I was once asked by a reader of my blog about what my stance is in regards to making negative stereotypes positive; this was my answer: To be perfectly honest with you, I have a hard time thinking of a stereotype that can be made positive. There might be some that are not as harmful as others, but still are quite negative because in their nature, stereotypes are not true depictions of people but imagined ones. And personally, I don’t know of any stereotype that truly characterizes all people of that stereotyped group, whether positive or negative, because in the end, people are individuals entitled to their own opinions, beliefs and practices. For instance, some people think I’m a musician or singer because of my hair. Now, that’s not such a bad thought, and I do enjoy playing the guitar and singing… but if someone concludes that I am something that I am not just by looking at my hair, that also implies that they can’t or are not interested in seeing me as who …
Below is a video of an animated essay, the essay written and narrated by Maria Popova with animator Drew Christie. I’m posting it here on my blog because I believe it is a powerful explanation and demonstration of how people may cultivate true wisdom in the age of information through storytelling. I am also in full agreement that great storytellers matter more than ever in helping us make sense of this world. However, I hope that those who visit my blog and see this video are also encouraged to use information technology and/or storytelling to counteract grossly imbalanced public discourse. You may find the essay text in full below the video. We live in a world awash with information, but we seem to face a growing scarcity of wisdom. And what’s worse, we confuse the two. We believe that having access to more information produces more knowledge, which results in more wisdom. But, if anything, the opposite is true — more and more information without the proper context and interpretation only muddles our understanding of …
Below is a clip from an interview of Louis Farrakhan conducted in 1996 by Mike Wallace from ’60 minutes’ (an American television newsmagazine program). Mike Wallace accuses Nigeria of being the most corrupt nation in the world… and Louis Farrakhan’s epic response still holds true to this very day. In fact, his message resonates true to just about all western countries.
So what can we do in the face of all of this madness and chaos? What is the solution?… We can love. Not the love you hear in your favorite song on the radio. I mean real love, true love, boundless love. You can love, love each other from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed. Performing act of kindness because that is contagious… …So yes, the world is coming to an end, and the path towards a new beginning starts within you.
If Black people said the stuff White people say
Those of us who have been privileged to receive education, skills, experiences and even power, must be role models for the next generation of leadership. Wangari Maathai (1940-2011) was the founder of the Green Belt Movement and the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
He had not been back in Nigeria in years and perhaps he needed the consolation of those online groups, where small observations flared and blazed into attacks, personal insults flung back and forth. Ifemelu imagined the writers, Nigerians in bleak houses in America, their lives deadened by work, nursing their careful savings throughout the years so that they could visit home in December for a week, when they would arrive bearing suitcases of shoes and clothes and cheap watches, and see, in the eyes of their relatives, brightly burnished images of themselves. Afterwards they would return to America to fight on the Internet over their mythologies of home, because home was now a blurred place between here and there, and at least online they could ignore the awareness of how inconsequential they had become. (Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, pg. 117)