Presenting the Visions and Victories Newletter

Posted on February 1, 2011 by


The Visions & Victories:

Voices from the World African Community

for Excellence and Success

By Bro Amenseph & Bro Mxolisi

The Visions and Victories Newsletter started its small but positive beginnings in rural Amelia County, Virginia in November of 2007. This printed publication was started by Bro. Mxolisi Ozo-Sowande and his sister in- law, Ms. Roberta Venable. Motivated by an idea from Ms. Venable, it quickly became a proactive means to connect the community at large. It became a connecting point for communicating to and with individuals, and for pulling together the community of which they were part. This media was ultimately used to present and raise awareness of the excellence of who we are as a people and what we can become as a community. This undertaking was not to be just another newsletter by which to present the general blogs and current events of the time.

The heart and drive for this type of communication is reflected in the words of Ayi Kwei Armah in his book, 2000 Seasons: “… there is a great force in the world, a force spiritual and able to shape the physical universe, but… that force is not something cut off, not something separate from ourselves. It is an energy in us, strongest in our working, breathing, thinking together as one people; weakest when we are scattered, confused, broken into individual unconnected fragments.“ The aim of this missive was to be the fruit that comes forth from the spirit embodied in those words; to provide the Visions and strength of a people working together and the examples of the Victories they can bring despite apparent odds or perceived weaknesses.

The focus and intent of the V&V was to present an African-centered voice to the local and surrounding communities, to address the concerns of individual/family growth and awareness, for the development of cooperative economics, for creating a sense of purpose, as a connection to past and present history, for a better knowledge of self and more… Prior to the advent of V&V it seemed that no such voice was being raised in any corner of the community; not by religious institutions, other community organizations, nor business enterprises; certainly not with sufficient force and power to reach beyond their immediate circles, if at all.

Throughout its history the newsletter was no more than a two person staff which gathered and/or contributed the materials and information that was being published to the community. In February 2009, shortly after Ms. Venable had ended her involvement with the newsletter, Bro. Amenseph joined with Bro. Mxolisi to continue the efforts of contributing the type of material that was intended to promote awareness and change for its readers.

As a quarterly publication the Visions & Victories Newsletter was initially distributed to the local black churches, homes and local organizations. This approach was taken with the hope of gaining the attention and participation of those constituencies to make the newsletter an effective voice of the community it sought to serve and reverse the absence of an effective voice of vision, guidance, self-worth and self-determination for the youth, and promote victories in the areas of community building and development among the African populace.

As with many undertaking there have been pros and cons to this type of communication and outreach. The huge discouragement of little or no feedback from the various groups mentioned was offset somewhat by the vocal and financial encouragements that came from a few individuals who went beyond fear or complacency to show their support for such an undertaking. But in 2010 the discouragements led to the production of only two editions of Visions & Victories Newsletter and the decision to discontinue its publication. However, the need for such a voice to cultivate and nurture African-centered consciousness in our community continued to resonate within our hearts and minds, leading to the reversal of that decision – with certain changes to be applied to the operation.

Visions & Victories: African/African American Voices for Excellence and Success would become, Visions & Victories: Voices From the World African Community. It would no longer be printed on paper but would be an online publication, with input from contributors from throughout that world community providing a global voice for the cause.

The voices that are presented here will continue to promote the values of excellence and success to our readers. Our aim is not to be merely a gathering of good sounding words and presentations but a source of information, inspiration and resources that will fuel and pave the way for the most effective internalization and utilization of the growing body of liberating truths coming to us regarding our past, present and future as a collective body of people.

You are encouraged to subscribe to this monthly online format, and to utilize the lessons embodied within the knowledge and experiences of the spectrum of voices that come from our global community. Let’s come together to continue building upon our experiences and learning from each other for a more beneficial tomorrow, for ourselves and for our future generations.

Through the variety of writings to be presented in this publication, we aim to provide you with new and challenging perspectives and up to date information to inspire and guide our continuing work on the building and strengthening of our homes and communities. It is our response- ability to not just read or speak the words of wisdom but to bring them to life. We should endeavor to ultimately bring together that energy and way of life for us all as a conscious community.

There are a few African proverbs that can sum up why there is Visions & Victories and what to look forward to. For “until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter;” and as we listen to the voices of Ethiopia, they remind us that, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” We continue with advice from the Somali who tells us, “He who does not seize opportunity today, will be unable to seize tomorrow’s opportunity;” followed by words of wisdom from the Yoruba that resoundingly say, “Where you will sit when you are old shows where you stood in youth.”

So now it is up to us. Let us bring together the voices of today to prepare the way for the people. Let us restore our traditional greatness, and add our voices — and deeds — to those that inspire excellence and success.

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