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The BEAUTY of Black History

You know, for the longest time I never knew black people in America had a history. “Back in my day” [I can’t believe I’m saying that] they didn’t teach anything at all about black history. There was a little paragraph that said your ancestors were slaves, accompanied by a picture of slaves working in a field. Then we learned about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks and that was it. I get that people don’t like to talk about slavery but that sent the message that there was No history for blacks. That other than silent workers who never contributed anything meaningful there were only two people in all of black culture who ever did anything of value and that was many years later.

The End.

.Not much of a history lesson. It sent a message that black people never mattered. And that Only white people Did matter. Both blacks and whites received this message.

There is an ancient proverb: Until the Lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.

Yes, one way Dominant groups inscribe power is by means of the historical record. It’s all Right, such is human nature. Promote thy self and minimize the accomplishments of others.

But now that I was older I decided to investigate myself. And what I discovered gave me a whole new Appreciation for black culture.

You see, contrary to what I was led to believe, black people have a rich, exciting history in this country that is just like any other culture’s history. I don’t mean that every culture had their culture and identities stripped away, but I do mean we have a very rich and colorful history in this country that speaks to our wonderful humanity. Determination, desire, struggles, hopes, highs, lows, love, war, passion, creativity, self expression, teamwork, invention, and inevitably the triumph of the human spirit. Every history book speaks to people being oppressed in various ways and how they always fight back to gain their freedom. From high taxes to strict rules to excessively long work hours to oppressive governments – the injustices abound within history books. Yet, people always find their way back to freedom. ALWAYS.

BLACK HISTORY IS NO DIFFERENT.

In the coming weeks, I’m going to share some highlights that Really resonated with me.

And I hope they resonate with you, too.

Black history does not have to be an “us versus them” mentality, always the victim and never the Victor. But it does tell a very human story, One that we can embrace with adoration, love and respect.

Society’s NONCONFORMERS

Nonconformera person who does not conform to generally accepted standards or customs.

Nonconformers are an important part of society because they provide the rest of us with perspective, and most importantly – with options. They inadvertently push against the status quo which gets us to think outside of the box, to challenge what we think we know.

Throughout history nonconformers have been ‘dealt with’ by society, not typically ignored. Depending on the service they provide, they could be more or less well regarded (Beethoven, Shakespeare, Frederick Douglas) but more often than not, they were criticized, ostracized, ridiculed, or even put to death. They were made to feel like they were wrong for how they felt or for their choices. Others would see the treatment of nonconformers by society and decide to stay quiet or not reveal that they themselves did not conform. So when it comes to Nonconformers, how much have things really changed?

There are many kinds of nonconformers in our society. One kind of nonformer is our homeless population. Homelessness is an uncomfortable part of our society (just like the topic of slavery) especially in America where everyone is supposed to be rich 😉  . It could cause a person to question, why, in one of the greatest countries in the world, is homelessness acceptable, why is it that people sleep on the sidewalk when everyone would like an indoor place to rest.? This could mess with our sense of reality, depending on how large of a bubble we choose to live in. Is a better solution available?

Anothery type of nonconformer is the LGBTQIA+ community. Members of this community provide a different perspective than what we are used to when it comes to love, sexuality and marriage by simply being a human being who desires something different than the status quo. As gay awareness becomes more prevalent in our society, we as a society become more tolerant. There is a big difference between gay awareness in 2022 versus gay awareness in 1985. A BIG Difference. How people think of, regard, treat and respect people who are different from the status quo, different from the norm, different from how we are taught, goes a long way in challenging the social belief systems of the day. But take note that it is a process because change takes time.

‘Social belief systems of the day’ is phrased this way is to highlight that what we believe – as STRONGLY as we may believe our beliefs to be – are subject to change. This is important to understand because it can broaden our perspective when it comes to dogmatic beliefs that people fight over. For example Is being gay ‘right or wrong? Is ‘gay marriage’ right or wrong? “ I was always taught that marriage is between a man and a women,” said one famous transgender woman, clarifying for us that even those part of the lgbtqia+ community do not think the same things on the same topics. And that change is really, really hard.

Along the same vein, there were nonconformers in american slave society. These were the abolitionists, the runaways, the white-passing, the free blacks – all people who did not conform to the status quo, which thereby raised awareness that ‘there are people who do not agree with everyone else on this topic’, namely that ‘black people should be enslaved’. There were sanctuary spaces as well for runaways, one being the entire state of Florida. These people challenged the status quo by simply being amongst the rest of the population, but not fitting into the existing stereotype about blacks and their role in society. They did not accept the current state of affairs as their truth and then decided they were going to do something about it.

