Seeking to Understand

For a little over a month now, I have been doing some graphic arts communication work for a local author. I am learning a lot as a result of copy-editing work that I am doing to manuscripts of books that he has already published.

Communication is my passion!! Communication that is utilized to enrich the lives of others with understanding and love, especially as it relates to the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives my life meaning.

So it is that I have spent a good deal of time editing these books that focus on cultures of black Americans. Though I grew up in the city with some of my best friends being black, I did grow up in predominantly white populated areas. I grew up in the city until I was age eight. Then we moved to a rural farm in another town. What a change!

I remember being perplexed as to why family friends that were an inter-racial couple would not come to the company picnic hog roast that Dad held on our farm. Other black friends were afraid to travel out to our farm as well. Only years later did I learn of the Klu Klux Klan’s place in history in the county where our farm was located.

Author Clyde Nickerson Bolden’s two books are:
1) Bridging the Gulf: Understanding and Ministering to Hip-Hop Youth, and,
2) Indiana Avenue: Black Entertainment Boulevard.

It has been interesting learning of black American cultural issues from the writings of this black American author who spends his time working with youth. I can see in his writings the potential for some cross-cultural discussion. This would be especially beneficial to the understanding of different cultures IF we sat down as brothers and sisters of the One true God. Our Creator did not create us to focus on our differences in such a way as to think ourselves more important than another. Rather, to live in an understanding way, giving service and love to those in need. For ALL of us have sinned and are in need of the Savior’s redeeming grace.

At this point I have completely read one of Nick’s books and am about half-way through the other. I can say that I have seen many areas were there needs to be better communication. Sometimes, it seems, people just don’t know how to get the message out. Yet, here is Nick, striving to get out his thoughts on what he believes historically shaped local black American culture. He has a lot to say as to what he believes deteriorated the Indiana Avenue area of near north Indianapolis.

While I am reading Nicks book about Hip-Hop; it strikes me that even though I am about half way through the book, I am still not sure what “Hip-Hop Youth” are.
I always thought that hip-hop referred to a musical style. So I continue reading in hopes of gaining a clearer understanding.

In addition to reading Nick’s book about Hip-Hop Youth, I am also doing a fair amount of personal research on the subject. I want to understand how to better communicate in a spirit of reconciliation. I am a good copy-editor to be reading Nick’s book because I am a white female reading this book written by a black male about a predominantly black male culture. I bring NO presuppositions into my editing. If Nick wants to reach people with no understanding of the topic, then I think he found a good person to test the effectiveness of that communication.

Someday I will write again about this topic. Someday, when I have a better understanding of what I do not comprehend now, I will post what I’ve learned. In the meantime, I hope that you will enjoy a video I found online and posted below about Hip Hop Culture.


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