The conquerors and the occupiers—the victors—are always the ones who write the history, and so we’re left with stories of the glorious conquest of the American west against “savage Indians,” the “Lost Cause” of the “valiant” Confederacy, or the acclaimed creation of “a fragile democracy” in the backward Middle East—“a chosen land for a chosen people.” Each of these accounts is sharply contested, and in that narrative battle we see a protest and hear an appeal: look more deeply, uncover the silenced voices—flawed and partial, contingent and fragmentary—discover a larger and more honest understanding of events. We’re joined today by Aaron Dixon, a former Black Panther Party leader whose journey proceeds from the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s to the Black Lives Matter movement of today, and whose decades of experience and accumulated wisdom can help us answer that appeal.
Write a paragraph in which you describe your radiant richness, put into words as best you can your uniquely creative spirit, and report on the sparkling contribution you hope to make. You are the one of one. Start writing.