Category Archives: Visioning/Future Plans

Muhammad Ali: The Poet Boxer & Humanitarian

alithinkadisa

“I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.” Muhammad Ali

I have never liked boxing, and have always believed and still do, that it should be outlawed. Having men or women beat on each other, while others watch and bet money seems barbaric, which is where the sport has its origin. The raw violence of boxing makes me shudder.

Nonetheless, when Muhammad Ali busted on the scene, his handsome face, his braggadocious manner, his poetic rhymes, his whole manner said he was a cut above the rest and I, like so many others, succumbed to his charisma and strong belief in himself. He was not just a boxer and a Muslim, he was a metaphysician. He understood keenly the law of attraction, how thinking and believing something are keys to making things happen.

Mostly what I admired about Ali was his sense of integrity, his willingness to put his life on the line, stymie his boxing career for his greater belief. When on April 28, 1967, in Huston, Ali decided to be a conscientious objector, and refused to be drafted into the U.S. army, his bold stance made many African Americans and other non-blacks proud. Ali dared to voice what many had been feeling and thinking, but were afraid to act upon. He spoke a truth America did not want to hear, not from a black man, not then, and not even now.

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000

miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown

people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville

are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”

Many remember Muhammad Ali as a great fighter, which he was, but I think Ali would like to be remembered as a great humanitarian, a man of principles. Ali kept faith with his heart even when it meant he was stripped of his heavy-weight title, and was banned from boxing for three years.

Muhammad Ali scored a gold medal at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. 

Muhammad Ali is the only fighter to be heavyweight champion three times.

Muhammad Ali danced like a buttlerfly in the ring and had the spirit and style of many lions.

May he continue to soar and soar and find rest among the ancestors.alifloatadisa

 

 

 

 

 

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B is for Benye, a VI Book from New Writer

PembertonPhoto_72dpiCharlene Pemberton, is a retired teacher who taught for 30 years in St Croix, at the middle school and high school level. Although she hails from St Thomas, her place of birth, St Croix is now her home, where she has just launched, her first book, but most certainly not her last.

Teacher Pemberton worked for seven years researching and editing this ABC text that is not a primer. “After writing it, I left it on my desk for years until my daughter pushed and propelled me to publish it, October, 2015.”   Similar to many established and emerging writer, Pemberton’s process begins with brainstorming. She adds, “Then I write continuously without correcting errors. Usually, I put my writing away for a day or two and begin with a fresh eye. Here is when I complete my revising and editing.   Also, writing and reading groups offered ideas and encouragement throughout the process.”

The kernel for this book began many years ago as Charlene narrates its impetus. “One day I brought benye treats for my high school English classes.  To my surprise, this local name was unfamiliar to them.  However, after tasting the treats, the class responded saying, “We’ve had this before. But we just didn’t know the name.” Pemberton asserts that it was this event that “planted the seed for my cultural book that informs, and at the same time it highlights culture.  I dedicated my book to my grandson because I want him to know about his culture and to pass it on to future generations.”

Donning the roles of teacher, mother and grandmother contributed enormously to the writing of the book, Charlene Pemberton notes.  Even though her targeted audiences are middle school students and their parents and teachers, the book is also for visitors to the US Virgin Islands.  “These groups, I believe, would appreciate the essence of our culture and history.” Reflecting more, Charlene adds, “I would like my book to reach different cultures.  Virgin Islanders have a unique heritage and through my books I hope to share my culture with the world.”
Inspired by her community, Pemberton pays homage to the late Crucian poet, Marvin Williams, whom she knew.  “One of his [Williams] first published poems is my favorite.  I believe it was about Milo and the Kings, a musical icon on the island of St Thomas. I loved this particular poem because it depicted Virgin Islands musical pride.”

Be is for Benye is the first of many to come. Charlene Pemberton is currently researching Virgin Islanders “who were members of the Tuskegee Airmen.  This type of information is usually not found in history books.” Like so much of the Virgin Islands rich history that has been omitted, Charlene Pemberton believes firmly that the history and culture “must be written about and celebrated by its own so our children and future generation will know the foundation of their culture.

Support local writers such as Charlene Pemberton by buying her book, and insist that local schools purchase copies. In additiona, by purchasing and sending copies for family and friends who live abroad, as well as the children who are here, you help to support the continuity of the culture.

Happy that her book is finally out, Charlene Pemberton says, “I would like to give a warm Virgin Islands shout out to all my former students!”

Below is an excerpt from B is for Benye.

B is for Benye: A Virgin Islands Historical and Cultural A-Z Book begins with a Virgin Islands family, the Penns, living In Orlando Florida. The grandparents, Clarice and Vincent, who live on the island of St. Croix, want to pass down and share their Virgin Islands heritage with their grandchildren, Madelyn and Joah who have visited St. Croix only one time. So, both grandparents decided to send the children a very special present.

Can you guess what present the Penns sent their grandchildren?

