Writing Is A Valid Contribution To The Revolution

Listen to this Story or Read it

photo by Femi Matti
“The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you do not see.” -James Baldwin

Writing will not feed the hungry. Writing will not purify the air. Writing will not release political prisoners from their cages. Writing will not halt war. Writing is not a way out. Writing will not house the homeless. Will not raise our dead. Will not end oppression. Will not stop the system. But writing is a valid contribution to the revolution.

Writing is necessary action. Writing must be respected, supported, appreciated. Writing manufactures understanding. There is a deficit in understanding. Understanding dampens the hell that is hate. Hate decays, writing reanimates. Writing fosters discussions. It opens locked doors, allows us to ponder perceptions outside of our own. Writing frames better possibilities, incites a hunger for them, eradicates apathy.

Writing is brave. Writers put their vulnerable parts into permanency. Writing takes history into its own hands. Writing fuels futures.

Writing mirrors the misrepresented. In a world that supports single narratives, writing wrecks the notions in place. Writing challenges convention, releases assumed realities. It births reflection, makes us contemplate what we don’t question otherwise. Writing is not for its own sake. It’s for ours. Writers wrestle with the lion of language for us, fight to make us understand what we struggle to see, like describing an undiscovered color.

Writing poses a question the reader must confront: Now that you know, what will you do with this information? What is your offering?

Too often the reader repeats the question to the writer in the form of a command: You have shown me the problem, now show me the solution. But the writer can not save us — only show us we need saving. The writer is not a savior, but a blessing. The solution must come from community rising, writing is communion —shared sustenance.

The writer is her own offering, commits to depicting the truth, ever changing. In a world of willful ignorance and cognitive dissonance, this is lofty. The writer is hated and loved — often destroyed by the volatile nature of it all. Writing is born of a fire that often burns its creator to the ground. Writing is a valid contribution to the revolution. We must treat it as such.


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