Thursday, October 3, 2013
On Being Called A Griot
I feel so honored today and I want to share the emotion, and my gratitude, because I received a very complimentary email from someone who reads Thought Provoking Perspectives. This wonder lady called me “A Griot”.
At first I was not exactly sure what she meant but as I read the very special message – I blushed with pride. I will admit - sheepishly - that the very kind message gave me an enormous feeling of pride as I went about my day thinking that I was able to touch this woman so profoundly.
When I thought about the meaning of the word Griot in the African context I realized it was an amazing acknowledgement rooted in oral tradition of the African Diaspora. Let me explain, a Griot is the keeper of the information, facts, considered a repository of oral traditions, and those stories based in historical significance, which is very different than His-Story that in most cases are not true.
History tells us that this is a person who has the ability to extemporize on current events, chance incidents and the passing of knowledge. In the message she said, “Mr. Wills your wit can be devastating to what we have be taught about our history though your knowledge of history - formidable. Your storytelling and recounting of history is profound and taught me more than I can express."
I am honored, but I view the words I write based upon what I know and therefore, the value of these words is to share them with those who don’t know the past. I have always believed that if you don’t know where you came from – you will never get to where you’re going.
I simply believe that “education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. Of course, we know poverty speaks to economics and despair clearly speaks to the mental condition of our minds. It is commonly expressed that knowledge is power but I say understanding and knowing what to do with knowledge is power.
This message is really intended for a special lady who name is Luci for your very kind words. Let me add that she was the inspiration for this post with all due respect to all other reader. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…