The Babemba tribe of Africa believes that each human being comes into the world as good. Each one of us only desiring safety, love, peace, and happiness.
But sometimes, in the pursuit of these things, people make mistakes.
When a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he/she is placed in the center of the village, alone, unfettered. All work ceases. All gather around the accused individual. Then each person of every age begins to talk out loud to the accused. One at a time, each person tells all the good things the one in the center ever did in his/her lifetime.
Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted. All positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length without exaggeration.
The tribal ceremony often lasts several days, not ceasing until everyone is drained of every positive comment that can be mustered. At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and…
I love AYA. The day after yet another grand jury refused to indict a NY police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, for the killing of Eric Garner, our students and our community is up in arms, and tears, and fears. Instead of asking students to leave that at the door, Mama Fanta, instructor for our Black Body BioKhemestry, directed students to research the difference between a choke hold and a vascular or sleeper hold.
The former kills, or damages the wind pipe. The latter puts the person to sleep by temporarily cutting off blood to the brain.
Noting that some people in dominant and social media were debating about the officer's choke hold, Mama Fanta decided that she would equip her students with facts and perspectives to better prepare them for the debates and conversations.
Check it out, and please help me in appreciating Mama Fanta. Email her your thoughts. firstname.lastname@example.org