The Impetus

April 19, 2011

After many a conversation with my girlfriend about the state of US politics and the American experience, I have finally decided to make my opinions, perspectives, frustrations, and revelations available for public consumption.   In one of the greatest pieces of literature of the twentieth century, “The Souls of Black Folk,” W. E. B. Dubois labeled the group of blacks that were intelligent and driven enough to teach the remaining black population the information and skills needed to succeed the “Talented Tenth.”  While I disagree with the notion that the progress of any people, black, white, or brown, is dependent upon the “Tenth” that are intelligent or formally educated, I do believe that true progress does rest in the hands of a few driven people.  I understand this redefined  “Talented Tenth” as the minority of people who have the capability to not only see the world through the eyes of others, but the drive, determination, and resolve to act on that vision.  Devoid of self-interest, this new “Tenth” has an unflinching, undying devotion to equality, justice, and truth, that manifests through unrelenting  service. It is easy to be courageous in thought, admirable to be courageous in speech, but inspirational to be courageous in action. This new “Tenth” not only has courage of thought and speech, but in action.  I hope to be part of the new “Tenth.”

After many years of studying public health, it is more apparent now than ever, that all things are connected.  When you hear statistics like, “Rates of breast cancer diagnoses are higher in white women, but death due to breast cancer are higher in black women,” do you ask yourself why? Do you make the connections?  Do you travel upstream far enough to see how education policy and geographic segregation can help explain such a phenomenon?  If not, stay tuned, for I will, in future posts, try to help you all connect the dots.  I will try to share with you all how all these things are intertwined to create the fabric of our society, among other things.  No conspiracy theories, just facts and fact-based opinions.

This brings me to the name of my blog, The Waterwheel.  I thought it represented my perspective well.  The waterwheel traditionally was an organic method of creating energy, using the basic element of life.  It’s circular design is fitting in that it represents the connections individuals and issues that I hope to illuminate in future posts.  So, enjoy, engage, inspire.

–the waterwheel