Reflection on Knowledge of Self- Part II

Last night #KOS2 was both inspiring and successful. Hidden Colors 2 ran for just about 120 minutes, but proved to be worth the time. The documentary was not only enlightening, but also thought-provoking as it at times challenged popular beliefs and also sparked the motivation to launch independent investigations into many of the historical and scientific information presented throughout.

As the film timed down to a conclusion, you can literally feel the energy building in the room. Note sheets are filled and minds are racing. By the end, the audience seems just a bit more empowered and a bit more conscious about the world around them. Knowing this, #KOS never ends without a critical and constructive discussion about what we saw and learned, and what people are thinking.

In Newburgh, NY over 40 community members came out for the second installment of the Knowledge of Self series. Organizations such as Newburgh United and Hook Elite Boxing Club were in attendance along with Councilwoman Cindy Holmes, Mayor Judy Kennedy, and a handful of other community leaders and young people were all astounded by the wealth of information presented in Hidden Colors 2. Here, our group discussion focused on the power and importance of knowing one’s self, culture, and history as it relates to community building.  We also spoke about the control and manipulation of religions and how its sources are derived from ancient African spiritual beliefs.

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Knowledge of Self-Albany brought out some prolific local thinkers from poets like Tenesha Smith, 518 Hip Hop legends like Sev Statik and JB AKA Dirty Moses, to fellow alum of our Alma mater, RPI. The discussions afterwards focused on some of the points we found particularly interesting like the Central Bank of Africa, World Bank, and building our communities through group economics/group politics.

In Syracuse, we had compact group of junior scholars and working professionals listening attentively and afterwards, speaking passionately about their own experiences and reflections on the film. The crowd was comprised of people with backgrounds in the Arts, Engineering, Education, as well as Social and Information Sciences. Much could be learned from the film, but watching with a diverse set of perspectives within this group helped to identify bits of information which either confirmed or was contrary to what has been found through their own academic investigations. The value added by the audience presents opportunities for fact-checking or filling in gaps of information which the film may not have had the opportunity to address.

Without a doubt these discussions are the most rewarding part of the session for us. This is a chance to bond through critical thinking, sharing perspectives, raising important questions, and begin building a network of individuals focused on self and societal improvement. Revolution will always start and end with the people. All in all, it was a great community night and we are inspired to have another one!  This program does not work without an engaged and receptive audience; and for this we thank everyone who was able to attend and contribute to this movement of progression and growth.

Special thanks to Bliss Kitchen in Newburgh, NY for the healthy delicious food and Muncy Williams for his help setting up the venue.

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