By Hakim Abdul-Ali
The recent protests events surrounding the May 25, 2020, killing of a brother of color named George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, ignited national and worldwide alarming concerns to all morally sane “hue-mans’ ” senses of equal justice everywhere. I, too, felt disdain by this Black man’s horrendous demise but, at my age, I’m not shocked by the not-so-isolated cauldrons of racism and bigotry that still exists fervently here in the USA and beyond.
For today, I’m going to keep it rather simple and speak about something that’s a hot topic throughout America and beyond, and that’s the relevance of the ethic movement, reality and motto, “Black Lives Matters,” and its cultural impact on the psyche of the so-called American People, whoever they are. If you’re of color, with a scant scintilla of African-American consciousness in your soul and being, you already know that it’s important to possess and cultivate a longstanding sense of awareness in being proud of who you are as a melanin being because Africa, after all, is the Motherland root of all “hue-mankind.”
So, most definitely and without question, obviously “Black is definitively beautiful,” and the exhaling protesting cries of “Black Lives Matters” today are nothing new to identify with, especially, if you view America’s colonial racist and politically bigoted past and present justice anthems, as it relates to “all” non-Euro-folk of color, is suspect at best. “Black Lives Matters” is an important movement wake up call for the nation’s oppressed Afro-communities, and I really offer that unbridled (and rather personally biased) sentiment to you now roughly four weeks after Brother George Floyd’s tragic death. His killing, which informed everyone, everywhere, about the continued police brutalities toward the USA’s so-called minorities, particularly, Black men and others of color, in the bald eagle’s very politically and ethnically divided domain.
From Beverly Hills, California, to Miami, Florida, and all places in between, America is now hearing rejuvenated outpourings of empathy, if you want to liberally call it that, for the generic “Black Lives Matter” slogan, movement, cause, agenda, etc. It was stunning for many to witness that so many non-identifiable Afro-populace, nationally and globally, associated themselves with such a lightning rod spontaneously coming together grass root justice for all movement in objection to Mr. Floyd’s death, but let’s not get those protest scenarios twisted as some folk, I believe, are now doing in the heat of the moment following the death of Brother George Floyd.
Now more than ever, it’s so crucial for all aware folk of color to claim and understand the extensive essences of what the motto “Black Lives Matter” really, really means to the Motherland’s descendants, who are scattered just about everywhere throughout the globe you can “hue-manly” imagine or think of. The USA’s “his-storical” injustices done to the recognized primary folk of color over almost five centuries of enslavement are multiple and cataclysmic, so much so until America’s savagery toward enslaved Africans and their descendants is nothing short of unspeakable and is, oftentimes, disguised as merely a dark, sorted undeniable political relic chapter of American History.
No way, America’s woeful racist “his-storical” reality is what it is, and that is that it’s still a racially divided nation, which no one can deny or try to sweep it under the unfortunate rug of unwelcome patriotic apologies. Sadly, the USA’s colonial apartheid systematic structures of racial injustices and religious indoctrinations inflicted upon all folk of color, from the indigenous Indian brothers and sisters to the enslavement of Africans, is what living disturbingly in the USA is all about, with few exceptions, if you’re of color facing innate discriminations from the moment that you’re born until you die. Think of Freddy Gray, Jr. and Ahmadou Diallo.
As a proud Black American, who’s not ashamed of my African lineage, I’m forever honored to be identified as an African descendant because of my noble ancestors’ viabilities and courage to endure what they had to experienced during the brutal uncertainties of the Middle Passage. That painful reminder and knowledge of same (of those experiences) endears me to those known and unknown ancestors’ memories with a poignant sense of academic urgency, and that’s why, for me “Black Lives Matters: Now More Than Ever.”
I’m speaking directly to you and the masses now because Black survival has to matter to me and everyone of color who’s aware, conscious and alert, without regards to self-deprecated divisivenesses. I offer that knowing that from the European slave ships from hell to the inhuman Caribbean, South American and the USA’s plantation internment prisons of colonial brutalities and perpetual servitude, my resolve has always been to never, ever forget those known and unknown ebony heroes and sheroes of centuries past and present. Think of Eric Garner and Breonna Taylor.