Well, come along and find out.

Cover

Available at stores in St Croix and St Thomas

The Island of Your Mind

FullSizeRenderSome of us live on islands and for us these islands are the world, as big as the African continent, the 2nd largest, but depicted inaccurately on most maps to look smaller.

Some people dream of owning an island, while others have purchased islands for their own private resorts or play ground.

Each of us possess an island, also known as your mind, and as such, you  get to decide what you allow in and out.

As you begin a new year, honor and protect your mind by being mindful of what you eat, who you associate with,  what information you allow to enter, and most importantly the thoughts you allow to linger and upon which you ponder.

No need to enter a race if you decide in advance that you cannot win.  Similarly, whatever thoughts and ideas you feed to your mind will grow. Plants flowers and fruits on your island, not weeds and despair.

My island is 360 degree of positive inspiration and creativity.

The Options of a Tree

DSC02292If a tree were given the choice to be whatever it could be

would it choose treedom or would it choose to be a wealth man who travels the world first class and regails everyone with his tales

Maybe the tree would choose to be a bird

that makes its way south during the winter

flapping its wings against the cold wind

its eyes seeking a resting place

upon which to land

DSC02288Perhaps the tree would decide

on something more practical and less visible

maybe it would opt to be a speck of dirt

ignored and trampled on

I wonder if it would choose

to be  a Black Woman

whose place in the world

is at best dubious

but who is also

enormously creative and adventerous

if I could choose to be whateverDSC02291

would I choose the self that I know

or would I think it more advantegeous

to be transformed into another

Perhaps

Maybe

Possibilities exist

but I like the me that I am

so I would come back as myself

with a luxury cruise ship of wealth

surrender

surrender to love

surrender to joy

surrender to the dayDSC00249

surrender to the questions & challenges

surrender to the

answers & solutions

surrender

surrender

surrender

quiet the noise

now listen with new ear

for the wondrous truth

listen for the roots sprouting

within your belly

listen for the singing of the birds

within your bosom

listen for what is yours to do

listen

listen

listen

you are being called

to be present

to the unfolding

of your life

as it aligns

with the moon and the planetsDSC00256

 

Forge Ahead

Sometimes

actually most times

you just have to do it

DSC05909cannot think about

what’s in place

what’s missing

not having all the resources

or support

or even know how

you decide that it’s

worth the effort

it’s a good cause

and you are willing

to learn by trial and error

so you do it

you could sit around

waiting for the perfect time

when everything is in placeDSC05903

when all the funds are available

when…

if only…

all the reasons and

logic others offer

why you should not attempt

it now

poor economy

people are burnt out

on and on

ad nausea

and years pass

decades come and go

hope dwindles

possibilities dry up

and what was a good idea

that could have made

a real difference

is no longer even an idea

DSC05919So don’t wait around

for the perfect time

and enough resources

just forge ahead

and make something

happen!!!

Kenya’s Poetry Festival For Youths & Adults: Irie Poetry Vibess

A Leadership/Training Program Campaign in Kenya, East Africa by Opal Adisa

Sit A While

 

sitawhileadisa15 

 

 

 

 

 

 

try making this

a daily practice

sit for a while

and let the wind

take your mind

there is nothing

so important

so urgent

that you can’t afford

30 minutes to let

your mind idle

 

empty all thoughts

and allow the sprouts

of greatness inside you

to find fertile ground

so that a new grafted idea

can spring forth

more lovely and engaging

than heretofore produced

Welcome to Opal’s Blog: DREAMING THE DREAM TO REALITY

Dear Friend:

Thanks for stopping by.  You have been on my mind.

Perhaps you are like me.  Your head always bursting with ideas/information.  There is so much to see, do and be.  I want it all.  It is all possible, by dreaming, seeing it, planning, working hard and connecting with others to make it happen.

That is why I am so delightful that you’ve connected with me. I am so glad you are wiling to help me make some fantastic things happen in our life time.

Here is what’s up for me.  Establishing my university in St Croix, Adisa Institute of Creative Practices (c) 2014; my Caribbean Children’s journal, Ay-Ay (2012), my theatre group, Moving Women (c) 2012 and my writers/artists residencies. I need your help and support.  I need your talent and commitment.  I need your belief and resources. I need you to open doors and get the word out and connect me with others who want to share in this exciting dream. I need you to be onboard to help in the creation and design of a program that is totally appropriate and applicable to the Caribbean.

Together we can really do it , and it is not at all complicated, if we each get our ego out the way.  Banish the naysayers. Focus on the salient aspects of the dream. Design a workable plan.  Execute. Rethink.  Relook.  Take definitive steps.

Thanks for joining me.  I am here for the long haul.  I am used to working hard and following through. I believe and I know.

Come visit often.  Leave me your fruits of love and vision.  Share the ones I leave.  Pass it on, pass it forward and make it happen.

Walk good,

Opal