Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Clothed In Our Right Minds!

I Love AYA. 

"How was, or how could our ancestors insistence on using various Black "dialects" be a form of resistance, healing and restoration?" I asked our high school students. "I don't know," one student responded. "Guess," I said. Slowly the wheels began to turn. A student from Lexington, KY led the way, Georgia followed, NY wasn't far behind. They were rolling now.

Today, the Economic Conundrum drama continues. The students are trying to wrap their minds around how our ancestors healed, restored, and kept us clothed in our right minds when white brutality and bestiality uprooted everything that we knew - family, law, justice, values, spirituality, love, hygiene, health, etc.. 

When their goal was to turn us into animals, to distrust each other, to devour each other, to alienate ourselves from our way, 
  • How did our ancestors heal the psychic, emotional, and physical wounds? 
  • How did we protect ourselves from going insane? 
  • How did we  restore family when mother, father or child was ripped apart? 
  • How did we still see ourselves as whole enough to make families even when we had been violated?

The students already know that we succeeded for we didn't turn on each other. They know of stories of our people searching for miles and miles, and years and years for family at the end of captivity. They know of how we worked together to create the Black Wall Streets and other Black economic and social centers. 

They know THAT we succeeded in restoring and protecting ourselves to a significant degree. But, they are searching for HOW - with no schools, no church buildings or recognized services, no recognition of family, or humanity, and no money.
They extracted their mission from Nana Amos N. Wilson's Falsification of African Consciousness to become restorative tellers of our past and culture. Now, they were learning what that really means.
Our ancestors kept us "clothed in our right minds" - our Afrikan minds" to the extent that at the end of legal bondage in the US, there was still a distinct difference between Europeans and Afrikans. 

The Afrikan roots were stronger than the routes of the captive ships such that, even as late as 1865, we trusted each other to start co-op businesses and organizations together. 

The evidence of our ancestors restorative power could also be seen in our  turning over our dollars 36-100 times before they left our community.

The students are NOT looking for a list of accomplishments! List are rarely instructive. They are not trying to prove our worth by how much our stacks up the captor's stack.

They are looking for:
  • Our universities without walls or funding 
  • Our families with no blood connection 
  • Our secret societies 
  • Our secret spiritual development 
  • Our invisible governance process 
  • Our restorative strategies and results, etc. 
which guided us to build for and fight for Afrikan people.

Sterling Stuckey's The Circle of Culture chapter from his "Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America" serves as one guide. Again, not just a list of accomplishments, they are looking for stories, strategies, and actions. They have to "see" our ancestors at work, so they can transmit those images, characters, choices, and actions to you, their families and their friends. 

The student search is hampered by our cultural surrender from this recent  integrationist/assimilationist period. We see things like "school," "family," "culture" through an alien eye, so even when we find our ancestors in action, we can't see them or their considerable powers.

To see our ancestors healing power, we must heal ourselves. It's daunting and wonderful at the same time. This is what the students are going through - what we all are going through.

This healing search is one part of their mission to find and share our ancestors warrior, healer, builder mojo. They hope we'll be both inspired and instructed by our ancestors economic and social power in the early 20th century.

As you can image, this can be challenging and even a little isolating for high school students to dare such a task. Too often we only require that they remember some dates and trends.

This is where you can help. 

  • Please let them know that they are not alone, and if you are so touched, please pen a few words of appreciation that they have taken up this mission. 
  • Please tell them what it means to you and for our people that they've taken up this mission.

I'll share your words with them in class. They are the AYA Economic Conundrum students for 2016.

PS. Did you know that the Kikongo cosmology as expressed in this image below was communicated by our ancestors to each other in a counter clock-wise dance called the Ring Shout. Here's some of what they are still to learn about this from Baba FuKia:

"Recognition is given to the importance of Musoni time not only as the cornerstone of the Kongo cosmogram but also as the seed, the beginning  point of all development in Kongo society. The Mukongo would say, for example, that when a seed is put in the ground, the action is being rooted in the Musoni position. Similarly, when an idea is being formed or developed in somebody's mind or when a Mukongo couple plans for a family, they begin at the Musoni stage. It is the position at which the universal living "energies" (male and female) unite inside the womb and become (matter)."

"The Kala position is seen as the position at which all biological beings come into being (mu kala). It is the position of all births. It is for this reason that the birth of child (mwana) in Bantu-Kongo society is conceived of in the same way one sees the sun rising in the upper world: "the birth of a child is perceived as the rising of a living sun in the upper world (ku nseke), the physical world or the world of the living community" (Fu-Kiau 1991, p. 8)".

So our ancestors keep this kind of advanced Afrikan cosmological knowledge alive via our dances and ceremonies? Hmmm.

We're all learning.

I'll keep you posted.