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Now… it’s time to say goodbye

February 6, 2012
by

“A writer’s problem does not change. It is always how to write truly and having found out what is true, to project it in such a way that it becomes part of the experience of the person who reads it.” –Ernest Hemingway

 

For more than 17 years, writing has been my greatest tool in advocating for other people, in calling for change, in demanding accountability, and empowering the disenfranchised.

I started writing the Sable Verity Social Commentary during the lengthy and often infuriating campaign leading up to the 2008 presidential election. The nation seemed to be losing its mind over “the Black candidate” Barack Obama, and the media-led conversations about race were shallow at best, and nothing like the real-word conversations happening in communities all over the country, including right here in the Pacific Northwest.   The Sable Verity provided an opportunity to contribute to the conversation in a manner unflinching.

I decided early on that I wouldn’t write to be famous, or make a ton of money.  I wouldn’t choose topics because they were safe or popular; my motivation was to simply provide a perspective that was missing on issues critical to our time, including racism, politics, youth gun and gang violence, sexism and violence against women, education, police brutality, parenting; you name it, I probably wrote about it.  I didn’t write because I thought I was the authority on these topics. I didn’t write to be cast as the Black voice, but one of many Black people with a voice, exposing diversity within diversity itself. I wrote to inform and to provide you with a perspective different than your own, whether you agreed with it or not. Whether you liked it or not.

In the years since the website has been up and my column has been printed in papers, many of you have grown to, well, really kinda loathe me. I’ve been threatened, mocked, teased, confronted, disrespected, laughed at…pretty much any negative reaction one could get, I was on the receiving end of.  There were times when it was painful. There were times when I was angry and wanted to lash out. Instead, I continued to write.

I’m certainly not complaining, it comes with the territory. Besides, the rewards of putting my opinions out there have been tremendous and miles beyond what I ever could have anticipated. I’ve grown, learned new things, met new people, and told stories I am deeply passionate about, that matter. I have made lifelong friends because of this column and the Sable Verity website.  I met love, and even a long lost (and believed to be dead) family member. Heck, I even met Michelle Obama. You could stick a million pins into a Sable voodoo doll and it would never be more powerful than having the First Lady hold my hand.

Many of you trusted me to tell your stories, or those of your friends or loved ones. Many of you came to me privately seeking help with your own writing projects; college application essays, business plans, open letters, emails to coworkers, letters to estranged family members, manuscripts, poems, and even declarations of love. Each written by people who had something important they wanted to express through writing, but just needed a little (or a lot) of help to get it done.  I have been honored to tell your truth, and to help you tell your own.

But as the nostalgic tone of this column has probably already hinted, this will be the last installment of the Lest We Forget column.  The choice to end it now hasn’t been very difficult; there are other projects I want to devote my time to, both personally and professionally. The website will remain online as an archive, and I may post there from time to time, but for now I’m putting the proverbial pen down.

To you, the readers, I say thank you. Thank you for reading my column. If you agreed or disagreed with me, thank you. If you loved what I wrote, or hated every word I ever committed to print or pixel and hoped beyond hope that I would be swallowed by the Fremont Troll never to be heard from again, thank you.  For every supportive email, and every email tearing me down word by word, line by line, thank you. Thank you for challenging me, for encouraging me, and yes, for telling me to shut up.  I’ll cherish this experience more than you’ll ever know.

Speak Truth to Power,

Sable Verity

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. harriett walden permalink
    February 6, 2012 10:46 pm

    I have enjoyed reading your columns and I will miss you, thank for you insight, courage ,your clarity of the issues you wrote about,and your excellence.May your next adventure be fun rewarding and abundance.

  2. February 6, 2012 11:35 pm

    I get that you gotta do what you gotta do.
    But I will miss you too.
    Particularly if you leave Twitter.
    Even your tennis commentary, which is funny for me to say because I haven’t cared about tennis since I was a teen in the mid-’70s!
    Maybe your other/new projects will get your voice out in the world even more clearly, loudly, and impactfully. Hope so. Good luck.

  3. Nathan P permalink
    February 7, 2012 11:17 am

    Say it ain’t so! Best of luck in your new endeavors, but I will certainly miss SV’s online presence.

  4. Charles permalink
    February 7, 2012 2:24 pm

    Thank you for your many thoughtful and challenging contributions. I will miss your posts and look forward to reading whatever and wherever you write in the future.

  5. February 8, 2012 8:59 am

    Thank you. I’ve always enjoyed your posts. Best wishes for your next projects!

  6. February 9, 2012 6:06 pm

    You have been a beacon of truth. Thank you

  7. Barbara Thomas permalink
    February 10, 2012 10:45 am

    I for one will miss your cogent, insightful commentary. You were one of the few who spoke out loud, on a number of subjects, what most of us would not touch in print. Whether I agreed or not I knew you were telling the truth as you saw it. You signed your name and that made your blog all the more important as it is easy to hide behind screen names.

    Many thanks and good hunting on your new endeavors!
    Barb Thomas

  8. Adam Hyla permalink
    February 11, 2012 11:33 am

    Thank you Sable – I will miss your writing but hope the hiatus becomes clearly temporary.

  9. Fiona Jackson permalink
    February 13, 2012 11:53 am

    I just read your last column in Real Change. It was always the first thing I would read. Good luck in whatever lies ahead. I hope to read more from you wherever I find it.

  10. February 25, 2012 5:54 am

    I have LOVED and really ENJOYED reading your writing on many issues, not just your thoughts but when you have shared FACTS of the TRUTH in the stories you told. There are many tough issues our communities faces with adversity and you covered them very well.

    I looked forward to your perspective even if I may have not fully agreed which wasn’t too often. (hey it happens)

    Good luck on your future endeavors and thank you for sharing your most inner thoughts, shedding light on the truth and keeping us updated indepth with many issues that weren’t even considered to be fully covered by our news stations/blogs/papers….

  11. Rick Barrett permalink
    March 8, 2012 7:11 pm

    It’s been fun, see you elsewhere.

  12. hector permalink
    August 5, 2012 8:22 pm

    From the time that you wrote you were “that b***** who just won’t shut up” I knew you were someone worth reading – even though I live overseas & may never visit the US of the NRA – but I am sure you’ll be doing good work wherever. Kia ora.

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