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Dear Friend,

How are you? I hope you and your loved ones are safe, well, masked, and vaccinated. What's next for you and where do we go from here?
 

It’s Labor Day in the United States—the symbolic end of summer.  As we head back-to-school and back-to-work, here’s a thought to get the “new year” off to a good start.
 
When educators gathered for the annual National Association of Black School Educators (NABSE) convention in Chicago a while back, their keynoter, Dr. Adelaide Sanford, was expected to stir the group to action.  What wasn’t expected was that her call-to-action would bring them to tears.
 
As she reminded her audience, the scholars of ancient Africa were the priests.  “Excellence is part of a totality that includes... the temples, pyramids, sacred writings.  For people of African ancestry there can be no educational excellence that is separated from cultural excellence.”  To educate those who have been so miseducated means recognizing potential “in spite of the lack of observable achievement.”

Then, turning a bend, she ventured on.
 
“Now, in reality I don't know my name.  I don’t know the name that my ancestors would have given me.  I can never go home, for I don't know where home is.  And though I return each year to the warm, moist, fertile shores of West Africa, I can never go to the town or village that is home.  I look at you and I wonder, was it your mother who was separated from my grandmother on the shores of West Africa?  My grandmother went to Mississippi, maybe her sister went to Brazil, maybe her brother went to the Caribbean. Are you my cousin? 
 
“And if you ask me this evening to stand here robed in the garments of my immediate ancestors and charge me to hold in my hand some symbol of their spirituality, and if you said to me 'talk to me in the privacy of our language,' I would stand here naked, mute and empty-handed.
                                          
“But I am not beaten or broken by that.  Rather I seek to make all of us into the perfect formation of the flying geese.  Always going in the same direction, but willing to substitute the leader.  Looking for a leader who breaks the current of air so that it doesn’t beat heavily on the followers behind.  And when that leader becomes fatigued, that leader flies to the end, but the formation doesn’t change.  The next leader comes up.  It’s his turn to lead and my turn to follow.  And I would say to you that though the leader changes and the follower changes, the formation and the direction must never change.”
 
With that, Dr. Sanford guided her audience back on course.  “With you tonight my spirit revisits you, revisits your majesty, and your creativity.  It reclaims it with you as we go out to reclaim the genius of our children.”
 
And ourselves.
 

COMMENT?
EVENTS
Here at summer’s end, sincere thanks to “Farm Arts Collective” for the nourishment of soup and soul at Willow Wisp Organic Farm in Damascus, Pennsylvania.  Thanks, too, to all who came out on a sunny Sunday afternoon for my talk on “History and Healing™.”
BOOK A SPEAKING EVENT
BOOK CLUB EVENTS
Are you a member of a book club or organization?  With in-person events still being postponed due to the pandemic, I'm virtually taking my long-overdue book tour on the road.  
 
With the success of this summer's Sister Days Book Club "mental feasts" (inspired by stories from our history—our herstory), we never knew where each woman’s questions, answers, offerings would lead.  What we did know was that each conversation—grounded in our mutual respect, interest in and support for each other—would lift us as we climbed.  What an extraordinary experience!  So, why stop now?  

Click here to host a virtual Sister Days Book Club event for your organization.
HOST A BOOK CLUB EVENT
ON THE SHOW & PODCAST
Binge-listen in honor of Laborers and Labor Day.
 
Erin Hatton, author
COERCED: Work Under Threat of Punishment
Armed with painstaking research and painful truths, Erin Hatton takes a surprising look at our American way of work.  
Link to site podcast
 
Barbara Freese, author
INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH DENIAL: Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible
In eight powerful case studies ranging from the slave trade to fossil fuels, Barbara Freese asks the essential question—how far will industry leaders go to protect their bottom line?
Link to site podcast
 
Jeffrey Hollender and MaryAnne Howland
RETHINKING THE TERMS OF BUSINESS
For workers, owners, and the public, the American Sustainable Business Council’s (ASBC) new report is rethinking its terms. Getting down to business, a sustainable future means: reparations, universal basic income, and universal Pre-K. Really?!
Link to site podcast
 
David Anderson
WHO WAS AUSTIN STEWARD AND WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
At the intersection of history and current events; we remember America’s first workers—the men, women, and children enslaved whose free labor built an empire. The impact of slavery on worker’s rights seen through the lives of three self-emancipated men.
Link to site podcast

The Janus Adams Show airs and streams live Saturdays at 12:00 noon ET on WJFF Radio Catskill.  For more information about the shows and our guests, visit JanusAdams.com/show. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and Spotify,. 

For updates on this month's programming, follow me on social media.
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AND ONE MORE THING ...

THE MUSEUM OF BLACK JOY
A “borderless refuge for the observation, cultivation, celebration, and preservation of Black joy,” this digital installation has been created and curated by artist Andrea “Philly” Walls.  As she writes on her home page, quoting poet/author Lucille Clifton, “come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.”  Here’s a link.


Harambee!*
Janus
*Harambee!—a Ki-Swahili term that powered Kenya’s overthrow of British colonial rule—means “Let’s all pull together!”

Emmy Award-winning journalist, author, historian, keynote speaker, 
Dr. Janus Adams is publisher of BackPaxKids.com and host of public radio’s
“The Janus Adams Show” and podcast.
www.JanusAdams.com

www.BackPaxKids.com

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