Los Angeles based writer and artist Ryan Williams French is thrilled to launch his new blog, My Strength My Song. The blog is a compendium of essays, poems, and insights focused on empowering and encouraging young men of color. His compositions are accompanied by soulful audio and visual elements that bring life to the young writer's reflections on fatherhood, masculinity, absent fathers, and identity formation. In addition to personal insights, Ryan pulls from a collection of authoritative writers and thinkers, including Nelson Mandela, Viktor Frankl, and Carl Jung, to formulate deeper connections that can be applied to life.
His first essay, "Why Do Birds Sing Early in The Morning?" sings loudly in the space of silence and isolation the pandemic has demanded. Using the Bird Song as a framework, Ryan investigates the ramifications of absent fathers in young men's lives. Despite the widespread assumption that fathers are not critical to the success of a child's development, a multitude of statistics, and discourse on family structures demonstrate the centrality of a present male figure in a young boy's upbringing. As young boys without fathers mature into men, they face the dismal reality of higher prison incarceration rates, higher rates of clinical depression and anxiety, difficulties excelling in grade school, problems managing anger, alcohol and drug abuse, and domestic violence. In the face of these trends, Ryan's poem, or rather, ódé of faith, reconciliation, and self-acceptance, offers strength and courage to young men grappling with the reality of an absent father.
It is clear Ryan has a background in acting and education, his audio recording of the poem masterfully accentuates the spirit of his eloquent writing with muscular fervor and poetic vigor. In addition to essays, My Strength My Song revisits parables from the Bible that offer timeless insights on spiritual and personal development.
In this time of COVID, racial discord, national mourning, and discontent, My Strength My Song is a must-read blog for anyone, regardless of faith, searching for light in what seems to be a period of darkness. Readers can experience "Why Do Birds Sing Early in The Morning?" by clicking on the link below.
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