Passing Messages in Black Communities: Part Two-Hoarding Information

Sometimes information hoarders, whether intentionally or inadertently, sabotage community building by creating barriers to trust and information flow.

Identification as a black clergywoman in midlife gives me a valuable lens through which to view the needs of underserved, marginalized and disadvantaged populations in my ministry context. Unfortunately, community building to meet those needs may not be a priority to persons with individual motives or agendas. Individualism is characteristic of information hoarders and some self-appointed gatekeepers. Witnessing numerous cases of anti-communal behavior has compelled me to address the issue. In order address counterproductive behaviors contrary to building communal relationships for good, I call it out by name here-hoarding information.

A moral defibrillator speaks truth to power and among persons with whom she or he seeks to build community. Speaking about the heart of what matters does not require one to be abrupt or rude. However, speaking truth in love may ruffle feathers, hurt feelings or cause temporary fall out. Truth telling must thrive if we are to build community together. Openly speaking truth to one another in black communities remains a central component of passing messages as when griots, keepers of oral history, passed it on through storytelling in our native land. The principle of truth telling guides my sharing of personal observations in this blog.

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