By Susan D. Peters
I was recently talking with a friend about the political situation Black people find ourselves in. I see great anxiety about the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. I believe we have forgotten who we are. I remember the poignant scene in the movie “Black Panther” when Erik Killmonger is dying, and King T’Challa bends mercifully to say, “Maybe we can heal you,” to which Killmonger responds, “…so you can lock me up? Bury me at sea with my people who jumped off the ships because they knew that death was better than bondage.” When I saw the scene, I burst into tears, thinking of those Africans, dazed, brutalized, stripped from the motherland, unable to communicate with captives of other tribes, laying in their feces and the vomit of the sick and dying around them. Taken to the deck of the ship for a breath of air and then, with resolve, jumping overboard to end their bondage. I wept for them. They are an important part of our proud history.
But We Are Not Those People!
We are begotten of the Africans that chose survival. They survived the Middle Passage, the humiliation of enslavement; they survived the whip’s violence, the lash, floggings, castrations, brandings, brutal rapes, and every manner of unspeakable horror. WE became the builders of America, so much so that our greatness, our accomplishments continue to be hidden. We did not come to America as “members” of any faith, except perhaps Islam. The European version of Christianity had yet to be propagated throughout Africa as a tool of colonization. Our people have continued to draw upon our indwelling faith. Our ancestors, whose invincible shoulders we stand upon, used every-single-opportunity they were given for survival and growth. They had Soul Wisdom that affirmed, strengthened, and carried our race forward.
For every weapon formed against us, we have survived. We are an invaluable facet of God’s community of people. We will not be moved or removed. I am not saying we stand because we alone are God’s people. I believe all people are God’s evolving people, each at various stages of their spiritual unfoldment. But I am clear that we can, and we will stand beyond this election. I want my people to gather themselves in Spirit and know this. Now is a time for us to get focused on the real truth.
The current President has given us the gift of the clarity we sought at the dawning of the year 2020. What needed clarification is the truth that the challenge is always us. The old Negro spiritual says:
“Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord,
Standin’ in the need of prayer;
Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord,
Standin’ in the need of prayer.”
This country is deeply divided, and as Africans in the Diaspora, we were both disbursed and divided. We are divided in our mindset, in our agendas, and in our commitment to uplift one another. Consider that we are divinely forced to redirect our attention from the lack of moral values of a man who has apparently been elevated to show us that if you lose sight of who you are and whose you are, you will suffer.
How ironic is it that after the presidency of Barack Obama, there would arise someone so unqualified to lead as America’s current President? His political cohorts were surprised that he won. This cannot be dismissed as happenstance. The Universe is always teaching us.
Our ancestors, ripped from the Continent and enslaved, were the cream of Africa. We ARE the descendants of those people! They survived the Middle Passage and produced the Sojourner Truths, Frederick Douglass’ the Martin Luther Kings, the Thurgood Marshalls, the Katherine Johnsons of our world, and so many more. Those are the ancestors upon whose shoulders we stand.
We Must Remember Who We Are.
The TRUTH is that whatever President or leaders emerge from this election, we should meet them with a solid Black agenda and Black people willing to engage whoever wins to move our agenda forward. We are the descendants of those that stayed on the ship that landed in Jamestown, Virginia, and that have fought and will continue to fight. The Universe is strengthening and sharpening us.
Peace and Blessings.
#wedonotfold #blackunity #wesurviveforever.
All Photos by Fred Huntley
Susan D. Peters, aka, Ahnydah (ah-NIE-dah) Rahm, brings a wealth of experience gained as an expatriate living in West Africa. Her memoir Sweet Liberia, Lessons from the Coal Pot, received the Black Excellence Award for Non-Fiction from the African American Alliance of Chicago and the Mate E. Palmer award for Non-Fiction from the Illinois Press Women’s Association. Broken Dolls, Susan’s second book, represents her foray into the mystery market and is the first of a series featuring Detective Joi Sommers as its heroine. Her most recent publication is Stolen Rainbow, a short story focused on the post combat recovery of a beautiful marine captain after a devastating combat injury. Her work is featured in three anthologies, Baring It All, the Ins and Outs of Publishing, Signed, Sealed, Delivered … I’m Yours, a contemporary romance anthology, and The Anthology of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association. Buy her books online and at www.SusanDPeters.com.