Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tribute to Us, and Us

Every year round this time the Black Family comes to Coney Island to give tribute to the ancestors. We form a circle around the drummers and rejoice in the beats and rhythms of the old ways. Some of us stand around the circle. Some form their own smaller circles. And some like myself prefer to meditate by the rocks where the waters splash the soft green moss that glisten after each tide. But we all make it a point of dipping our bare feet into the sea or go knee to waist deep as part of the tradition of giving thanks and cleasing away any dis-eases. There're usually flowers and fruit, something you wrote, something you made, as offerings to the ones who crossed the seas to give us our voices, to the ones who either chose to cut their lives at the middle passage or were thrown overboard, to the ones who recently transitioned. So I was there doing my part. And since I'm leaving my 40s, this was an especially heartfelt reunion what with all the heavy 'classroom' discussions we've been having about Black and black, is and not. Us, and us.

Getting older tends to cause you to become less tolerant and less flexible. You get set in your ways and see life through eyes that have become too wise for excuses and arms exhausted from carrying the flag of consciousness. But my personal friends were there. they reminded me of the importance of not giving up on the ones who may not ask for help yet need it. I also remembered Bro. Rico's words-- "let's try to come from a place of love, not disgust". It kept playing back to me and at me, and I knew it was meant as a gift to apply to my book and life, in general. Rico wasn't merely coming from a younger person's perspective, but a more optimistic approach to raising an unruly child. I don't know if I'm making any sense here. All I can tell you is that I love us so much that when we fail to behave as the proud people we were meant to be, I take it very personally. And though there are forces that are aimed at prolonging our holocaust, I expect us to not only have children but raise their image as well. But here I go again, so I'll just leave it here where annette smith writes from her book 'Etched', "...and just when i'd gotten used to the rhythm of the rain beating on everything outside and touching every sad place inside of me, it was time to go."

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