Monday, May 22, 2006

The Covenant

My computer is in the shop, and no word of when it will be back. Buddy boy has been sick with fevers and sore throat since last Wednesday, so I was home with the boys and no computer for four days!!! I haven’t read any blogs or updated here in so long I am hopelessly behind. Not to mention everything piled up on my desk…

The good news is I got a lot read over the weekend. Now I just need to find the time to process and write about it!

I read The Covenant after hearing about it on Soul of Adoption. It is a collection of essays on the most important challenges and opportunities facing our nation in the 21st century. The focus is on black Americans and the particular struggles of the African American communities, but reading this book as a white American I feel these issues are vital and intrinsic to all our lives and should be addressed by everyone. The cost of racism is not carried only by oppressed people, but by all of us. The legacy of discrimination and disenfranchisement does not affect my black sons alone, but impacts myself, my whole family and my entire community and nation. Working for justice and equality, healthy environments and quality education, economic opportunity and affordable housing is the concern of all Americans. Success requires the awareness, investment and participation of all of us striving together. The alternative is all of us sinking together.

The book is introduced by Tavis Smiley and Marian Wright Edelman, and covers ten major issues or “Covenants”: Healthcare, Public Education, Justice, Community-Centered Policing, Affordable Neighborhoods Connected to Job Opportunity, Democratic Participation, Rural Roots (Land ownership/farming), Accessing Good Jobs, Wealth, and Economic Prosperity, Environmental Justice and Closing the Racial Digital Divide.

Each section opens with an essay written by important leaders in academic, medical, scientific and political arenas, which present the current situation and outline the challenges. While speaking straightforwardly about the sad and frightening conditions facing many American men, women, and children, these essays also present hopeful, optimistic scenarios for change and advancement. Following the essay are sobering facts and statistics presenting the historical and current situation. Then practical suggestions for what the community, the individual, and our leaders and elected officials can and should be doing to address the problems. Examples of what is working are given as well as extensive documentation of informational resources. Because this book has just been published in 2006 the data is fresh and accurate and the examples include the effects of Katrina and plans for rebuilding.

My eyes were opened on many of these topics. I have been challenged to seek new opportunities and become involved in new ways, from looking for local food/farm cooperatives and educating myself about possible local toxic waste/industrial pollutants in my community, to contacting elected officials, and supporting just and equitable rebuilding efforts for Katrina-affected communities. I strongly urge every American to read this book and allow it to educate and empower you to work for a better, stronger, healthier America.


Jenna said...

Imma pick it up sometime in the near future. Ya know, when I stop buying 39080957768 books for Nicholas and splurge on one for me. ;)

Thanks for the heads up on it.

jasai said...

I am putting this on my list. Wondering if any review that you do could be posted or re-posted at BMD?

cloudscome said...

jasai, thank you for the complement! It means alot to me that you would say that. Being Mama Daily is such a special place to hear women's voices and share their stories though, I don't think book reviews should be mixed with that. I just love reading what other women write about their lives and their children.

Maybe there should be some other side shoot or something, to list book reviews and other stuff.... Ha Ha I am adding to your job description right? Whe you have something good it keeps growing!