Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Great Melting Pot


The place... Newark, NJ. The year.... 1997. The locaction.... The Priory (a Restaurant) during lunch. I was planning my wedding to my 1st husband, a friend (at the time) whom I was having lunch with was curious about some of the plans for the wedding. I, an Original woman from the wilderness of North America, was planning to have (and did) a "Broom Jumping Ceremony" at the wedding that was separate from the church service. I wanted it separate so that it could stand on it's own merrit. She, a muslim woman originally from Egypt, commented, why would you want to remember something to sad and tragic like slavery?

Fast forward to this morning. Yesterday, while doing the Knowledge to Solstice traditions, (I am really curious why the apocalyspe of 2012 is scheduled near the winter solstice) I came across a celebration called Junkanoo/John Canoe/John Kuner. A white person asked me what I was reading so intently and I told him. Explained what I had learned in the 24 hours since finding out about it, and he shook his head and informed me that Black people will never get ahead if we keep holding on to the past. Really? I asked him to explain. When I took his head I wanted him/devil to know why.

This... person... said that we as a race needed to get over slavery. It was long gone and no Blacke person is currently affected by it. Long gone? I asked. My great great grand mother was born a slave. Is that long gone? He said. Impossible (I know why he found that hard to believe... And so do you). I shook my head. He asked when my mother was born (nosy mf'er ain't he?) I told him he seemed confused. He asked my age, I told him and added that both my grand parents were born at the turn of the 20th century. Emmancipation came in 1865 So yes that fits. He had to pull out his phone to verify. That's one argument down the drain.

Since he got all in my Kool-Aid I asked him a few questions about himself. His peops hail from Ireland. So I was like y'all don't celebrate St. Patrick's day right? He looked like I had just slapped the taste out of his mouth. And said YES YES the celebrate and celebrate big. I asked why, since they no longer reside in Ireland and I suspected and later confirmed that he never set foot in Ireland. So.......? He admitted defeat and ask we parted company I suggested that he get some potatoes.

Black folks in this country have very little in the way of our OWN traditions. Partly our fault, partly him/devil. We weren't allowed ot keep our native African traditions while enslaved. We came up with new ones... like jumping the broom. When segreation was allegedly repealed, Black folks stove hard to do like the white man rather than the other way around. In that process we lost a lot of our identity. I just want to get mine back. For me and mine.

Also Black people have this shame regarding slavery. What do WE have to be ashamed about? Did we go to a country and force people against their wills to board a ship, leave their native country to never return? Did Black people strip themselves of their clothes and dignity and willingly become chattel to serve him/devil? Did we willingly separate from our families by agreeing to be sold off to different planatations? Did Black women ask to be raped and miscengenated? Did we asked to be whipped and brutalized? Did we ask to live in shacky houses and eat the white man's cast offs? Did we do anything wrong? EMPHATICALLY NO! I'm proud that I come from a stock of survivors and inovators.

What I think white people don't like is that we have and do things they can't. They could try to broom jump at their weddings but would look ridiculous. They can never say the n-word and convince folks they meant it in love. It's not believable when they "catch" the Holy Ghost in their churches. They can't rap either (Screw Eminem!). So what they do is demonize what they cannot do. I ain't mad at them for trying. 35:40. They doing everything to remain relevant to Original people. But for devils relevance is synonymous to colonization and in this present hisrtory or koran, that ain't going to happen.

It is important that we retain as much of the history and traditions that came through slavery as possible. Contrary to popular opinion, we aren't African. Haven't been in a long time. Africans will tell you that we aren't African. I don't even call or consider myself and African-American. I'm an American, Damnit. Like it or not. Slavery is what we have. And yes, it is painful for some to remember how we were mistreated by the devil, but is equally important to keep that in mind so that we don't fall for the okie doke a second time.

You feel me?



Flying Mermaid said...

Yes, I feel you. As a Jew, it's clear to me that to ignore the past is to invite repetition. Glad you put Mr. Potatohead in his place.