I saw this on The Reunion of Black Family World Wide facebook page. It is so empowering and inspiring I had to share:
Mwalimu Baruti: Gounding With My Daughters
Our story is a phenomenal record of Afrikan women. No other women have been so loved, coveted and envied for their strength and elegance.
Their lineage determined whether a man could be pharaoh. The world’s first divinities were female. The world’s first female doctor, Preshet, who was a “chief” physician, was a Kemetic woman. The world’s first ruler of an empire, Hatshepsut, was a Kemetic woman. The warrior who, even after Europeans tried to break her spirit by kidnapping, torturing and beheading her sister, relentlessly led the Angolan armies in a fight against the enslavement of Afrikans and the Portuguese onslaught for four decades, a woman so feared by her white enemies that she was called “The Black Terror, “was a queen named Nzingha. The warrior queen named Sarraounia militarily defended her people against Islamic invasion at a time when states all around her were submitting to this forced conversion and relinquishing their Afrikan spiritual traditions. Queen Candace led her troops in battle against the invading forces of Augustus Caesar. The remains of the world’s oldest human belonged to an Afrikan woman named Amargi (misnamed “Lucy”).
The list of your accomplishments on the Continent alone is endless. Many are the names and deeds we will never know but can surmise because we know Afrikan women. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that our ancestral mothers’ social position as equals with our ancestral fathers led other people’s men, afraid to lose their patriarchal privilege, to suppress and brutalize their women to keep them from aspiring to what Afrikan men accepted as normal for Afrikan women.
In being themselves, ancestral Afrikan women had no difficulty taking up arms with their men against invaders. On the Continent, they commanded armies, served as guards, spies, guerrillas, foot soldiers, archers. They became responsible for keeping the oral ourstorical record when the men were carted off to slave on plantations and mines. On the Kemetic Ocean, during the Middle Passage, they did no less. They were the eyes and ears of our revolts. They dealt with our enemy as their men did.
Enslaved or quasi-free in the western hemisphere and elsewhere, they did no less. Time and time again, they conducted enslaved Afrikans out of physical bondage. Harriet Tubman, in looking back over her life and thinking about the hundreds of Afrikans she had freed from the physical bonds of our enslavement, reflected on how she “could have freed thousands more if they only knew they were slaves.” Sojourner Truth, making the point that Afrikan women did the work that supposedly only men were capable of, refused to accept being defined down to the level of european females. Her cogent question of “Ain’t I a Woman?” still rings as a wake up call in our ears.
Standing tall alongside the likes of Ida B. Wells, Mary McLeod Bethune and Fannie Lou Hamer, they withstood insults, taunts, water hoses, dogs and bullets. They spoke truth, regardless of consequences. They more than earned the honor of being named “first teacher” and nurturer.” These various acts made them neither less than nor more like men. None of these responsibilities negated or confused their womanhood. They defined it.
You are the daughters of these incredible mothers who gave birth to humanity, to cultivation, to civilization. You are the inheritors of a legacy beyond the imagination of most. So, young sisters, you must recognize who you are in order to see and begin to fulfill your responsibility as a woman of Afrika. Only a clear understanding of ourstory, through our people’s eyes, permits this. Any other interpretation, anything less, fosters confusion.
Simply because you are being exposed to ourstory you are very privileged. And privilege carries responsibility. With it, you accept the difficult and humbling task of learning and teaching others so that your generation’s liberating mission can be fulfilled and correctly passed on to future generations. It is because of your privilege that you have an undeniable responsibility to your ancestors, those around you, and those yet to come.
There is nothing so powerful as a young sister who knows who she is, who stands proudly on the shoulders of her ancestors because she knows she is the culmination of their wisdom and spirit. Nothing is more beautiful than a woman warrior in training who has studied her own before and above all others, and interprets reality and society out of that truth first.
Happy Birthday Angela Davis!
On Monday I noticed an unusual sharp spike in traffic to the blog. When I reviewed the “Site Stats” it revealed that the post with the most views on that day was “Nigger Day”, a post I had done in November 2007. The “Stats” also showed that the search term most used that day that lead to the post was “nigger day”. Another search term I saw that captured my attention was “national nigger day”.
In the USA on Monday 21 January, it was the federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day, as well as the celebration of President Obama’s 2nd Inauguration. It is no coincidence that the above search terms dominated the “Site Stats” for that day. I hadn’t noticed such an obvious increase in traffic to the above post before, although it is steadily one of the most read posts on the blog.
It is sobering and quite revealing that in the so-called “post-racial” America that some like to espouse, a certain segment of the American population consider a day as significant to African-Americans as “nigger day”. For those who want to minimize this as just the rantings of a small bunch of ignorant rednecks, I would answer that history has shown that the storm troopers of the elite are always the gullible but committed few from the less noble masses.
Op-ed submission by Project 21
Had he not been cut down in his prime, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would now be 84 years old. He was undeniably a beacon of hope and a pillar of light in the midst of the dark and evil times in which he lived.
