Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Let your pens not be stilled, oh writers, in these times to come

To my Writers/Journalists of 2016 in the United States of America:

Tough times are ahead.

There will be times ahead in which the Fourth and Fifth Estates of our nation will be under more direct attacks than ever.
By USCapitol (Statue of Freedom) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Agents, known and unknown, will seek to still your feet, stay your pens, and silence your voices in pursuit of the truth, the stories, and the ideas that embody the spirit of our nation.

Pundits will vilify you, from both sides.

Intellectuals will seek to mold and police your speech.

The everyday honorable common folk will cry out their displeasure when you touch on something sacred to their lives if it does not suit and call you agitator.

The Criminal and Violent will threaten you and your lives, homes, and seek to expose you to harm in the face of your investigations, seemingly without relent.

The Politically Corrupt will threaten you and your lives, homes, families, and seek to expose your deepest secrets, play on your deepest fears, and/or seek to seduce and employ your body and mind against your truths.

The People will both love, and hate, you. They will both stand by you, and turn against you.

The religious bigot, and zealot, will seek to make you an instrument of their Gods or their Demons. If you are of a nontraditional Faith, you shall reap the derision and attack of the Faithful of every corridor that stands against you and they shall ring forth for torches and pyres.  

And you have a decision to make. Perhaps one of the biggest of your lives.  Writing is a contact sport.  Words have spirits.  They are powerful.  They embody thoughts and thoughts are the beginning and endings of things, creations, or movements, and of wonders.

You have to be prepared to choose whether you will hold your pen and let it flow forth with the soul of your truth, let it be stilled in fear, or allow it to be moved by an unseen hand not your own.

I make my decision today. My hand will hold my pen, no other. And it will not be shadowed by corruption, daunted by fear, or stilled by greed.

And to those who would take up the writing of the African Diaspora's story in these times as well, I say to you, we are The Black Quills, and our feathers are gilt in freedom. Let your writing soar and bring the Thunder and the Sunshine.

 I cannot promise you that you will be safe.  I cannot promise you that it will not be hard.  I cannot promise you that you will look back and be rich or right or wrong.  I can only promise you that if you stay true to yourself and your voices, that those pens will hold you up and keep your neck unbowed and your knees unbent before tyranny of your minds and hearts.

No man can police another person's inner soul.  Where will this path lead you?  That is the greatest story you can write, and you are writing it now.

"As for Me and my House, our Quills Don't Still" - Kenya Coviak

1 comment:

  1. One also cannot promise that the writer will be heard or read or understood. Those who question the deepest issues often are not popular. And many simply write in silence and loneliness. But your final lines still stand. It is the work of the soul and it matters, even when the voice is not heard widely. My favorite author, who has most inspired me, is obscure and her books are out of print. But one soul to another, that writing matters.