Language is a powerful tool, from religion to love, slavery to freedom. We use words to identify, express, impose and create movements, overthrow governments, impeach dictators and impart knowledge. It is no surprise then that the news media, schools and religious institutions use words, images, symbols, music, art and stories, to maintain the practices of either keeping people subjugated or breaking the chains of mental, emotional and psychological imprisonment. It begins at birth, through children’s stories and fairytales, stereotyping through various communication outlets, music and other media forms such a video games and toys. The rhetoric in political space, society, in global intercultural, sociopolitical and international relationships, is imperative to the growth of individuals as well as nations, national identity and social justice.
This collective work of poetry is a journey through words. Words that paint a picture and create moving images of a girl’s transition into womanhood; an innocent trying to navigate the spaces of being Jamaican, an Immigrant, A Black Woman and Naturalized American. It analyzes how we view language in the arts and in everyday life occurrences, in showing the confusion, the wonder, the self-critique, the sadness, the sense of loss, and abandonment as an eclectic coming of age journal. It depicts a student who strives for scholarship through the American Educational System and finally embarking on the path of doctoral study, a journey that has opened the door of consciousness, awakening, endarkening, and bridging the gap of understanding and creative expression and narrative. It analyzes the power of language as a tool of communication, as a process of evolution and as plank to walk in the realization of who you are and where you belong.
Afrocentric Before Afrocentricity unfolds a chronological journey, that especially through the newer more recent pieces, applies the use of the paradigm Afrocenctricity, movements such as Pan-Africanism and theories such as Corpus Linguistics as strong assertions in the counter narrative of discrimination, in debunking linguistic imperialistic ideologies; and through poetic prose, offer a small way to limit the etymological assault on the erosion of Black consciousness.