applying for this su facutly fellows position
working on proposal for them, this my 2nd draft
almost hate to take the 1st one down, its clutterred but its all info i want into the presentation
but its limited to 2 pages so here is 2nd draft, still cleaning it up, intersting how you, dear regulators
see the drafts, see me making the veggie sausages, otherfolk will only see the polished work:
Dear Faculty Fellows Committee
I would like to get support for a project I’ve been working on and off for some 20 odd years now, an African American holybook I call The Hoodoo Book of Flowers. I hope this Work to be competitive with the Bible, the Koran, the IChing etc, a sacred history of the World told thru the lens of African American culture, mythology and destiny. Most primarily I’m trying to make a contribution to the illumination of African American culture, the hoodoo tradition, and the world spirit.
I’ve done three drafts so far, one based on the Bible, the Koran and the IChing, neither of which worked much less proved numinous. My most recent draft is based on the Ifa corpus of the Yoruba, a taproot of my own literary tradition, Literary Hoodoo; and Journey to the West, an iconic Chinese novel/text that fascinates me as an example of Fiction as Holybook. The narrative tone is influenced by the mythically flavored historical narratives of Edward Galeano’s Memoiries of Fire trilogy.
Because of Journey to the West’s influence, basic format now is an awkward blend of fiction and holybook – Highjohn the Conqueror, the AfroAm returning culture hero postulated by Zora Neale Hurston, as a hoodoo pilgrim searching for enlightenment by experiencing/influencing historical (and future/speculative) moments when humanity finds itself at evolutional crossroads in our eternal quest to be greater than we are. My primary focus is human destiny and evolution. All historical, mythwork and storytelling segments are essentially a platform for speculations on human destiny.
Basically I am with this work trying to illuminate African American culture and hoodoo as its indigenous spiritual tradition; to evolve conjure from a folk magic tradition (spells, potions, etc) to a 21st Century manifestation of high magic (enhancing the human condition, shaping generations, playing with reality, manifesting power in the world). I want hoodoo to be a tradition capable of guiding AfroAm culture from its current dysfunctional state into an illuminated one, a sacred tradition capable of shaping generations. Basically I am trying to function here as a contemporary prophet of the hoodoo way.
Accordingly I also hope to explore a more contemporary understanding of our relationship with God and the sacred. How we shape the concept God as it shapes us. I want this work to be a 21st holybook, one that will not only stand the test of time but finesse it. I want this work to be a Way. My understanding is that if I would forge a new Way for humanity it has to be a better Way than the established Ways that it would supplant (or one that would at least join the family). It has to be a Better Way. it has to be the next step. Otherwise whats the point.
One of the primary tensions of this Work is the tension between speaking as a voice of Black America, which is what I was trained to be, and being a voice of all humanity, which is what I would like to be. I have given up being one or the other and I try to draw my power from the tension of being both. It is my understanding that all universal Ways birth as nationalist/tribal traditions. In this way I hope to serve both my families, the black race and all humanity.
What I need right now is research time. Trying to tell a Sacred History of the World and to incorporate and finesse the entirety Worlds sacred traditions through historical incidents of human evolution and speculation on human destiny entails research on a level beyond anything I’ve attempted so far. I am so buried. Bascially I’m attempting to develop a living breathing African American cosmology and I need to know everything in the world that ever happened or might happen. Even if I don't use it I need to know it. When my work gets challenged and folk go digging for fumbles I want it to be invincible.
I believe the project would be of interest to many disciplines on campus and that I would benefit from cross disciplinary dialogues w/religion, anthropology, storytelling, cultural studies, literature, history, philosophy, physics, cosmology, etc etc. Prophecy is one of the great powers (sometime good sometime problematic) of the human condition and an exploration of the prophetic impulse would probably inform my campus engagement.
I will be the first to admit it's a somewhat ambitious undertaking but if I pull it off I will contribute a viable contemporary (ie not quite as problematic as those of antiquity) holybook to the human condition. I think I can do this. I have the training, the vision, the fire in the belly. I can do this. On another level I consider this just another nonfiction project. Win or lose I will enjoy the ride and produce a good product. May not be a great holybook, one that shapes generations, but it will be a good product. Only thing I don't have is time. I can hear the clock ticking. Any help you can give me would surely be appreciated.