I do, and that’s why at this time in the 21st century, we, who are of color and aware, are the real endangered folk, who while living in and under the Holocaust of American apartheid, are the only legitimate oppressed souls who should be uttering daily “Never Again!” because “Black Lives Matters: Now More Than Ever.” This purposeful recognition (and cognizance) should be an obsessional love and respect for our Afro-cultural legacy that crosses all passionate borders of intellectual pursuits when it comes to acquiring as much information as we can acquire about the mysterious ancient Black worlds of existences and struggles, past and present.
Yes, “Black Lives Matters: Now More Than Ever” to me because the survival of today’s Afro-conscious and humbly proud folk mustn’t be misconstrued with aimless flirtations of singing and picketing our ways to unity, liberation and self-empowerment. “As I See It,” we, as aware folk, mustn’t be politically seduced into thinking “poly-trickistians,” somehow or the other, will vote oppressed and other folk of color into freedom. Think of Gabriel Prosser and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Continuing in my view of emphasizing that “Black Lives Matters: Now More Than Ever,” I know that there are probably some confused and disoriented “colored” folk out there in Babylon west, who may object to and take issues with some of my vibes today about the relevance of Black Unity and that the Creator Alone’s decrees that Afro-descendants’ lives, along with other ethnic beings’ lives, really matter. I believe everyone’s life has value, and that’s cool and understandable on my part, but I, also, know that the proof is in the pudding, meaning that, if you are of color, ask yourself without prejudice,”Is a Black mind or soul anywhere in the world a terrible thing to waste or lose?” Think of Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin.
My late mother was a proud and honored African-American schoolteacher, who always advocated that I study Black History way back when I was a young kid, even if was in the confines of our private, simple and cozy home. She taught me that being Black mattered because God created us that way, and she held sway when it came to me knowing and learning about the true stories of Africa and African people from throughout the globe.
Being the ultimate God loving soul that she was, my mother literally loved all of the Creator’s creation without prejudice, hatred or malice. So, I grew up knowing that to be of ebony African color, as Mom referred to the various hues, tints and tones of Black folk, was a created, blessed gift from God and, according to her, that also included every child of “every” ethnicity known to “hue-mankind.”
My mother, who spoke in soft speech mannerisms, but with a sternly gentle calmness, would always drill her long held teaching philosophy, through my head that to “whom much is given, much is expected” at all times. She never accepted accuses in not giving your best in attempting to do anything, and she never let me think that because of bigotry and racism that I couldn’t do this or that. Think of Mary McLeod Bethune and Booker T. Washington.
Mom’s reverent philosophy is still in my head today, more than thirty-four-years are her death. Because of her instilling a subliminal, prideful consciousness in my soul about the beauty of being Black and proud, I humbly state that I’m that way today in every way, including my self-admitted obsession in researching, studying, collecting, writing and teaching about the dynamic academic force field call Black “Our-story.”
From the slave ports of West Africa to the streets of Baltimore and Selma and to the grand juries of Ferguson, Missouri, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, e.g., Black folk are, and have always been, under siege. It’s always been a struggle to survive in racist America when you’re Black and of color, so don’t be shocked or surprised at what happens next to us as tests from the Most High Alone. Just check out America’s “his-storical” past and present track records to comprehend what I’m talking about right now.
Call it societal injustices or whatever political cliches that may be suitable for you to utter in front of your own shocked imaginations, but Black male and female lives and survivals are becoming perilous commodities with each passing moment, and I’m definitely not forgetting Minneapolis and George Floyd. If you’ve sensed that intrinsically “Black Lives Matters” with continuance, then you should’ve realized that, in racist America, “no matter how much ‘some’ things, hopefully, change, ‘others,’ seemingly, remain the same.” So, the indisputable reality is that the USA is still very much a racially divided nation because “it is what it is.”
With that being an indisputable understanding, we, who are aware Afro-conscious folk, must unite to save our ourselves, our children, our families, our communities and be a progressive part also of the so-called American People patch work fabric of prideful respected ethnicities. We, who are of color, here in the USA, must do this without hesitancies, especially, in light of where many ebony folk worldwide are in the realms of establishing self-respect for who they are in receiving equal justice, freedom and freedom. Think of Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X.
In conclusion, this article is dedicated to the memories of all of the innocent Black folks and other ethnic “hue-mans,” who’ve lost their lives to systematic injustices, police brutalities or racist discriminatory horrors, etc. Please know that your “Black Lives Mattered” because you all are children of the Motherland and you did not die nor suffer in vain. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”