Anything we love can be saved, Alice WalkerIn the Sixties, many of us where plagued by the notion that, given the magnitude of the task before us… our individual acts were puny…

I sometimes felt ashamed that my contributions… were not more radical…

It has become common feeling, I believe, as we have watched our heroes falling over the years, that our own small stone of activism, which might not seem to measure up to the rugged boulders of heroism we have so admired, is a paltry offering toward the building of an edifice of hope. Many who believe this choose to withhold their offerings out of shame. This is the tragedy of our world. For we can do nothing substantial toward changing our course on the planet, a destructive one, without rousing ourselves, individual by individual, and bringing our small, imperfect stones to the pile…

Sometimes our stones are, to us, misshapen, odd. Their color seems off. Their singing… comical and strange. Presenting them, we perceive our own imperfect nakedness. But also, paradoxically, the wholeness, the rightness, of it. In the collective vulnerability of presence, we learn not to be afraid.

In this book I am writing about the bright moments one can experience at the pile. Of how even the smallest stone glistens with tears, yes, but also from the light of being seen, and loved for simply being there.

This collection of essays, letters, articles and speeches, subtitled “A writer’s activism” ranges across topics as diverse as motherhood, Winnie Mandela, daugtherhood, Fidel Castro, dreadlocks, Malcolm X, political activism, Audre Lourde, writing, FGM, and cats. It reads like the best kind of blog, a collection of various thoughts and memories and ideas, some deeply personal and some openly political – and all engaging.

Somebody, send Alice Walker a cookie.

Oh, and hey, does this sound familiar to any women bloggers out there? It refers to an incident that occurred during a sit-in protest in Georgia, back in the day:

A mob of white supremacists who threw rocks and bottles and foul language at me, and at the women and men and small children who had joined our protest… They actually felt, at the time, that by expressing a need to be black and free, in a society constructed by white supremacists to serve their own racist ends, I was insulting everything they stood for: their ancestors, their religion, their “Southern Way of Life”, the sanctity of the white skin itself.

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