muhammad for honoring us with your first blog post in what I am sure will be a long history of blogging.  Thank you for sharing and claiming your VOICE.  Enjoy!!  ReFlectionary

After several years of almost completely nothing, I am sitting down and writing my first soon to be published blog post. For all of those expert bloggers, tweeters, and facebook fans out there, this may seem like a very simple task that can be done literally while sleeping, but for me this is incredibly symbolic and meaningful. I think my silence, has been fueling and preparing for something that at the time I could possibly not articulate clearly to the world. This blog post in no way can completely convey the various shades of my personality nor the complete dimensions of my work, but what I realize is that it can be a bridge, a useful tool, and can help me evolve just as media and other communication have, into something incredibly powerful.

One issue has compelled me to act and speak out after such a long time of silence. What has recently been causing me much concern is the food crisis we have found ourselves in and what this means for the long term health of the planet, as well as our bodies and future generations. I’ve been doing some reading about the topic thanks to a recommendation for “Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do It Ourselves Guide” from some friends. What I found most refreshing about the book was its ability to provide practical solutions, great images and diagrams to cater to those who are best at visual learning, and as sense of honest voice and rhetoric that you don’t always find in such guides. But, what I found myself thinking while reading was that many of the projects were somewhat easy to execute, but if I were someone who didn’t have any idea what it means to be green or what eating sustainably grown food means, I might be terrified about the thought of growing my own food and livestock. How do we make these concepts more digestible when everything in our current media and consumer lifestyles keeps telling us the complete opposite? I don’t have all the answers but I think we have to find creative ways to use the knowledge our ancestors gave us with the new technologies and infinite possibilities of our present and future age. We have to have our own media messaging about our vision for a different food system because if we don’t, someone else will definitely try to tell us and sell us what that vision looks like. I knew that the time for being silent would soon be over.

In October of last year I had the opportunity to be a facilitator for the Food, Faith, and Health Disparities Summit that was sponsored by NY Faith and Justice a faith-based coalition and other community based organizations. Shortly after this event the City Council Speaker released a report called Food Works that details a plan for how to create a sustainable “food system” in NYC and I had the opportunity to hear the Speaker talk about her plans to make this a priority for City Council. I think both of these experiences provided me with a lot of insight about  how different individuals, groups, and institutions view food justice issues and I came to the realization there were still a lot varying perspectives and when it came to creating action plans and strategies around building sustainable communities. The diversity of opinions and methods are immense. One could easily get overwhelmed by this, some might even argue that it is this exact fractional thinking that has created the way things are right now, but I would like to believe that it simply means that something dynamic is happening.

It means that people are simultaneously advocating for the future that they want to see while actually beginning the first steps of creating what that future looks like. One thing I know, the debate about food, like my decision to immerse myself in the world of writing once again, is indeed rapidly evolving and to suggest that there is only one solution would be incredibly blind-sighted to some of the integrative possibilities when it comes to many of the other environmental issues that exist.

So, I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to write this blog post, to unveil what I’ve been thinking, something inside of me told me that I had to do this, I had to overcome whatever was holding me back before and just make it happen.What is happening right now, related to our economy, related to the environment, related to our communities,  related to our food is much more important than any one’s own personal inability to evolve. And who knows, today I am sharing my thoughts, meditations, this blog…maybe tomorrow I will be sharing some locally grown food.

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~ by travelling womanists on February 16, 2011.

2 Responses to “Lessons of Silence and Reclaiming My Voice”

  1. This was very informative and well written:)

  2. […] team pick up this great book, toolbox for sustainable living. The ladies over at Travelling Womanists are all chatting about this book and its “practical solutions, great images and diagrams to […]

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