Black Belt Living

Writing a blog is something I never envisioned myself doing. As a matter of fact, I never expected to write more that a quick note on a sticky note. I do more writing at this point in my life than I EVER thought I would do! As a college freshman in my first semester, I actually did not do well in English composition. Oh, I passed but I certainly did not make a grade of which I could speak proudly. You see we were given creative writing assignments that semester and my mind just doesn’t think in those terms. If you want to know about the blue sky, then I can give you exact details but don’t expect me to find a whole imaginary story in what I see when I look up. My creative juices flow in totally different ways. With all that said, while I don’t consider myself to be much of a writer, I have come to appreciate good writing when I read it. AND, reading is something I love to do!

This morning when browsing through Facebook a friend shared a link to Black Belt Living magazine and a blog written by Al Blanton on Perry County resident Creg Rinehart. I remembered Creg from the ten years I lived in Marion so I decided to take a glimpse at the article. Instead of a quick glance, I became enthralled with the fabulous story Al had written about Creg and his impact on his community and the many students he has interacted with over the years. The story is great. I really suggest you take the time to read it.

If you aren’t familiar with the Black Belt Living magazine, check-out the website Al Blanton and his staff are doing a great job sharing the stories of the Black Belt with a focus on her people and places.

The April issue of Black Belt Living features articles about potter Allen Ham, writer/curator Jean Martin, faciliator Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson, photogapher Jerry Siegel,musician Quentin Lane, and bookstore owner Charlie Fleherty. Visit the web site for subscription information or to register to receive Al’s blog.

Once again today, I have been reminded of this rich place which I now call home – the Black Belt. Its richness is seen not only in its soil, the amazing art its people create, but in the every day life of its people. The sense of community here is amazing, friendships run deep, celebration of small successes is shared by all, and the heritage of creativity and determination is something which is often taken for granted but is definitely a part of what makes this place strong and vibrant! True enough, there are challenges – poverty, unemployment, racial divides BUT at the end of the day for me the positives far outweigh negatives! And, again today I am proud to say, “I am an adopted daughter of the Black Belt!”