Thursday, May 21, 2015

Reflections on Meeting the Prominent Literary Figure, Sonia Sanchez

     As a student at California State University—Los Angeles, I have been blessed to meet some of the most prominent writers of this current generation. I have met Mr. José Kozer, Mr. Li-Young Lee, and even Lisa See while they visited the campus. It has also been a great pleasure to meet yet another famous writer, which in this case, is Sonia Sanchez. Meeting her on the day of the Jean Burden Reading will definitely be an event that will stay in my memory.
     Upon finally seeing her for the first time, I was not sure how to react. My first impression of her was that she reminded me of Toni Morrison because they are both important figures in modern-day African-American literature. When she began speaking, I thought that she has a lot of knowledge about the world since she lived during important twentieth-century historical events. Specifically, she discussed how some writers were banned during the McCarthy trials. In spite of that issue, she wrote a haiku, and presented it at the University of Beijing. Such a wonderful opportunity that Sonia Sanchez took advantage of reminds me that literature has the power to connect people even if cultural differences attempt to divide them.
     Additionally, Sonia Sanchez related her writing to larger real world issues. For example, she mentioned how the Chinese were amazed that there were places where black people could not go to in America. Furthermore, Sonia Sanchez also discussed the issue of communication. She believes that people have trouble expressing themselves properly, which is especially true in the present day. In fact, miscommunication is prevalent today because people could easily misunderstand messages written through texting and social media. Nevertheless, Sonia Sanchez still did her best to write. In fact, she revealed that writing kept her alive. I am glad that she was able to achieve that satisfaction because writing does allow people to express who they truly are.
      Not only did writing keep her focused, but it also allowed her to acquire memorable experiences and several literary accolades. For example, she once had to write an article for Time Magazine, and she had been inducted into the Alabama Writers’ Hall of Fame. That distinction has made Sonia Sanchez become part of a prominent literary group, whose members include Zora Neal Hurston and Harper Lee. It is truly amazing that she was able to achieve such success by simply doing what she loves. That reminds me about how being passionate with what someone does can propel that person to personal success.
      Before she concluded her dialogue in King Hall, Sonia Sanchez offered some valuable life lessons. The first lesson that I learned was the healing power of breath. The fact is that oxygen is necessary for life, and maintaining self-control is important in order to cope with the stress that life can offer. Even though life can be rough at the times, the simple fact that a person has the ability to breathe serves as a reminder that life continues. Not only can breathing help a person stay calm, but it can also help create a brighter future rather than having that person dwell on the past. People do face hard times, but breathing can help them confront such challenges.
      Finally, Sonia Sanchez touched upon larger issues that involve much more than just the personal. Breathing can help a particular individual, but Sanchez mentioned about large societal concerns. Specifically, global warming is a major problem because Earth is the only home that people have. Within the present, it is now the time for people to do what truly is righteous so that they can care for themselves, and the world, so that all people can prosper. In fact, it really is the time for the people of the current generation to do what they can to benefit humanity.

Works Cited

Sanchez, Sonia.  “Wisdom Session.”  California State University—Los Angeles

      English Department.  Room KH B1010 at California State University—Los Angeles. 

     14 May 2015.  Lecture.

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