AFRO D.C. Editor Micha Green said she would not be where she is today without one of the greatest gifts she received for Christmas. (Courtesy Photo)

By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. Editor
mgreen@afro.com

Kirk Franklin’s “Jesus is the Reason for the Season,” rang through the hallways of my household every December as a reminder that despite the American pomp and circumstance surrounding the Christmas season, the true gift is our Savior. However, growing up as the youngest child in a family, with parents that had a solid financial standing, allowed for years of great Christmases filled with lots of toys and goodies even after Santa’s sleigh turned out to be Mommy and Daddy. 

I know that I’ve been privileged, and above all blessed, My parents never let me forget that, and I never took the gifts or the reason for the season for granted. But, I can’t lie: I looked forward to my gift requests and then some special surprises every Christmas morning.  

Nevertheless, into adulthood, gifts lessened as one of my favorite aspects of the holiday season. I love gifting and receiving tokens, but it’s not the top priority at this point. Yet, Christmas 2016, months after I graduated from grad school with my Masters in Broadcast Journalism, I found myself depressed and unsure about life’s next steps.

I was working as a freelance journalist, teaching artist and Zumba instructor, with no clear sign of a full-time journalism job in sight. I remember not knowing exactly what I wanted for Christmas. However, I remember coming into my mother’s living room and seeing several big packages in a section with gifts clearly designated for me. I figured perhaps these were big shoes, as I’m a shoe-girl after all. Or perhaps a new bed set? What could possibly be so big?

I opened gift after gift and it became apparent that my mother had bought me an entire collection for a Canon camera set so that I could film, report and edit footage of my own with quality equipment. My mother changed my life with that gift. From that gift, I launched a series called “Investigating Joy,” which allowed me to listen and tell the stories of others who live altruistically, while digging into my personal definition of happiness and personal goals.

Using my own camera, I shot packages for local and national networks covering events including the Women’s March and Congressional Black Caucus. One package I filmed with my Christmas gift was for the AFRO, at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Southeast, D.C., which got the attention of the AFRO’s former publisher who hired me as D.C. Editor a little over a year after I received the gift.

That Canon camera set was the best gift a journalist and film lover could ask for. I never took it for granted. I was so thankful for it. I am so thankful for it and the opportunities it provided.

In Summer 2018, my greatest gift was robbed from my house, but never my heart, as cliche as it may sound.

I moved to a new apartment in Summer 2018, a small studio with a door that led directly into the unit and facing several other units at the bottom of a hill in Northeast, D.C.  

One morning I walked my dogs and came back to my front door wide open. Everything looked pretty much in place, except for my camera equipment. Each and every piece, the camera, the extra lenses, the tripod, the adapters and bags, were gone.  As my dogs sniffed the house in devastation they picked up unfamiliar human scents, I cried with pain. That was my special gift. I loved my camera set and it had changed my life. How could someone steal it?

Then I remembered that some gifts are seasonal. I needed that camera to find my happiness, my passion and renewed love of storytelling. I needed that camera set as I continued to wet my feet as a multi-platform journalist without a company behind me that could advocate behind me or purchase more equipment. I needed my camera set in order to be recognized by the {AFRO}.  I needed that camera, and while I miss it and could definitely use it during these trying times presented with COVID-19, I don’t currently need it (not to stop a generous benefactor interested in gifting this reporter a camera). 

I think about gifts that keep on giving. Without that camera set, I’m not sure I would have this full-time job with the AFRO, or have interviewed idols such as Taraji P. Henson, Cathy Hughes and Rev. Al Sharpton. My mother, who walks in God’s way every day, ultimately gifted me a present that yielded more fruit. It was such a good gift, the perfect gift, if you will.  James I: 17 says: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” While I know James is referencing God as the “Father of lights with whom there is no variation,” I’d like to think that, similarly, despite changes, God’s gifts are still “good gifts.”

 

Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor