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The Unheard Voices and the Unseen Struggle

My Dearest Readers,

One year ago today, my first book Kingdom of the Sun, was published. I am so blessed to have been through an experience that was both a struggle and a joy. The goal and dream that I had in this endeavor was to give a voice to words and ideas that have been unsaid and to illuminate the struggles that are hidden and unseen.

I published Kingdom of the Sun on Columbus Day of last year simply because of what the “holiday” represents. In response to the falsification and propagandic use of history, I published my novella on Columbus Day as a way to represent its purpose of being a light for truth, inspiration, and hope for change. I wanted the book to illuminate the impact of a history that was edited, to represent the effect of colonialism, and to signify a nation and race of people that were silenced. I wanted my work to display how no matter where we are in time or history, there will always be an obstacle in the world and in our own lives that must be overcome. And yet, no matter how hard or unfair the battle may be, there is always hope for victory.

A year later, I still harbor the hope, faith, and drive that the words written in Kingdom of the Sun and on this blog will touch you and push you to make a change that you may have always wanted or say the words that have been bottled up inside you. I am no stranger to invisibility and forced silence. Even now, it still hurts me to think back to it. But even now, I am still reminded of the strength it gave me to become who I am and want to be. And the only thing I want for someone in the same situation is to break free. Become unhidden and become unsilenced.

We must not become like those in the past whose voices have been silenced and whose history have been distorted and edited. We must let our voices rise above the ones that try to mute it and our actions be braver and more holy than those who are not. We must be and make the change that is so needed in this world— changes so powerful that they will light the future for other generations and bring illumination and freedom to the voices and history of the past.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

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Kingdom of the Sun Theme: History

PD-US, Adapted from an image courtesy of US Library of Congress.

Dear Readers,

If you have read my “About Me” page, you will know that I greatly enjoy watching Disney movies from the nineties—my favorite being Pocahontas.  It is not only because it is nostalgic or entertaining for someone like me, but because I find it fascinating on so many levels to compare my thinking and opinion of a movie from when I first watched it 13+ years ago to now.  Back then, I loved the movie because Pocahontas was a beautiful, strong, and influential woman that fought for what she believed in.  In my opinion, she was and still is the best Disney “princess.”  Back then, I also loved the movie because I thought it to be entirely true, which not only made me love the character more but feel empathy for the loss of her “relationship” with John Smith.

13 years later, although I still enjoy the film very much, I have realized what an impact time, education, and the falsification of history has made.  You see, back then, even though I understood the general idea of two different races clashing against each other, I didn’t truly grasp the meaning of the word “savage,” and what it really means to be “civilized.”  13 years ago, I didn’t know the influence that the media had on my mind because back then when I was told that the film was based on the real life of an actual Native American princess, I believed it.

It is because of this that I am able to look at Disney’s Pocahontas in a new light.  And I think I actually like the film more than I did all those years ago.  Pocahontas has some significant themes that I am happy to see in a “kid’s” movie, but disappointed because “kid’s” movies are not the way they were “back in those days.”  However, it is also because of this film that we must remember the power and influence of the media to change and contort things into something that they never were.  It is because of this film that I am seeking to learn the truth, and it is because of this film that I am reminded over and over and over of something that not everyone understands, but needs to know, something that I made sure to make a theme in my book:

“History is a powerful weapon.”

“History and truth are not always one and the same.”

“There is always more than one story…always.”

-Abel Godfrey, Kingdom of the Sun

“History is a very powerful weapon. This is especially true when one possesses the means to twist its truth.”  -Helena, Kingdom of the Sun

You want to know what’s even stronger?  Your own mind.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

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