Dr. King inspired many people, including me, to dream and persevere despite the challenges and obstacles that may easily seem to surmount us. Looking upon the accomplishments, courage and wisdom of Dr. King, I ponder about how he might view America if he were still alive today.
As our nation continues to see the downward spiral in the economy, class warfare driven by political elites and an insufferable secular agenda promoted by the media and Hollywood, there is definitely a valid reason to want to lose faith in humanity.
To me, Dr. King envisioned the bigger picture when he said: “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”
I like the analogy of being a drum major. A drum major is the leader of a marching band and is responsible for commanding the ensemble regarding where to march and what is played.
Today, I strive to embrace Dr. King’s agenda and march toward morality, righteousness, purity and leadership. Our culture these days is too entrenched in sexuality, individualism, greed and selfishness. We are in desperate need of a voice that will not only impact today’s youth, but will also affect generations to follow.
As a drum major, perhaps I can create a new beat to replace the current refrain of complacency, indolence and apathy. I wish to create a beat that strikes to the rhythm of hope and redemption. I wish to instill hope for a better tomorrow, a brighter future and salvation for past failures and mistakes.
It is very easy to highlight the failures of modern-day society, but it takes a compassionate heart to advocate redemption and a fresh start to one’s life. Dr. King’s view of faith still echoes amongst us today. For it is Dr. King who once said: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Maybe you’re an individual who has to work two or three jobs to make ends meet. Perhaps you’ve just had the unfortunate experience of losing a job. Maybe you’re a recent college grad who’s had to move back home with mom and dad because you couldn’t find a job and there were no resources to meet your needs. Whatever the case may be, step out in faith and let God fight the battles.
We do not know all the answers to the mysteries of life, but we can find refuge and strength in Almighty God, knowing that He will supply our every need. He will not abandon us, even when our faith is feeble.
Dr. King also had a wise approach to politics. He simply stated: “I feel someone must remain in the position of non-alignment, so that he can look objectively at both parties and be the conscience of both, not the servant or master of either.”
At a time when politics and philosophy are causing disarray and deconstruction, we all, myself included, have become saturated with our own ideology. We have neglected, at times, accountability and honesty in our debates. It is easy to be passionate about our beliefs and convicted in our principles, but we become blinded by the deceit and vanity that is displayed on all sides of the political spectrum.
Let us become visionaries of change, not disciples of blind loyalty. I truly believe the political discourse can be solved when we encourage ourselves and our peers to be better, even the ones who claim to be on our side. I believe that Dr. King would agree with me when I say that being on our Creator’s side protects us from fallacy.
Thank you, Dr. King, for reminding us to look at the bigger picture.
Demetrius Minor is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network and co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show “He Said, She Said” with Project 21 member Stacy Washington.
My wife is a member of a Toastmasters group and wrote and presented this speech during their meeting this week. I found it so inspirational, especially as we memoralize Dr. Martin Luther King tomorrow, that I wanted to share it with you:
Good Morning Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters, welcomed guests. My thought of the day relates to our young people. “ttyl”, “lol”, “smh”, what do these abbreviations mean to you? Well, I know when I get one of these unknown abbreviations in a text, I am not afraid to ask my friends what it means.
Do you know what “yolo” means? I was listening to the John Tesh radio show the other day and he mentioned this new abbreviation: “yolo”: “you only live once”. It seems that there is a new trend among young people texting “yolo” before, during and after some sort of reckless behaviour. For example, a young person wrote in a message that he was stunt driving 120 miles/hr with “yolo” in the text, just before he crashed and killed all 5 occupants in the vehicle. Why are our young people so unhappy? Why do some feel that life is disposable?
I would put out a challenge to start a new text trend. My new text abbreviation would be “hope”: “help our people everywhere”. Society needs to find ways to help kill the root cause of our despair. Young people are our future and my hope is that they live long enough to see it, because “yolo”… you only live once. Thank you.
if you’re a role model like this
and not like this
if your children know who this is
but have no idea who this is
if all our daughters aspire to be this
and none have the desire to achieve this
if all you do is blame this
yet are silent about this
if you take the time to debate the merits of this
yet have not acquired the knowledge to discuss this
if you are disgusted by this
but you chuckle at this
if every Sunday you run to worship this
while Monday to Saturday you walk by this
then you need to take responsibility to free your ghetto mind!
I saw this documentary on Sis Deb’s blog. Knowledgeable and inspiring!
I also added this comment to her post:
Sis Deb, thanks for posting this. I had not heard of this documentary before and I was certainly “shaking my head in the affirmative” throughout. I was inspired by the hard work, sacrifice and tenacity of the people profiled. I celebrate all their successes, professional and personal.
As a people we need engage in all sectors of an economy and not [only] ghetto-ize ourselves in the arts or social services [I should have also added "sports" in this list]. We can all use our talents to contribute to our overall advancement. However, like all people everywhere, there are those of us who are in it only for themselves and although it may not be right, from a collective perspective, it’s okay, ’cause regardless of these selfish individuals, if we keep our eyes on the collective prize and do the work, we can make a positive difference in the actual and real lives of others.