By Hakim Abdul-Ali
I take every precious moment in the living experience as a spiritual blessing, and just to be able to see another moment in time and space challenges me consciously to do the very best that I can in the allotted time span that’s granted to me.
Life has real spiritual meaning to me.
That’s how I sincerely feel as I’m thankful about witnessing this second, even though I sense that being able to realistically decipher what each moment means affects some dissimilar folk in many different norms of expressions. Listen closely.
Take for example, I’ve been recently commenting in The Chronicle during the last month or two on some very pertinent and penetrating topics from education to spirituality to death, etc. Apparently, some of those columns have touched a lot of diverse ethnic folk’s nerve centers and, as a result, the articles have made more than a few of these folk think inwardly and out loud.
You see, more than a few of this legendary newspaper’s readership have approached me and positively told me that they were were glad that I addressed some of those issues the way that I did. I truly appreciated what they offered, but the truth is that as a recognized underserved political entity in America today, we, who are living in contemporary Black America, really don’t have any time to play, nor participate in the mindless, abstract inattentive complacency going on, in and about our communities, especially when it comes to the various levels of Black survival.
So, again, I humbly thank all of you who contacted and approached me with your comments, in person and via telephone, and please know that I treasure them because to me you are part of the enlightened masses who read and actively support the Black Press of America. You, and others like you, are our backbone, and I thank you all on the behalf of the Black Press for your outspoken supportive allegiances.
Now, for today, I’m heading into a subject that is exactly what it is, with inference to its African essence. I’m talking about the relevance of family, and I’ll be dropping a few additional vibes your way with distinct references from “The Motherland” about life’s diurnal episodes around that symbolic, but disappearing, family theme that we in the Black communities face daily.
Today’s wishful utopian Afro-American family unit in many depressed areas of America is becoming more and more invisible throughout this country because if there’s no family, sooner or later, there’ll be no community.
A famous African quotes states, “A family is like a forest, when you are outside, it is dense, and when you’re inside you see that each tree has its place.”
Each Black American family is likened to a tree to me, but it is and has been under siege and disappearing for far too long. So, it’s time to regroup now before it’s too late.
I say that as I see the legions of fatherless ebony children adorn the landscapes of modern day Babylon jungle without a significant family tree or unit.
That saddens me as I recall an ancient proverb from “The Motherland” that also says, “A family is like a tree, it can bend, but it cannot break.”
Maybe, even with the abundant “his-storical” virulent oppression that’s been hurled at the darker brothers and sisters of creation here in this land and elsewhere, we’re unique and inherently unbreakable. I feel that way because it’s must be something idiosyncratic about us as a people that the Creator gave us that has allowed some of us to survive until this present time with an overall sense of dignity and pride.
Saying “Black is Beautiful” is cool, but we have a lot more to do in this day and age of cultural naïveté and economic instability.
We have to learn to do for self because you can be sure that no one in all of the current political parties and promissory charitable arenas are bending over to help the Black man and woman attain equality, stability and self-worth comparable to any of America’s other ethnic groups.
No way! Let’s be real. No one except us should really care about the Black family’s existence. So,we must help ourselves. The time is most certainly running out on many of today’s cultural naysayers, heritage splitters and pessimistic thinkers, who don’t value building Black unity and establishing a sound moral family base.
On that point, another African proverb says a lot when it boldly proclaims, “If I am in harmony with my family, that’s success.” Just understanding the real tenor behind that rather simple but ever-so-meaningful concept, is enough to help you, me and others work together for our unity “With the Black Family in Mind.”
We must never lose scope that our unity supports our strength in respecting and loving who we are. And that includes everything from how you respectfully worship to your dutiful allegiance to your love of sororities and fraternities and knowing that “Black is Beautiful,” no matter what your tint, hue or shade is can help you fortify your family and community foundations.
We in the Black community are melting pots of many educational cauldrons, religious persuasions and territorial designations until none of this should matter to a wise and thinking body of consciously aware souls. I know some who will read what I’m saying will get it “our-storically” correct from where I’m coming from, and some others will “his- storically” be lost to their private indoctrinations, but we’re still Black in America and don’t you forget it.
“With the Black Family in Mind,” and while living in a racist climate that has been toxic to the majority of us and our ancestors since America became America, this bald eagle’s noxic social environment has been proven to be harmfully dangerous and psychologically unhealthy to us.
And, even with this scourge upon our psyches, we, as a surviving culture, still seem to hang in there by our individual efforts and collective wills.
Being of color, I know and understand that, mentally and physiologically speaking, racial discrimination can zap the you know what out of us as a productive people, if we let it. Our vaunted, visionary claims of “Black is Beautiful” depends on our respecting and helping one another as a community while establishing common mores, united values and shared interests “With the Black Family in Mind,” no matter what our initial religious and political differences are.
So, with hidden racism lurking at every nook and corner of our Black existences, let’s do our parts in making our communities and families great. Let’s assume our own prideful ethnic enculturation just like other non-Black Americans have and do.
No one respects you if you don’t first respect yourself. And finally, be aware of and oblivious to the political motormouths, who only advocate the same old verbosity of bringing about change for all when, in reality, they only take care of their own families and ethic kinds.
Learn to love yourself. Build your family, community and the nation with respect for all and hatred for no one. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”