Mt. Olive: Striving to Look Like the Kingdom of God

Lately, it seems that while we, as Christians  (and as a society, in general) make advancements in many areas, we continue to fail in our treatment of and respect for one another. We continue to separate ourselves one from another, … Continue reading

We Are One!

Today is both the start of Black History Month and World Hijab Day. As an African American, I have obviously faced, endured, and overcome blatant prejudice and racism since my youth. At this point in my life, I have unfortunately come to accept that this discrimination will never change for me and those older than myself. I do pray, however, that things may one day be different for my son and for my granddaughter.

For this reason, I have a very difficult time standing by and watching others being discriminated against. Ghandi once chided that we should be the change we want to see in the world. Following his wisdom, I prepared a short video in support of a group that is now encountering widespread prejudice because of the veils that they wear to honor God and their faith. Today being World Hijab Day, I thought it was appropriate to share it (click here.)

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I, my granddaughter, and several friends and acquaintances donned hijabs in the video as a show of solidarity and to counter the attacks many have faced since 9/11. Today is a day for you to do the same.
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Please consider that most ethnicities have a traditional head covering that is unique to that culture. When I wear my African headwraps, not only do I feel as though I’m being hugged by my ancestors; I feel as though I am being embraced by God.

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Because the emotion is too heavy for me to describe, I invite you to research your own traditional head covering, don it at least once, remember how you feel wearing it, and then look with respect to those Muslimah who choose to do the same. Peace and Blessings!

Bigotry is Bigotry…Period

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On December 6th, I began searching for upcoming book festivals in hopes of escaping to a warmer climate for a few days. For those who follow my blog, you may recall how I fell head over heels in love with Savannah, GA while on my book tour this past summer. Imagine my glee when I saw their book festival will take place in just a couple if months.

I looked at the site, http://www.savannahbookfestival.org and was immediately shocked by what I saw. As one who celebrates multiculturalism and loves learning about the traditions and views of other ethnicities, I was actually hurt by the display of all white authors; 37 authors, not one of another race. I was so taken aback, I was compelled to contact the coordinator. The following are our communications:

—-Original Message—–
From: teamortalk@gmail.com [mailto:teamortalk@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 10:45
To: Info
Subject: SBF Website Contact
NAME: DR D L TEAMOR

COMMENTS: It would really be nice to see at least a bit of diversity amongst the authors. Perhaps you could take that into consideration at next year’s event. I was in Savannah a few months ago for a book signing event for my latest release and became very excited by the prospect of returning just to relax and see other authors when I saw an ad for this event. I am left despondent at this point, because the representation makes it seem that there is no interest in writers of other ethnicities. This is very unfortunate in 2013. This is precisely why the south has a continued reputation of blatant racism. Inconsideration is no different than exclusion.
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On Dec 9, 2013, at 8:55, Robin Gold wrote:

Dear Dr. Teamor:

We agree that there should be a more diverse representation of authors at the Festival.

I can assure you that we have invited NUMEROUS authors of a broad representation of ethnicities and have been turned down by them for various reasons.

We will continue to seek authors who would be a good fit for the Festival regardless of race or ethnicity. The 2014 Festival is an exception, but it’s not because we didn’t invite a number of authors of minority races.

Thank you for your concern, but I can assure you that we try very hard to have a balanced representation of authors and genres.

Sincerely,

Robin Gold
Executive Director
Savannah Book Festival
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Thank you for your response. However, being an African American author who spends the majority of her time amongst largely diverse groups of authors around the country, I find your dilemma very hard to believe. Your search for ethnic authors could be done by simply visiting Amazon author pages. There are literally thousands of African descended, Latino, Asian and Native authors who long to be included in this kind of event.

Mitch Albom, your keynote, is a white author from DETROIT. He is always included on lists with African American and Latino authors and could easily have suggested ethnic peers. I wonder if the authors you say you’ve contacted are as turned off as I am and that’s why they’ve declined.

I certainly will not press the issue and will not contact you again, but when I see these kinds of situations, I am deeply saddened. Your web page for this event could easily be an ad for a 1940’s or 50’s event. I’m sure that I don’t stand alone amongst my counterparts.

Dr D L Teamor
Sent from my iPhone
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When I read her response, I was immediately reminded of Romney’s, “Binders full of women” that were brought to him when he was governer.

More recently, I think of Saturday Night Live’s, Lorne Michaels stating that there are no African American women on the show but, “It’s not like it’s not a priority for us…It will happen, I’m sure it will happen.”

To me, all these hold as much water as a bucket with a hole in it. We live in, “the melting pot,” right? There are no shortages of men, women, children, races, nationalities, religions or sexual orientations. Anyone and everyone can be represented if there is a desire to do so. It’s time to STOP WITH THE EXCUSES. After all, an excuse is, was and will always be nothing but a dressed up lie.