Life is an African Experience

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

It’s raining outside as I attempt to gather my thoughts for another column and the continent of Africa is on my mind.  I can’t quite explain why, but the parallel between the the Motherland and nature are now very much in my somewhat laid back thinking experience.

With perception and perseverance, and as I’m listening  to what’s going on in my heart and soul, I’m focusing on Africa and another subject that’s always close to my spiritual thought.  That subject is always about the natural experiences of living-in-general, while existing in the America that most of us, who are of color, live in, knowing full well that it is quite an interesting ordeal.

As I think about what to write about next, the mystifying outside raindrops are falling on my rooftop with a steady cadence that’s making me feel like I’m in for a grand writing occurrence. As a constantly challenged thinker about the living process, I’m forever engaged in thinking about life’s endeavors and all of its natural happenings, past and present.

It’s only natural for me to say that because I’m forever thinking of and remembering what my ancestors endured during their times in forced captivity and during mental bondage. You see, I’m a self-professed “our-storian” and that alone makes me surrender to the mysteries of researching many of life’s unfathomable happenings and occurrences.

In so many diverse norms,“Life is an African Experience” to me, and I think about and visualize life’s experiences, happenings and challenges from that vantage point. Living as a proud knowledgeable brother of color in this land of twisted “his-storical” realities makes me realize that I must claim and establish within myself a pride in my own ancient, but largely unknown, heritage in order to stay sane, and there’s no two ways about denying that.

I am an African-American, one who’s proud, and I will never deny that I believe in the Creator Alone of everything and everyone in existence, with no “hue-man” intercession. With no negative slurs intended, l also admit that I was born into and have grown up in a racist country where divisions of color, religion, class and other political contradictions do and have always existed. That’s my experience.

An overwhelming segment of today’s African descendant “colored” souls experience life in tattered degrees unfolding dimensions of cosmetic integration, religious segregation and continued injustices as so many of their ancestors have. They know that there are (really) still two Americas—one White and one non-White, and this reality is very real in the barrios and ghettoes where the inhabitants know, all-too-well, that discrimination and racism are still the symbols of today’s hidden bigoted agendas and are not ones of mythical imaginations.

If you’re of color, you know subliminally that racism is something that’s always in the air in many facets of its unfolding dimensions and astonishing bewilderments. Sadly, in this so-called democratic land where freedom for all is hyped, an African “ colored” soul knows, with certainty, that the living process in America is an arduous process from birth to death. Racism is real.

“Life is an African Experience,” if you’re a conscientious global seeker of truth because you know what the “his-storical” world has invented lies, told falsehoods and practiced duplicity towards Mother Africa’s ebonite heritage through miseducation galore. This Plantation Avenue “his-storical” educational chicanery and treacherous diatribe is still believed in by many of today’s global klaverns of political bigots, who are extreme in their non-African ethnic supremacist views and anti-minority propagandist agendas.

All of this makes me, with a keen respect for my ancestors, know that it’s time for a wake-up call or awareness among all ethnic folk of color everywhere to show respect for the African Experience. We must combat self-ignorances and global racism with intense further study, truth and wisdom.

Saying all that makes me think of a topic that’s very close to my mind and heart, and that’s the aspect of loving the African sagacity in general. While the rain continues its love dance with my mind from the outside, I’m now inwardly traveling to the Motherland for a few moments to think about what the African intelligence meant in and to some of its various indigenous countries.

In concluding my thoughts for today, I’ll do this by referring to some poignant proverbs to describe same and  to, maybe, wake me, you and others up somewhat to what we need to do in order to get our selves together in many of our troubled selves and ravaged communities. After all, life is about experiencing so many, many things until it’s necessary to get a grasp of this fascinating aura. We must do for self.

From Sierra Leone, it’s said that “You can never grow older than your parents however hard you try.” That wisdom hits close to home as I think about respect that is sometimes missing in many of today’s American collective households, especially by some of the disrespectful children lurking in our midst.

Sometimes, I think that many of our problems stem from the wanton disrespect of children towards parents in this modern society, and vice versa. I think it even spills out from the home to the school systems in many parts of our society. It’s only a firsthand observation on my part. What do think?

  Life is a universal teacher to those of us who are humble in spirits and are dealing with many of life’s tests in the forms of constant “hue-man” negativities. That reminds me in some weird way of a proverb from Malawi that states, “If you think everyone is good, you have not met everyone.”

Man, on man, was that not a heavy vibe to lay on you? As I think about that, I’m recalling all the literal hell thats going on throughout America and beyond by all the wicked souls in politics, business, employment, housing, education and just plain old corrupt leadership all over the place.

These repellent beings are everywhere, e.g., from the snakes in corporate America to the bigoted “poly tricksters,” some masquerading as clandestine politicians” in government to, well, you name it. In many instances, these nauseating folk are disgraces to the very positions and oaths they took, and they make me think more deeply about “Life as an African Experience” for all of us to ponder.

Hopefully, that should be done with careful scrutiny in changing the society in which we live, if we expect to forever rid it of systemic racism and endemic bigotry. Thinking of that as the rain has ceased, it is said in Zambia, “A man whose father has been killed by a red animal will flee when he sees an anthill.”

You may need to take a pause for a stone cold moment in time to fully digest mentally the breath and depth of that last proverb. If you do, then do it in a grown up folk frame of thinking and knowing that racist supremacist beings, by and large, control much of the world’s economic and political systems.

Truth is as natural as the rain pouring outside my abode was, and some of us in humanity are still prisoners to the anthills of modern day colonialism and fossilized miseducated thinking patterns. In Ghana, its purported that the elders said, “A tree does not disapprove of itself because one of its branches is cut off.” I’d like you to think about that proverb also as you think whether you or others are really Africans or not. Think!

Africa is the mother of all “hue-manity.” Always respect your parents. It’s the ultimate experience. Again, for thinking people of color, if thoughts truly are synonymous to actions, then what are we, as mighty cultured African folk, doing killing and despising each other in this life’s experience? For today and always, that’s, “ As I See It.”


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