Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Losing my legacy. Alex Haley's son died this morning.

In my ear, I still hear my cousin calling me Baby Girl. Bill Haley was Alex Haley's son, and also my cousin. Another relative notified me of his passing. I heard that he was scheduled to release several books about his life with his father, the impact that Roots had on America, and share some lost pages of history. However, that will never be. One little-known fact about our family background is that my grandfather, Simon, was the impetus for so much interest in genealogy that inspired my uncle to explore who his mother's relatives were.

We are a community of people. The fiber of understanding and appreciation for diversity should bring us together, not pull us a part. I am a relative hidden in the cracks of a family tree that is dwindling with each generation. I aspired to write on a higher level that would elevate my lineage. However, not one solid opportunity has found me yet. While penning tales of urban culture, my heart longs to celebrate who I am--a descendant of a mulatto slave woman whose story could be anyone's descendant's saga.

My heart is heavy with sadness because the very family that was used as a template for identity is losing that very thing. How I have been treated as an author aspiring to climb the ladder of success is woeful. I don't complain publicly; my journey is akin to any artist's who wanted to share creativity with the world.

In a world of bloggers and social media, I find myself wondering if we become desensitized to passion and skill. Do all words seem the same to editors and decision makers? How do they decide whose talent is worth nurturing?

I have yet to figure out where I will land in this confusing microcosm, as the member of another generation. What I do know is that I do what I can to help fate along. If you dream of doing something, grab your thoughts tight, do your due diligence to make things happen, then simply do something.

In life, everyone won't embrace us. For some, our journey may take longer to walk. Even if you don't know where you will end up, celebrate your passion. Take a daily step to build the best dream that you can manage.

As I type on my phone, I consider how many of us forget to employ the resources that we have. What we don't shouldn't dominate our thinking. How can we be powerful today? How can we build a legacy for our children, our community, and ourselves?

Keep hope in your heart, fire in your belly, and God's grace in your thoughts. That's what keeps me striving to unlock the door of purpose as much as I can manage.