We all know how daunting an empty page can be—that blank slate awaiting a word, just one little word, please, pretty please. Yet in these uneasy times the gift of a fresh, new page is a wondrous thing indeed.
Happy clean slate.
Just as I was putting the finishing touches on this month’s newsletter, I received this gift from a friend. I thought you’d appreciate it too:
Over these last weeks, amidst all the noise and tension, I’d been needing a way to cleanse the air. An idea! Why don’t we just adopt the Chinese calendar where this thing we call the third millennium has long ago come and gone—forever debunked and resolved? Then, we could just get on with our lives, unencumbered.
Happy new day: new ways of seeing and being. Happy change of sight—and insight.
January 1: seventh and last day of Kwanzaa—day of Imani (faith)—a day set aside to remind us to “believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle” against injustice and for human rights. “Remind us”: I like that. Remind. Re-mind. Re: mind—a day for the mind. So it is we have, indeed, come this far by faith.
Happy Kwanzaa! Happy gift of faith in our selves, our potential, and our future.
January 1, 1808: With the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Absalom Jones (ex-enslaved person, cofounder of the African Methodist Episcopal, AME, Church) declared that this day “be set apart in every year, as a day of publick thanksgiving for that mercy. Let the history of the sufferings of our brethren, and of their deliverance, descend by this means to our children to the remotest generations...”
Happy Thanksgiving Day!
January 1, 1863: The persistent lobbying of Frederick Douglass (ex-enslaved person, abolitionist, Underground Railroad conductor, publisher, women’s rights champion) caused President Abraham Lincoln to state on paper what was true by divine right; making The Emancipation Proclamation the law of the land.
Happy Freedom Day!
January 1, 1956: With the African continent (with the exception of Ethiopia) colonized by Europe, Sudan became the first African nation to throw off the shackles of colonial rule and retake its independence; paving the way for Pan-African liberation.
Happy Independence Day!
January 1, 2020: Day of celebration and renewal, birth and rebirth, endings and beginnings. Happy clean slate. Happy perennial second chances.
January 4: IN TRIBUTE: Max Roach. Remembering the life and legacy of my late husband, drummer/composer Max Roach. Honoring his birthday (January 8) and Dr. King’s (January 15), the show features “The Dream” (Max’ duet with Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech) and his masterwork, the “Freedom NOW Suite.” Guests: musician Brother Ah and director George Ferencz.
January 11: My Favorite Things. Celebrating my birthday, the 175th broadcast of The Janus Adams Show, and looking forward to what’s ahead for Season 4.
January 18: Thank You, Dr. King. The life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King: how his life changed us as individuals; how his death changed the world. Guests: W. Mark Colvson, Ted Landsmark, and Irma McClaurin.
January 25: Standing Rock, Standing Strong. Photo-journalist Josué Rivas on his FotoEvidence Book Award-winning work chronicling the events of 2016 at Standing Rock when—in one explosion of power vs. the rights of marginalized people—the modern day Native American experience was brought into sharp focus.
The Janus Adams Show airs and streams live on public radio station WJFF Saturdays at 4:00 PM ET.
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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.