“And so the seed becomes a flower”, begins the poet Langston Hughes in one of his elegant creations. What phrase would be more prophetic to describe the emergence of African American sexually diverse people all over the country? Redefining the parameters of sexual identity, many have artfully developed full lives as a couple or single, parent children, established entrepreneurial endeavors and a sleuth of other activities often thought limited to one aspect of the African American community. Indeed, we have heard the voice from within to ARISE, and to reinvent what it truly means to be free, proud and connected to ones heritage.
ARISE Magazine is born out of the stuff that challenges us to reexamine what we thought we knew, raise the stakes a little higher and pursue a dream that almost seems beyond our reach. We recognize that to arise, one must be willing to move up on a little higher. ARISE is here to articulate the message of success, hope and courage embodied in the spirit of African American people who are achieving, in spite of the odds.
In our premiere issue, Akilah Monifa J.D., provides a perspective on Campaign 2000. Rev. Greg Smith traveled to Granttown, West Virginia to interview a family whose son was viciously murdered because of rumored sexual, in Murder in West Virginia. In our article on Home Ownership, ARISE introduces you to families that are buying homes in an economy many have described as prohibitive. Pamela Ayo Yetunde, noted author, demystifies Employee Stock Option Plans, in Money Matters.
The inspiring Photography of Duane Cramer is featured in “The Man Behind the Lens”. In Design by BOA, we interview Kenneth Wingard, a designer and entrepreneur in the Power Principle. Passages, our travel section, explores the idyllic island of Bali, while Pearls of Wisdom, our section devoted to Women in the life share life lessons from our sisters. Happenings by Cedric Brown will offer ideas of interest for entertainment & play. ARISE to Health will feature Dr. Jaimila Neyon and discuss the benefits of chiropractic health and the value of balance in our fast-paced lives. All this and more is presented in the Premiere issue to capture the zeitgeist, essence, spirit of this important moment in history.
ARISE will echo the call of voices long gone, to remind us to go inside ourselves and find those seeds planted even centuries ago by loved ones and strangers. ARISE is an invitation to revisit the dream, recall the vision and create anew our lives and the world around us.
Within all of us lie greatness, power and a creative force more abundant than we can fathom.
ARISE is an invitation to step outside of labels. We are men. We are women. We are gay, straight, lesbian, same gender loving, transgender, questioning and so forth. We are of African descent. We are of mixed heritage. We are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist or decidedly “spiritual”. We are of every complexion, brown, black, caramel, bronze and honey. We are all of those things and we are none of those things, singularly. We are so much more than any label could ever convey. Above all else, we are a people called to ARISE. To move from where we are, to where we are destined to be. The journey begins. And so it is.
MacArthur H. Flournoy