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The Elders and Knowledge
5/25/2016 6:57:03 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali 

Being of color in the real America that I was born into in Harlem and now reside in the South have left certain impressions on my mind, heart and soul. Call it what you want, but life is an intermittent cycle of learning and experiences in my book.

I haven't lived a very long time in some minds, but I wasn't born yesterday. Life is funny to some fanciful naysayers in a way because the smarter ones in society seem to get smarter and the dumber seem to, well, you, get it, dumber as they say.

"Life is what it is." I guess you've heard that one before, and there's much wisdom to that inference no matter when or where you first heard it.

Whenever I think of that phrase, my mind goes back in time to those who came before me and you. I'm talking about "The Elders," and because I'm a brotha of color, I can only speak from my perspective, which is from a so-called African-American point of view.

Please don't get caught up at this late point in time about the name African-American as some controversial folk do and willingly become uptight about. That is a discussion point for another time because today I'm only interested in talking about "The Elders" in and from the Black experience and culture.

Living in "The American Experience," after more than seventy years has taught much about wisdom and knowledge. I've come now to the point in life where I can fully understand and grasp what some of my and other past and present African-American ancestors were saying about the realities of life and being here in this land where the symbolized patriotic eagle roams.

These noble souls, and that's what "The Elders" are, deserve to be recognized because without them, where would the majority of conscious-minded African-centered Black folk be? These aristocratic and heroic "colored" folk laid the cornerstones for everyone of us presently in the African-American world to be who we are. Never forget that!

But I have to give initial and solo credit where it is rightfully due, which is to God Alone, and no other for creating everything and for everyone.

I trust that you do know that indisputable truth and that you don't reference it by praising any created being or thing in creation because only the Creator Alone is deserving of that solitary acknowledgement.

With that wisdom in vouch proof spiritual and mental lockdown, I have to thank the Most High Alone for giving us in the African-American community some crated beings of color who manifested the abilities to gravitate through trying times and excruciating difficulties with spiritual strength and faithful wisdom beyond the belief of the ordinary "colored"souls in their midst. And that includes all of the revered and unknown heroes and sheroes of the African-American experiences.

They are all "elders", notable kings and queens to me, because they paved the way for us to be who we are today in so many, many untold arenas and avenues of expressions.

Some misguided "colored" folk, even by today's standards of politically incorrect intelligence, turn a blind eye whenever you speak proudly of being Black.

Well, I do because I was created and given birth by God Alone, and the Creator Alone never could make an error in anything and at anytime. I, again, have to take a humble pause to thank the Most High Alone for giving us the created ones we lovingly refer to "The Elders."

We in the Afro-communities have to respect and remember them, no matter whether our own close relatives or some distant recognized hero or shero from our greater collective worlds of existences. They all were and are our "elders," who taught us about so many things until the ink would literally dry up if we were to try to put encyclopedic volumes together describing their worth.

I love and respect "The Elders," because they were (and are) our ancient and current passage ways to here and there about who we are and should be. Their struggles about ebony strength and unity is like the reflection of their inspirational shadows upon our present day manhood and womanhood personifications. They gave us much.

In future articles, I'll give you a smattering of some these elders' insights that I've gleaned over from studying and reflecting upon their wisdom left to us in the conscious African-American fabric call "Soulsville".

It's a position I take seriously because writing, teaching and preaching about Black Pride has never been a token happening for me.

So, be on the lookout for future articles that I hope, by God Alone's permission, will stimulate, refresh, enlighten and nourish your insights about the profound beauty of "The Elders." In the meantime, if you would, poignantly think about how blessed you are and have been by the untold sacrifices and struggles of those who came before you to make things better for you. Are standing on someone's shoulder?

I know that I am and have, and that's why I have to now give thanks to the Creator Alone for giving us the opportunity to acknowledge our "elders," some who've been tragically and cowardly taken away from us by mindless and covert enemies of freedom, justice and equality for all.

Learning about your ancestors' sagacity is necessary because as my mother used to say me constantly, "to whom much is given, much is expected".

She was an "elder" to me in so many ways, always filled with love, kindness and respect towards everyone she met. I thank God Alone for her strength, courage and knowledge because she was one of many "elders" in the educational learning curves who taught me the supreme value and truth that I must never ashamed of being who I am. Do you feel where I'm coming from?

I hope so because "Black is Beautiful". That's what "The Elders" said and believed in. To all of "The Elders," I remember you all, both past and present, with appreciation because you are the invigorating "hue-man" self-esteem reminders that keep me going. I love and owe you so much, and that's, "As I See It."

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