The nonconformers, as it pertains to American slavery, were substantial and took quite a set of balls to pull off what they accomplished. People like Nat Turner, who led one of the most infamous slave revolts, Box Brown who was like ‘To hell with running, I’m going to cut the BS and mail myself to freedom’, had associates place him in a large, wooden box with a  destination label and off he went. Robert Smalls, who sailed himself to freedom by hijacking a confederate boat – oh and he picked up runaway slaves along the way. And of course the many abolitionists, including Levi Coffin and Mary Ellen Pleasant, that made the underground railroad possible. There were people who wrote books about the slave experience like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Beecher Stowe and Solomon Northup, all to raise awareness, all risky because it outed them as not going along with the crowd. They were Not trending. We also know that sometimes slaves just flat out refused to do things. There was pushback and there were physical battles in day to day society. This is why extreme measures were often taken to contain the defiance, or at least attempt to contain it. In fact, anyone who was free and black had to carry freedom papers around with them everywhere they went so they could “prove” they were not a slave . Just being someone who was “supposed” to be something (a stereotype) but did not fit the description was a challenge to social norms of the day.

You see sometimes in our society the belief systems of the times are so very strong that people know with all their heart that this o n e way, is the o n l y way of living, the o n l y way of being. Blacks are inferior to  whites and enslaving them is good and right. But enter the nonconformers who say otherwise. Because they fought back, they ran away, they refused, they showed their intelligence and this defied what popular opinion knew to be true. This defied their beliefs. With just their actions, nonconformers showed that there IS a Different way of being. There IS a different Knowing. There IS a Belief on this subject that is outside of Popular Opinion.

And so we learn that an american slave society faced similar interracial dynamics that we see play out today. People agree-disagree-work together-push against whatever are the popular topics of the day. Everyone was just a squirrel trying to get a nut with what they “knew” to be true at that time, going about their day to day activities of making a space for themselves in the world. There were white collar workers, blue collar workers, farmers, immigrants, slaves. And there were arguments on many, many topics, slavery being just one of them. The beginning of the women’s rights movements began in the 1840s, 25 years prior to slavery ended, so multiple social-economic issues existed alongside each other. Meanwhile, white immigrants continued to arrive from Ireland and other European countries, all with varying forms of discrimination, white poverty was also an issue faced by many (poverty never seems to go anywhere but maybe one day….) And so life was just life. As campaigns against slavery grew, more awareness was raised and slowly, there was a gradual softening toward the black experience.

This is important to understand because sometimes it is felt, when it comes to black history, that we “shouldn’t” have to deal with behaviors that are culturally biased. But each decade brings new changes to beliefs. Today’s social norms about blacks is very different from the 1800s and early to mid 1900s. Just like today’s understanding about gays is very different from the 80s. Because things get progressively better over time.

Over time.

It takes time.

We need time as a society to adjust to new changes and new ways of being.

We still struggle with this concept today when it comes to how black communities express their desire to be treated equally. And certainly if a person is in the habit of only zeroing in on negative things, because that is all the news media zeros in on when it comes to black culture,  then that is all they will ever see.

Women, Blacks, Gays…everyone just wants to be respected and treated as an equal with the same rights as anyone else. No one wants to be told ‘No, you cannot do __[blank]__ but other people can.

So Nonconformers are here to challenge what we think we know about people, about life, about ourselves. They bring perspective and clarification that elicits unification because they do not fit into a box. They challenge social stereotypes and cultural beliefs simply by following their heart.

Nonconformers existed during American slavery, as well as before American slavery, and nonconformers are still here Today. They serve as Beacons of Light and examples for us to embrace our personal Truth. Even if it differs from what “everyone else” thinks. Every time a person follows their heart and decides to live in their Truth, they embrace the Power Within and push back against a society that says ‘no you cant’.

Nonconformers, by means of their actions, say ‘Yes, I Can!’

 Its a Human thing…

Bullies – Victims

And the Game of Thrones

It is often said that life is a game.

A look at history reveals a very clear pattern present in most societies since… Forever.

And that is:  As long as human beings have sought to oppress each other, they have done so.

We learn from history the goal is for the bully to come out on top at the expense of the victim. Then, there is a turn of events, where – even if it goes on for a while – the victim retaliates in some way – either by stealth or more openly – and the roles are reversed. Eventually the victim has summoned enough control to change things around.

To this day, the bully-victim dynamic is played out on various levels in social cultures around the world. At times, there is a direct bully-victim relationship between the government and the people, like the one that inspired the French Revolution in the late 1700s. Or at times governments engage the people to turn on each other like during China’s Cultural Revolution. Additionally, individual people in societies play out these Game of Thrones roles in an attempt to get what they want from others at work or in their families or social circles. Bosses apply pressure to workers, wives to husbands and adults to children. The pressure to conform to another person’s agenda is prevalent. In this way, we seek to rule over others by means of our governments and by means of our interpersonal relationships with others.

