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!