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The Sista Elders in Afro-Life
6/1/2016 3:01:05 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali 

Last week I wrote an article entitled "The Elders and Knowledge" and it was apparently enthusiastically received with joy, especially among many local Afro-Americans.

I want to thank all those good "colored" folk of all ethnicities who stopped me and said that it was on point and very timely. It’s always nice to know that so many "different" ethnic folk still understand the importance of the venerable elders of knowledge, both past and present, in the African-American community.

The reason I write the way that I do is that I'm forever on a mission, as long as the Most High Alone allows me, to tell my vibes about the reality of being being of color in the land of my birth. It's America in all of the shades of trials, tribulations and triumphs.

I could never be truly reflective on a "hue-manistic" level, nor give dignity to such a posture, unless I gave respective salutations to the Black woman, the mother of all creation. That's a must in my writing and thinking dynamics.

Black women are more than just ordinary females. The women in my personal spheres of respectful acknowledgement, in the all-too-classy field of ebony female elders, are special in my head and thoughts just like those in your realm should be, no matter their ethnicity.

No matter who they are, they are our queens and princesses and as a "brotha" of color I want them to be remembered with the just majesty they deserve.

They are our royal mothers, the literal and unequalled strengths in our global Afro-communities and individual family units. Never forget that.

Until you experience what it is to "really" be born Black in America, "our-storically" speaking, you probably can't, don't or won't be able to interpret what I'm saying about the "Afro-sista" connection to the elderhood. If you are Black, then what I putting before you isn't new, but the God Alone honest truth.

Black women in the United States and elsewhere, en masse, are the backbone of the true African-centered family unit. They are the universal mothers who taught us all the abilities to go forth in life and strive under untold virulent obstacles and oppressive realities. They are our first teachers.

I could never forget that because the respect for the elder Afro-sistas remains strong in my mind, heart and soul. My gratitude to all past, present and future Black mothers is immense, and no one except the Creator Alone can repay them for being who they are and for what they've done.

I want everyone to know that Black woman, our original "Afro-sista," has been there for us through the centuries of times, both good and bad, and their honor is still without equal. I'll never forgot that you were and are the "hue-man" rope that holds our families together.

As an elder, you've made me know that Afro-wisdom is evident because of all the undocumented sacrifices that you've made on your family’s behalf, and without same, where would the so-called Black nation be? You have been there from the slave ship ordeals to the present holocaust.

The "Afro-sista," again, is a homegrown noble elder, serving as an eternal mediator teaching us all about the rigors of hanging in there when racism and bigotry were the standards for American democratic political realities. Some say that still is a reality. The tags of hidden racism is still an unspoken cliché for people of color in the land where the patriotic eagle flies.

The elder "sistas" understood what it took to deal with a biased society and you did your best under the prejudiced circumstances to buffer and counsel the Black men and women in your midst to stand up for justice and equality. That's why I must salute them for their selflessness and sacrifices that you made and still do in helping the Black experience be more than an afterthought.

There's no way to put a value on their worth, which is truly priceless and I mean that in all of the measures of accountabilities know to "hue-mankind." No one can value their worth in keeping their family and the Black world vibrant and intellectually defiant.

My respect and love for the "Afro-sista" is due to the fact that I know what reality is and what time it it really is in so many uncounted Black folks' lives. That's something some of us in our various communities don't understand and that is that "Black Lives Do Matter."

"Sista" elders have known that all along because they gave birth to us and they knew and still know the demands that the outside world places on most "colored" folk in order just just to survive.

Knowing that reality is what ties me to them in a greater sense of knowing why being Black is important.

And because of that I must always politely remember that Black women are the traditional "sista-elders" in our real Afro- families and communities.

Thanks for being you. To you all, I offer a respectful and humble acknowledgement of your greatness, and for today, that's, "As I See It."


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