The new decade, 2020 was entered with a list of new resolutions and commitments by many but for some, it gave a different perspective to their purpose. For us at YAC, the beginning of 2020 resulted in moments of gratitude and compelled us to hit the ground running with more vigor. There were many influential figures who passed away within the last decade, particularly the death of writer Toni Morrison greatly impacted our reality. The news of Toni Morrison’s death presented a truth that [we], our generation is being passed the torch of great women and men who are slowly concluding this life’s journey and imploring us to carry the mantle towards civil liberties for all humanity. Those still present with us – Nikki Giovanni, Gloria Arellanes, Merle Woo, Angela Davis, and Ada E. Deer – whose work greatly impacts and will continue to transcend years of inequities for all people, their actions require of us to do something greater than what we are already doing.
Toni Morrison’s death on Tuesday, August 7, 2019, was filled with emotion because the world lost a great writer and woman of insurmountable words who confronted our individualistic existence in relationship with the Other. She stated, “[d]efinitions belong to the definers, not the defined” and if we were to take a moment to allow those words to sink into our hearts and spirit, they would require that we change perspective of our view of ourselves and how the world views us. Toni Morrison eloquently empowered a generation of Black women to speak their truth into existence. She invited them to rewrite narratives which had been dominated by a patriarchal voice and showed Black women the importance of telling their stories. She set a tone for the world to recognize words and actions beyond a restrictive binary language. Morrison exemplified the representation of a world of freedom and love. Fearless and purposeful.
Through this blog we invite artist, educators, activist, policy makers, and whoever believe they have something to say and respectfully contribute to the discussion to become a part of YACs community. We do not have all the answers and alone do not claim to know what is best for your respective community but we are open to discussion on how we contribute to making a solution.