“Pessimism is a Self-Fulfilling Malady”

Doubt – Death – Disillusion?  

I have grown tired of living in a world full of hate and hurt.  Whenever I begin to break out of such limited thinking and living, I found that so many negative energies seemingly exist just to put me back.  I’m often reminded that…

“Pessimism is a Self-Fulfilling Malady” 


That was the profound quote that stuck with me from the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards.  The quote came from professor Orlando Patterson, co-author and editor of The Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth.  His speech was powerful and best of all, unapologetic.  Dr. Patterson is 76 years of age, and even though I may not agree with every word that he says or writes, it is refreshing and empowering to hear an elder speak with such courage.   Check out this article on Patterson and The Cultural Matrix.

 Can Reforming Culture Save Black Youths?

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, chaired by none other than Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, has become one of those events that I look forward to every year in Cleveland, OH – up there with Kali’s annual musicals at her school, Parade the Circle, Reggae For Food and Kwanzaa!  The Awards have been around for decades and remain an important element in the continued development and support of literature from all over the world.

The first time I attended the Book Awards in 2008 at the old Cleveland Playhouse on Euclid Ave., I was able to get a ticket with no problem.  Several years later, you can’t find a ticket!  I went onto their website soon after the tickets became available this year, but they were already gone!  Apparently, the popularity has grown.  Maybe Oprah winning the Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 had something to do with that?!?

But then on one fateful morning I participated in a great meeting concerning diversity and literacy in libraries with some of the greatest librarians in Cuyahoga County.  As a result, I was provided an opportunity to get tickets to the Awards by Cleveland Foundation’s Karen Long – So thankful.

It was date night!  With my daughter, that is, which made me late for the actual Awards. After arriving, I heard some profound words and saw some wonderful colleagues, friends, etc.  The highlight of the evening, other than my seafood coconut soup at Pepper Mint Thai Cafe with Kali, was seeing how many people actually care about literacy.  Honestly, there is no other reason to be at this event, other than having a love for literature and reading!

And so, I enjoyed yet another Anisfield Awards ceremony, with all its richness and overwhelming public support.  Looking forward to the next one…

Some of the WINNERS from over the years!   TUSOMA!!

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