Putting together an editorial calendar for an issue of Griots Republic is a lot like throwing a dart for the first time. You start off answering the question “what do we want to talk about?” and then you throw the dart and make a lot of broad shots and misses. Then you start to narrow your focus and eventually you hopefully strike center with a balanced and interesting issue. Planning a destination issue, however, is like throwing that same dart blind.
As travelers and researchers, we want to do everything and talk to everyone as soon as we de-plane, but with limited time, funds (have you checked out Patreon yet?) and writers, this can be challenging. Layer all of those road blocks with the standard traveler challenges (e.g language barriers, jet lag, spotty wifi and calendar/time zone/tech issues) and you simply hope to hit the target every once in a while.
So what’s the target?
With every destination issue, we strive to connect our readers to the people and places that speak to who they are both historically and ethnically – that’s our target. As consummate travelers, we understand that there are far more things that connect us as there are things that tear us apart. Yet, there are even fewer people of color out there exploring, researching and putting in the time to expose our side of the story. The folks out there doing the work… well that’s who we love connecting our readers too.
With that in mind, it absolutely did not escape me that while in Amsterdam interviewing Jennifer Tosch of Black Heritage Tours, artist Patricia Kaersenhout, and Miguel Heilbron of The Black Archives, all three mentioned the necessity of “completing the story.” Jennifer Tosch, specifically, referenced Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted Talk on the danger of a single narrative and I may have actually squealed off camera! They get it too!
(For those who haven’t seen/heard it, I’m gonna place it right here…)
We consistently meet and connect with people who understand the onus behind our little passion project, Griots Republic, and for that, I’m eternally thankful. I’m also excited! With every issue, I feel like I’m running to my best friend with gifts in hand screaming, “YO! Look at what I got for you!” And with each issue, I can only hope that you are receiving them in the same vein.
In this issue, we went deep down the internet rabbit hole and literally found the only Black Reformed Theologian I’ve EVER met, Dr. Eric M. Washington. He was kind enough to entertain all of my Dutch Calvinism questions and for that I’m grateful. Definitely, check out his article on the Reformed Church and Its Impact on Black Folks in the Americas. We also hooked up with the Blogger of the Month from Holland, Dana Saxon of Black Girl Gone. She won my heart with one simple statement: “a whole bunch of us are out here getting gone from somewhere, trying to make it work.” Chile… she’s my play cousin in my head from now on and she doesn’t even know it.
This particular issue is chock full of goodies and we cannot wait to receive your feedback. So please, dive in, eat it up, and email us and let us know if we’re on target.