Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘crisis

What’s going on in Harlem? (Mar. 6, 2010)

            “In Manhattan, there is the largest Black agglomeration in the world. Harlem of the 1920’s witnessed the convergence of all kinds of Black people: workers, peasants, students, businessmen, professionals, artists, poets, intellectuals, musicians, adventurers, preachers, criminals, exploiters, and pariahs.  Blacks from north and south USA, from the Caribbean islands, and from Africa flocked to Harlem. Each Black person arrived with his objectives, purposes, needs, and dreams; for all, the essential was this mutual meeting so that prejudices and proscriptions were thrown together within a sphere of contacts and interactions.

            This sympathy of race and union generated a fusion of profound feelings and common experiences. In Harlem of the 20’s Black life discovered its first chances of collective expressions and auto-determination.  Very recently, we had no idea of who we were, much less who were the “others”: We were real problems to ourselves.  Thus, we had to get to work and recognize our dignity and recapture confidence for a new dynamic phase of community Black life.  For every external pressure and challenge an appropriate internal response was demanded.  Blacks migrating from suburbs and small villages to Harlem crossed with a single leap several generations of experiences.

            What is happening in Harlem may not be unique in the world: It was an inevitable reaction.  It is significant and prophetic: a new psychology is transforming Black masses and getting them on the move; they are leading the Black leaders. This new spirit of confidence is repudiating social dependence; the Negros are healing their hypersensitivities and breaking away of their social disillusionment; they are collaborating toward the joint community by taking on their responsibilities.  It is now up to the White majority to change race domination attitudes and begins cultural exchange and the diffusion of brighter lights for integration.” (The new Negro: An interpretation, 1925)

            Alain Locke (1885-1954) is a Black philosopher and intellectual; he was one of the main activists who launched “Harlem Renaissance” movement.  Although Locke studied in Harvard, Oxford, Berlin, and College de France he could not teach but in Black universities when he returned to the USA.  Joining forces with WEB Du Bois and Charles S. Johnson (1893-1956) he established the association of defense for Blacks (NAACP) and issued magazines such as Crisis, Opportunity, and The Negro World.  This Harlem Renaissance influenced the founders of French “Negritude” intellectuals and authors in Paris of the 30’s; many US Black students and intellectuals flocked to Paris in the 50’s.

            Alain Locke assembled reproductions of Black arts, partitions, bibliographies, and discography; Locks’ anthology offered a formidable balance sheet of Blacks productions in art, music, literature and intellectual works of Black issues and problems around the world: Black thinking and feeling was being disseminated. It was a productive reaction of minorities to the segregationist pressures of the White majority.

            Adversity generated solidarity and initiatives to re-enforce self confidence and increased dignity to overcoming inferiority complexes of many generations of slavery and humiliation.  Locke’s activist and work produced the Black movements of the 50’s and 60’s demanding political civil rights.

Are you a middle aged person, give or take 20 years? (November 11, 2008)


Are you feeling the discomfort of middle age crisis?  For example, are you suffering from chronic stomach aches, shortness of breath, and apathy when waking up? Then it is time to abolish those nerve wracking functions; re-direct your energy on the physical and mental activities; time to figure out your own set of wisdoms; time for introspection, knowing your self and working on your potentials. A few hints though:


Follow the personal dream that does not consume nerves. Show your passion in pursuing that healthy dream.  Since controlling passions is the most demanding on nerves then just focus on your favorite dream: it is as good as any.


You know that you are on a survival path when you realize that no affections are shared by your closest friends. You might as well start taking initiatives toward them and expressing your affections.


Take the initiatives to experience liberty in re-shuffling your daily schedules, to experiment with nature and observe people. Befriend the environment and be amazed with you new pair of eyes and ears.


Short of a surgical lobotomy to forgetting your long past frustrations then I incite you on recalling and noting down the happy moments in your life.  Do not hesitate to repeat your happy stories.  There is power in writing; try expressing your feelings haphazardly then your mind will re-structure them whether you want it or not.  I know in my case that recalling the happy moments is the hardest task of all.  If you used to have a positive outlook on life and enjoyed a versatile memory then you are a very lucky person.


It is time for a long break of silence, meditation and introspection; a pen and papers might become your intimate companions to converse.


Break out of the surrounding rhythms of life; discover your own rhythm and enjoy your trip at your pace.


If you have not been pressured to follow a certain path or profession then your new task is to discover your forgotten path.


If you believe that you have committed enough errors so far then expect more of them in your new life style since your intention is to move forward; isn’t it your intention?


Your good deeds are not to be kept secret anymore; you need to retrain your insecure conscious and be proud of your changes and allow the circuit of feedback to function.


Take conscious of your automatic reflexes such as the batting of your eyelashes, your respiration, and your heartbeat.  This technique relaxes the nerves gone wild and erratic.


Men and women wants you to listen; hold on your remedies until specifically requested and keep holding on them even then.


If you think that your purpose on earth is to offer a better tool then you are in the wrong planet.  I think your purpose is to become a better person; let people decide on your achievements.


Note:  I lavishly extracted ideas from “Maktub” by Paulo Coelho; what I wrote are my feelings and the processes that I am going through.  Thus, this not a book review but I encourage you to read “Maktub”.




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