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From the Depths of the Ancestors's Wisdom
Published:
6/10/2015 10:54:36 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali   


This is the middle of the summer but it's still Black 'Our-Story' month to me. Being an aware brother of consciousness, that's how it is in  my caldron of thinking because I'm (always) reflecting on the ancestors of the African-Americans' wisdom, both past and present, in order to help me stay focused in dealing with the  current tests of "Thinking While Black" in America because "Black Lives Matter."
   
I firmly believe in the majestic sagacity of these great heroes and sheroes' perceptive insights about their and our realities while presently living in arenas where injustice, too many times to count, flies a flag representing colors of separate and inequality. These noble ancestors' collective prudence, displayed, oftentimes, in the  face of virulent bigotry and stifling racism, gives me strentgh to see some of today's controversial realities for what they really are,if you catch my drift.
   
The past and present ancestors of Afro-America are folks who should never, ever, be forgotten because their struggles, courage and wisdom have inspired other "colored" folks' hearts, mind-sets and souls to see what real dignity and perseverance was and is all about. I, along with countless other aware students of knowledge, owe so much to our ancestors, who paved the way for so many of the living and yet unborn to be who we are today and, hopefully, will be in the future.
   
"From the Depths of the Ancestors' Wisdom"   is a clarion, mental wake-up missive from me to you which allows you to tune into a few of the quotations that came from some of these competent ebony griots who left stunning legacies and stimulating words of invaluable worth for us to savor. They are our reminders that lets me know, as they should you, that if you're of color and aware, to pridefully respect and share the wisdom of those who have, in many instances, passed on before us. 
   
Please view them a careful and discerning mind-set because the truths behind their words and thoughts will keep the warm celebration of Black "Our-Story" Month alive in your spirits even though this isn't the usually isolated and frigid month of February. I think you get the picture and, without further hesitation, I offer these extracts from the minds and thoughts of some of Afro-America's greatest thinkers and outstanding achievers.

"The Black man's one great and present hope is to know and understand his Afro-American history."
Harold Cruse, 1916-2005, Scholar and American Academic

"There are more Negroes in jail with me than there are on the voting rolls."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1928-1968, Civil Rights activist and Nobel Laureate

"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where's there's love and inspiration, I don't think that you can go wrong."
Ella Fitzgerald, 1918 -1996, Singer

"For the Afro-American in the 1920s, being a 'New Negro' was being 'modern.'" And being a 'New Negro' meant, largely, not being an 'Old Negro,' disassociating oneself from the symbols and legacy of slavery--being urbane, assertive, militant."
Nathan Huggins, 1927-1989, Our-storian and Historian

"As long as Negroes are hemmed into racial blocs of prejudice and pressure, it will be necessary for them to bank together for economic betterment."
Mary McLeod Bethune, 1875-1955, Educator

"I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once the hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain."
James Baldwin, 1924-1987, Writer and Activist

"You and I are living at a time when there's a revolution going on, a worldwide revolution. It goes beyond Mississippi, it goes beyond Alabama, it goes beyond Harlem....What is it revolting against? ....An international Western power structure."
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), 1925-1965, Orator, Humanitarian and Nationalist Leader 

"We all 'do, re, mi,' but you have to find the other notes yourself." 
Louis Armstrong, 1901-1971, Jazz musician

"I don't believe the accident of birth makes people sisters and brothers....Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at."
Dr. Maya Angelou, 1928-2014, Poet and Novelist

"Truth must be dug up from the past and presented to the circle of scholastics in a scientific form and then through stories and dramatization so that will permeate our education system."
Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Our-storian, Historian and Educator

"God revealed himself....with all the suddenness of a flash of lightning, showing....that he pervaded the universe and that there was no place where God was not."
Sojourner Truth, 1797-1883, Abolitionist and Women's Rights Advocate

"Teach your children they are direct descendants of the greatest and proudest race who ever peopled the earth."
Marcus Garvey, 1887-1940, Nationalist Leader

"As a boy in Princeton I dreamed of the land of my forefathers and foremothers....My paternal grandfather, torn from from his ages-old continent, had survived the dreadful passage. My own father was the embodiment of the strentgh, warmth, and quiet dignity of the African people.
Paul Robeson, 1898-1976, Scholar, Singer, Actor and Political Activist

"A government which can protect and defend its citizens from wrong and outrage and does not is vicious. A government which would do it and cannot is weak."
France's Ellen Watkins Harper, 1825-1911, Orator and Writer

"We have made no radical changes in the economic servitude of the black masses."
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., 1908-1972, U. S. Congressman and Minister 

I believe that if you objectively view the varied, robust and articulate words behind these transcending piercing thoughts from some of our past and present ancestors with a careful scrutiny, you'll see what possessing wisdom entails. It moves you to do better things by uplifting yourself in unity because there's much truth to what Black and other oppressed folks everywhere have been faced with and are still up against. Need I say anymore? I don't think so.
   
In conclusion, today's unity message is one that still says that "All Lives Matters," including Black ones too. Please read very skillfully my last submitted wisdom from an ancestor because this most respected sister is on point in so many, many ways. Give thought a workout.
   
Her name was Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897) and she was a former slaver autobiographer. She said, "You never know what it is to be a slave; to be entirely unprotected by law or custom; to have the laws reduce you to the condition of a chattel, entirely subject to the will of another. You never exhausted your ingenuity in avoiding the snares, and of eluding the power of a hated tyrant; you never shuddered at the sound of his footsteps, and trembled within hearing of his voice."
   
Think! Think! Do you comprehend from this ancestor's wisdom what it is like to be enslaved? Think about that for a lonely, thoughtful frozen moment in "his-storical" antiquity and (now) tell me what you feel, ancestrally speaking, in "our-storical" modernity, if "Black Lives Still Matter." For today and always, that's,"As I See It."

 

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