Collaborating on Letters that Light the Path

In this week’s blog we share the latest progress report on “Lighting the Path – Letters from Black Men to Young Black Men and Boys.”  After months of collaborating with a team of talented editors and writers, the AfroSolo Theatre Corps San Francisco and USF’s Marshall Riley Living-Learning Community  are close to completing a book of letters to Black men and boys. The Marshall-Riley Living-Learning Community allows first-year and sophomore students that share an interest in the historical, intellectual, and political traditions of Black Americans to engage with the Bay Area Black community through service-learning classes. Keep reading to learn more about Lighting the Path and its contributors. 

After speaking to editors Professor David Holler and graduate student Damilola Adesanya last month, we got a glimpse into the upcoming book, “Lighting the Path – Letters from Black Men to Young Black Men and Boys” — a collaboration between AfroSolo Theatre Corps San Francisco and The University of San Francisco’s Marshall–Riley Scholars.  In the foreword by Dr. Joseph  Marshall, Jr., he describes the book’s perspective as hope of helping one another to “stay Alive & Free.”  As envisioned by executive editor, Thomas Robert Simpson, the book shares valuable stories, lived-experiences, wisdom, and expertise from Black men that uplift the generations following them. It serves as a guide for all black men and boys to navigate their challenges, while reaching their full potential of joy, success, and fulfillment regardless of which stage of life they are in. With the wisdom from over a dozen Black men, readers will learn about the trials and tribulations of living in America as a Black man, and the difficulties of pushing back against their challenges. They share successes and emphasize the freedom that each boy and man has – to make decisions that will uplift their life journey. Most importantly, the writers of each letter want every Black man to know they are loved, cared for, and valued.

Among the writers that have contributed to Lighting the Path, is the Center’s senior director Derick Brown, along with local notables:  Lance Burton, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Noah Griffin, Paul Henderson, Lonnie Morris, Timothy Alan Simon, James Lance Taylor, and Shamann Walton who share their stories to show Black men and boys that they are not alone. The book has been brought to life with many talented and hardworking individuals including scholars from the Marshall-Riley Living Learning Community, Thomas Robert Simpson, Dr. Dominique Broussard, Melisa Garcia, Mariah Jackson, Karin Cotterman and Jackie Ramos. The book is in the final process of being thoroughly edited and with the goal of being released in early Spring. As expressed by Afro Solo’s founder and artistic director, Thomas Robert Simpson, the message is, “We believe in you. We trust that these letters will give you hope, uplift, motivate, and encourage you to pursue a life that brings you joy, success, and fulfillment beyond what you think is possible. We are rooting for you.”

Learn more about the Marshall Riley Living-Learning Community here.

Afrosolo TheatreBlack AmericansBlack men and boysBlack studentsBooksDamilola AdesanyaDavid HollerDr. Dominique BroussardDr. Joseph Marshall Jr.lettersLighting the PathMarshall-Riley Living Learning CommunityMarshall-Riley ScholarsscholarsStoriesThomas Robert Simpsonwriters

arwilliamsonraun • January 11, 2023

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