Guyanese activist and historian Walter Rodney was one of the greatest Caribbean intellectuals of the twentieth century. Though he was assassinated for working to conscientize the Black working classes throughout the African diaspora, his legacy continues to live.
CULTURE is a way people understand and respond to the statements and actions put out by a dominant power seeking to engender allegiance to itself. The term culture is often associated with the arts, and according to most definitions I’ve read, is assumed to refer to a shared system of values. Culture, however, is a concept which goes way beyond artistic expression.
For many of us, the term ‘Sub-Saharan Africa’ is an uncomplicated term denoting, simply, those countries south of the Sahara Desert. It’s usually uncritically accepted as a literal geographical space. However, as Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe observes, the term is ideologically loaded to perpetuate an unstable geopolitical hierarchy which treats Afrika as an exploitable resource. The image above, for example, is one of a typical “sub-saharan” African city.
We must align our dream and vision for our craft with the body of knowledge relevant to the creative-business environment of the new paradigm of publishing.
As digital storytellers, we need to see the big picture of the creative/disruptive business environment in which we operate, and the process we must follow to be successful in this environment. We must align our dream and vision for our craft with the body of knowledge relevant to the creative-business environment of the new paradigm of publishing. We need to know far more than how to tell a compelling story. Actually, being able to tell a compelling story or write a great narrative is basic. It’s a given. We need to evolve our ability to discern and critique the ideological apparatus of the marketplace so we’re not intimidated or swallowed up by it. We need to know what publishers know – how to sell books. We need to be a little tech savvy: We need to know about and completely (but not uncritically) embrace the technology that powers the internet – that channel through which we distribute our ideas, messages and intellectual products, and receive the audience engagement and purchases by which we can achieve and measure our success. (more…)
In 1963, Barbadian author, Austin “Tom” Clarke interviewed Malcolm X, who articulated the essence of the oppression of the Black race. Malcolm correctly identified this oppression as economic warfare, and said the solution lies in the creation of separate Black states in America. This was not as novel an idea as it may sound, because Black Americans had already attempted the creation of all-Black towns in America. The wealthiest of such towns was dubbed Black Wall Street. Black thinkers may find the ideas expressed in this interview recorded over fifty years ago still relevant to us today.
Disruption has less to do with a new product or novel technology and more to do with a process embedded within the capitalist construct itself. As long as we continue to live in a capitalist economy, new technologies will be rolled out that will continue to alter the way we write and publish.
Writing a book is an important aspect of self-actualization, self-validation and professional development. A book bearing an author’s name is tangible evidence of her credentials, and proves her to be a woman of letters, educated, intelligent and civilized. But an author is no longer only someone who writes books. The disruptive entrepreneurship which characterizes our twenty-first century digital economies has radically altered the way people create and receive information, as well as the speed with which they process it. Twenty-first century technologies have permanently altered the way people read and write. And learn. And think. Technology has altered the author’s role in the economic system. (more…)