I never understood why Chicago is called, “The Second City.” Comparing Chicago to New York is like trying to compare an apple to a tomato. They’re both similar yet unique.
In my last blog entry I said I strongly believed UNITY ’08 was to be my last journalism convention. In fact, I only rejoined the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) so I could attend this one. I am a great believer in advocacy journalism, a stance that isn’t always popular in a mainstream organization such as NABJ.
But that’s another fight for another day. I’m at peace with myself right now. There’s always time enough to wage war.
I can’t be around intelligent, passionate and professional people without feeling I have to step my game up to meet theirs. UNITY ’08 was everything I hoped it would be and then some.
It was enriching.
It was educational.
It was entertaining.
It makes me feel very good about being a independent, freelance journalist.
It makes me proud to be a Black man and knowing there are so many other accomplished and charismatic people.
It inspires me to meet and greet all the Asian, Hispanic, Latino and Native Americans that I did in Chicago.
Today I sat down and sent a personalized “hello” to every person whose business card I accepted. Most of these people I will never meet again or speak with. But for five days in Chicago we were colleagues and brothers and sisters brought together as a community with shared interests and goals.
I don’t care if they don’t remember me. I remember them and right now I want to–need to–reach back and let them know they played a part in helping to reignite the flame. Before time darkens my memory and I recall things differently than they actually occurred, I gotta get it right.
Which means just saying, “thanks” for making UNITY ’08 a total success for me and giving me a reason not to give up on my journalism dreams just yet.