What is Connected Writing?

Writing is a means of communicating and creating ideas – with and for others. Writing is an inherently social act.  “Connected writing” emphasizes the social aspects of and interactions around writing.  Will Richardson conceptualizes “socially connective writing” as writing that is done in response to reading and that synthesizes and remixes the ideas from the original piece into a new piece (http://weblogged.wikispaces.com/Connective+Writing).  Our concept of connected writing in this blog-space builds upon Richardson’s work and extends it.  We envision connected writing to be writing that is thoughtfully and strategically crafted, shared with others, read, and taken up in a variety of ways by the reader.  The reader doesn’t respond in a spontaneous or stream-of-consciousness manner to the original piece.  Rather, he/she lets the ideas percolate and crafts a written response that incorporates, remixes, or responds to the original writing with a new piece that was carefully crafted.  This new piece has the potential to be its own, stand alone piece, but it gains more meaning and power as a connected piece read in conjunction with the related, connected writings.  Choose a social or political idea you are passionate about.  Spend some time thinking and writing on that topic.  Then share a piece you create.  Your shared piece could be a poem, a personal narrative, an informational piece, a persuasive essay, a visual composition, or some other form of text.

10 thoughts on “What is Connected Writing?

  1. Allow Phoenix to Rise

    The restoration of Black Wall Street 1921, The reparation for survivors
    Those that lived, surviving one of the darkest blemishes of Tulsa, OK,
    a dark blemish for the USA.

    This story forever stays close to my heart
    even though families wanted to leave it in the annals of darkness.
    Lost were the memories to many years of that had gone past.
    Still those honorable, hardworking businessmen, doctors, lawyers, mothers, fathers, children, unborn babies cried out from the grave.
    Their bodies buried in mass graves so that the hate that took their lives would be covered, the blemish would be forgotten.

    But still their voices rise, voices that continue to cry
    wailing out for justice, crying out for truth, waiting for honor to be restored.
    Voices that desire to rise and be recognized like the Phoenix that rises from ashes revealing itself to be a bright light,
    Bright like a force of nature that must be reckoned with.

    Those that didn’t know are beginning to know, those that knew are allowing the truth to rise.
    Rise through their memories, through real life experiences.
    Experiences that were buried just as deep as the mass graves on that horrific day.

    Let them cry, lift every voice and sing, lift every memory so our story will not be forgotten
    Let them cry so that our ancestor’s names will be spoken and their lives as well as their deaths will not be lived or sacrificed in vain.

    Rise Phoenix – shine bright Black Wall Street lest we forget.
    Rise Phoenix and burn bright, like the fires that destroyed 40 blocks filled will life exemplifying a true village.
    Rise Phoenix – shine bright Black Wall Street.
    We hear your cry and we will work hard for your restoration
    forever giving honor to you for your sacrifice.

    Wanda Vaughn

    • Wow thanks. I’m still trying not to allow the tears to cloud the effort that is still needed to bring the restoration that Black Wall Street truly deserves. Its hard but we will rise!

    • You know I think that because my mom was living here in Tulsa when all of this happened, I feel like I have a stock in this. She and my grandfather never talked about it, but that was the norm back in the day because they wanted to forget the horror. She was 1 year old when it all happened. I think this is one of the reasons why I was destined to return to Tulsa.

  2. Wanda,

    Your passion and commitment breathes life into heartbreak. This dream of a dream that was once reality, sometimes seems overwhelmingly discouraging.

    Driving daily past oversized brick and mortar monuments to themselves, to their own power, built atop Greenwood’s hallowed and bled-for ground, sometimes make the heartbreak so unbearable that we must stop for a drink to cloud it out.

    What have we done, Tulsa? We are Adam and Eve hiding in the garden, covering our nakedness with galleries, bars, baseball fields, coffee shops and towers– erected at what cost?

    We have whole parks and museums dedicated to white heroes, managed and run by white CEOs and community leaders. Woody Guthrie himself might have questioned our audacity at hat tipping to social progress without having to actually make any.

    Reconciliation. What does it mean?

    We do have this one park-

    John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park.
    Reconciliation Park.

    –where we are invited to take a walk of reflection. Of reflection. Away from the galleries and coffee shops and hamburger joints and.

    To consider. Connect? Feel?

    Its cement path guides pilgrims into the garden of truth, narrated by our modern day prophets– painters, sculptors, writers– whose aortas were cut by the sins of our past and bled art.

    Weeping is invited, which explains why there is usually plenty of room to contemplate in solitude.

    May we, Wanda, join you?

    We. We together? Perhaps you would like company on your journey, in your vision. Others I know would join. They want to be WE, too. Jim Goodwin. Ray Pearcy. Lee Roy Chapman. Western Doughty.

    Berry Miller and Clark Millspaugh, RIP, dreamed of this, but they knew the charge wasn’t theirs to lead. They just wanted somebody to get behind, somebody like you, Wanda, and whoever you are journeying with. I know they look on in joy at your words, your dream. Your dream for our town. Our town together.

    When can we move through Reconciliation into Restoration?

    The Year of Jubilee is long overdue.


    • Thanks Lindsey for the power of numbers has always proven to be a mighty force. This part of history transcends color and race because there are those that hurt because their ancestors were either mocked and mutilated or they were a part of a time in history that no one can rejoice about unless their hearts are still twisted by the poison that prejudice produces. We recently lost another survivor that was a warrior for the cause. Wess Young Sr. was 97 years old and a gentle giant who traveled all over the country speaking out for the truth of Black Wall Street. We had a memorial celebration at the Jazz Hall of Fame for him this past Saturday. He will be missed but his true love for his people and community will live on forever. He loved even though he experienced tragic events while trying to escape for his life during the holocaust of Black Wall Street. You see some may try to burn down the material things and even take a life, but the power of love is the greatest force in this universe and Wess Young exemplified this truth. So we take on the baton for justice. The African Ancestral Society of Tulsa stands strong on these principles. We will never forget.

    • Jlindseywatts, Your response to Wanda’s piece is awesome! I like how in your piece you wrote about how our city has” built the baseball stadium, hamburger joints, and other places on Greenwood, but at what cost…covering up our sins…hiding the truth…” I thought this was an overall great writing response!

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