For three years now, I have been dreaming of a nation where people of color are celebrated for being exactly who they are-- a nation where natural and divine order exists and ancestral traditions are restored. For two of those years, this vision felt lightyears away, but it wasn't until I spent time with my own family in North Carolina, that I began to truly realize how close I was.
While working in the Carolinas this past summer, I learned more about my family's history than in the 7 years I lived there. Stories of great-great-great grandparents, beloved great aunts and uncles and family ties spanning from the Deep South to the North East.
I began to wonder what everyday life was like for my elders and ancestors. I imagined how I could turn each member's gift into a communal occupation and create functional artifacts that would have been a part of their discipline.
Indeed, this past summer was a special one. I learned that some of what I yearn to see and experience is already in existing in my world: soul-filling conversations with loved ones and new acquaintances (communion), Sunday brunches filled with laughter in the West End (fellowship), and building sessions with community organizers (elevation).