We Are The Lions
BY GREGORY HEDGEPETH
About a month after our third anniversary, I lost someone close to me and it took a while for me to get over. Coincidentally, she was incredibly vital to Vital Narrative since the very beginning and I would be remiss not to mention her contributions to the company. Her name was Panda, and back when I was still sleeping on my grandmother's couch, she allowed me to create and share my talents with the world.
That's because Panda was my 21-inch iMac computer and she was where every Vital Narrative document lived.
Unfortunately, old age caught up with her and despite my best efforts, she still ended up joining that old Apple graveyard in the sky. So after I grieved an appropriate amount of time, I found a suitable replacement named Simba and immediately got back to work.
If there was a silver lining to the whole ordeal, it was that everything had to be transferred over and it gave me a chance to go through our archives. I went on a wild trip down memory lane and came across some of our old logos from WAAAAAY back.
Looking at where we came from made me even prouder of what we've become and where we are headed in the future. But in doing that, I knew it was time for the company itself to evolve into something more representative of what's to come.
When we first began, the bear was the key element of our brand, meant to represent how multi-faceted people of color are despite mainstream media's obsession with pigeonholing our experiences.
Not long after Panda died, we posted this on our Facebook page:
To the casual observer, this was probably just another post - but it was really the mark of our new identity: we are the lions who learned to write.
With fake news running rampant these days, it's imperative that we write and share authentic experiences with the world. It's easy to complain about how we are portrayed in media, but now, more than ever, we have the ability to control these narratives.
The hunters have told tall tales of their journeys for centuries - but now that the lion has the pen, we have a duty to honor all that came before us.
We are the lions who learned to write - and writing is what we will do.
Gregory Hedgepeth is the editor-in-chief of Vital Narrative Press. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Feel free to follow on all three. Or maybe just two. Yeah, two’s probably good — he’s not that interesting. Gregory Hedgepeth is also the author of MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SUNRISES, THE YEAR THAT ANSWERED and A COLLECTION OF ECHOES. BUY THAT SHIT.