Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WordPlay! WriteNet Week 6

February is celebrated as Black History Month. I am old enough to remember when Carter G. Woodson instituted Negro History Week to inspire youth to understand the accomplishments and achievements of members of our race that had been overlooked by traditional historians. Today, there is still controvrsy about this annual observation. Some individuals think BHM is a superfluous concept while others alternately joke or complain that we have the shortest month of the calendar year. I believe that each cultural group needs to make sure that their stories and heroes and values are not lost in the "melting pot" philosophy. As a writer, I am particularly drawn to authors such as Audre Lorde, Pat Parker, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, and James Baldwin for inspiration and motivation. However, I also am proud of the millions of African-Americans from Mae Jemison to George Washinton Carver to Fannie Lou Hamer to Benjamin Banneker whose efforts have earned them an entry into the annals of history.

This week in your writing efforts focus on the individuals in your life that have had a significant impact on your universe. Whether that be a relative that people in your family celebrated or a teacher whose energy propelled you forward in your own career, write about them so their stories have the chance to live on. I am simultaneously amused and impressed to recognize that my youth has become the historical era studied by my grandchildren in school. That knowledge drives me to write my memories down while I still can. I encourage you to write your stories, this month and every day.


External Exercises
(see previous posts for detailed instructions)

1. Observation Exercise
2. Reading Report
3. Writing Journal
4. Sensory Details Exercise

Weekly Exercises February 21, 2010

1. Start the page with "Everyone in my family used to talk about...." and keep going.
2. Think about a figure from history that you would consider a role model. Write about the qualities that person possessed that inspire you.
3. You have been hired to design a museum. What would be the primary focus of it and what would you include as artifacts for the core exhibits.
4. Which day of the calendar year has the most significance to you and why?

There is no wrong way to do it: just WRITE!

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