Wednesday, February 2, 2011

embracing my roots...


A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.

Little Se'lah and I were feverishly chasing Carmen Sandiego around the globe.  This vintage game is full of action, historical facts, diversity and culture.  What joy it brings me to now have a legitimate excuse to play this game once again ;).  We dashed over to Africa, where we were told the world's largest diamond was found.  But how could I just leave that factoid so bland?  We started to discuss the systemic depletion of Africa's natural resources and its relation to the cruel institution of slavery and other atrocities across the continent.  

Over 100 million innocent Afrikan men, 
and even the women and children too
shackled and literally packed like sardines
in the belly of slave ships crossing the oceans.

 Oh Jah, they died so inhumanely.
None were properly laid to rest,
their bodies carelessly tossed overboard
and swallowed up by the vast and open sea.

The remaining survivors were held in bondage,
against their will, as the chattel of unjust men
on the shores of the Americas and
throughout the West Indies.

As a descendant of a victim of slavery
I dare never forget what they endured
as long as their blood runs through my veins.
It is, and will forever be, a special part of me.

But it is now our time,
not to ignore or rewrite the history before us,
but to steer the course of present day history
on a more loving, tolerant, and humane path.

one love.

15 comments:

Tracey said...

What a beautiful & thought provoking post. Food for the soul. Thank you, Se'Lah!

Anyes said...

Beautifully said, Se'Lah and all together we can step forward looking ahead and helping one another one day at a time, one RAK at a time, one smile at a time. Much Love :-)

Birdie said...

this is so well said Se'lah, it's important to remember what our roots are yet to dwell in the pain that was done (and still is) on them/us will not bring healing ... oh how I love you dear friend!

Teresa O said...

Eloquently said, Se'lah. History tells a powerful story of ignorance, misguided humanity, and the strength and courage it takes to overcome such atrocities. A resounding, YES... it is time for tolerance and love on a humane path.

Cinner said...

so well written Se'lah...you are so wise....It would have thrilled my heart to have Little Se'lah come home singing that song. we all have our roots, I can not imagine not knowing or forgetting them. one love.

Tracy said...

"...now our time..." one day at a time, one step at a time, one good deed at a time, much love all the time... ONE LOVE :o) ((BIG HUGS))

Gail said...

Se'Lah-

Oh my - so powerfully and purposefully written. Your words pound like the beat of a drum - sending truth into the hearts and souls of all who visit here. I love you.
Gail
peace.....

Kass said...

To know your roots and cultivate growth in a positive direction is very life-affirming. You are a bright spirit.

julochka said...

i recently had a very interesting discussion on who has a right to identify themselves as african. and it made me wonder if the slaves did so...did they call themselves african? or was it the name of a specific tribe?

i know that it is a horrible and tragic history, but i'd like to think that great good - creativity, music, dance - like none ever seen before, came of it. and even a president. :-)

one love, dear se'lah,
xox,
/j

Marilyn said...

Sending you love. Yes it is time for more tolerance and love. I recently read The Help and it definitely helped me remember what has taken place.

Anonymous said...

I am a regular reader and have never commented here before because I don't have a blog but I would like to add to Julochka's conversation.

In my humble and very personal opinion, any person who was born on the continent of Africa, and by extension each of their descendants, has the right to call themselves "African". It is a birthright. No human being on the face of this earth is in any position to challenge the identification of the slaves who were indeed snatched by cruel hands from Africa herself. The specific tribe is what one now refers to as "ethnic group".

There were Black kings and queens and royalty in Africa long before slavery raped the nation. A mere visit to witness the creativity, music and dance like none ever seen would have been prudent rather than the unprovoked destruction inflicted upon the African population by non-African slave owners. The absurdity that there is some "good" that came from slavery can ONLY be seen through the eyes of the oppressor.

To move forward and truly understand each other, one must not try to put lipstick on this pig. Accept the institution of slavery for what it is and do what we can individually to address the wrongs of the past and contribute to a better future.

Thank you for helping me find my voice.

Always in love, Destiny.

SE'LAH... said...

These doors swing open for all to voice their opinions, and I remain respectful of them all, regardless of whether we can rest on common ground when the sun sets.

The reality of race relations has been a difficult one, even before each of us stepped foot on this plane. And so I invite you all to continue doing your best to make the world a little brighter for all of our children and our future generations.

One love, Se'lah.

Vickie said...

P.S. This photo is more than beautiful! It is inner beuty from our Creator!

A Box of Chocolates said...

it breaks my heart every time i think of the journey so many made in the belly of those boats. i shudder to think of the horror they endured the indignity and the pain. how can we call ourselves human and still accept that this happened and is still happening around the world today. Women and children are still being sold into slavery by other so called human being as i type when and how will it ever end.

happeningsonchaosranch said...

This is indeed a beautiful post Se'Lah. It brings a tear to my eye. I really have no words. Hugs to you dear one.

Sharon