After some time though, the individuals being controlled grow tired of the control and seek freedom. This is why battered women eventually leave their spouses, this is why children rebel against parents, this is why employees go on strike. History, as well as our Present, shows us that nobody really wants to be controlled. It is not our nature. Our Nature is the freedom to be our own Guide because We are Sovereign Beings.

So when it came to american chattal slavery, we learned the nature of owning another person or another culture for life was destined to fail. While there were certainly those who were kinder slave masters than others, there was disagreement as to how to go about preventing slaves from running away or from retaliation. Some felt it was necessary to be harsh and this harshness brought out the absolute worst in them, a savagery, a barbarism that over time became a part of the normal way of life – to their embarrassment. It’s not as if white slave owners regressed to this state and then were proud of it. Source documents reveal they tried to hide how bad it was when people [from the North] came down to investigate the rumors of how they were living. This is where the notion of the “happy slave” came from, an attempt to diffuse attention away from the casual violence that came to define southern culture.

This explains why there is an aversion to learning about or even revealing the true nature of American slavery. Quite frankly, white people are embarrassed by it, which is why they like to avoid the topic. The Conscience was also a big player in that the fear that blacks would retaliate was strong at that time and it is a belief that still comes up today.

[To Be Clear: All slave masters were not wicked or bad people with some simply availing themselves of the then-customary practice of holding slaves and hiring slaves. But this particular article discusses why american slavery could not last.]

The dominant cultural belief and practice of what prevailed in the south was that slaves were inferior people that warranted uncommon and hateful treatment. These were not isolated incidents but the common practice of the day. The practice of lifelong and generational enslavement, with no recognition of God given rights, removing children from parents, rape and other violent and heinous crimes against humanity is never sustainable.

It was a gradual decline but southern society arrived at the point where they were out of control.  When slaves were first brought to America, they were not enslaved for life and they had rights. But new country, new rules. Over time, as slaves began to get free through various legal means, new laws were created, slowly, one by one, that gradually removed the rights of slaves and made it progressively more difficult to be freed or to have any rights at all. As greed set into the hearts of slave owners, the demands they put upon the slaves became more and more unreasonable. They created a toxic society.

And since the Africans were very far from home, who could they get to advocate for them? There was no one.

The Game of Thrones.

Just like a see-saw, the interpersonal dynamics that make up our humanity often reflect this bully-victim game of thrones so often played out in our societies. The bully is up, then the victim is up, then the bully is up, then the victim is up, with always one group trying to gain control. Indeed there is nothing new under the sun [Ecclesiates 1:9].

Yet despite this inevitable outcome, there is still an attempt to suppress the rights of others Today. Oppressors tend to approach this like the lottery: Hey ya never know…

American chattel slavery, for all its injustices and for all its Resolutions was another example of the Game of Thrones. That battle continued for many years after slavery ended, with new laws being enacted that effectively reenslaved blacks all over again because resistance to change is also a human thing.

Our Human History is a battle of Wills.

Black history is no different.

It is human history in all its glory, in all its tragedy.

I see it as such.

I respect it as such.

Do You?

Just bear in mind what was, was. What happened, happened.

And nothing anyone ever does will ever change that.

So what do we do to Recover Emotionally?

We come to terms with the reality of:  I cannot change the past.

We learn from our mistakes as a society: Never allow separation of the People for any reason!

We move on: What can I do Now to Create the life I want?

And We do what we were created to do.

RISE.

We rise Above the abuse.

We rise Above the stereotypes.

We rise Above the injustice.

How?

We stop externalizing our power to others,

We stop externalizing out power to others,

And then

WE STOP.. EXTERNALIZING.. OUR POWER ..TO OTHERS..

We stop arguing for our limitations and embrace the Power we have within.

We stop the belief that some-one has to do some-thing in order for us to be happy with who we are as a Culture.

We can be happy anyway.

That recognition on the television set that awaits us, when we will finally hear the words that the wealth gap has finally closed between blacks and whites, and that no black person anywhere in the world has ever done anything bad ever again – lest that reflect poorly on us all. That’s right, we are eagerly awaiting when black people across the world have UNILATERALLY solved the problem of poverty, crime and have created the perfect Black Utopia, because then – and only then – will be finally be accepted!!!!!  

Once we’re perfect we will be accepted!!!

Then we’ll get the thank yous we never got, and the reparations that were never disbursed (oh we will address that at the end of this series), the bullying will stop, and the belief that we need to be on the in-club, that is, liked and accepted by those outside of our culture.

Accepted by others!!!

Wouldn’t it be nice? Sure!!

However…

The world we live in…

Kind of…

Nobody cares.

(I mean…if you are reading this and are black, how much do YOU care about the struggles of other cultures?)

Black people don’t need to be on the in-club.

Afro American Blacks ARE the in-club.

Its time we started seeing ourselves as such. Despite enormous setbacks we floated to the surface anyway and influenced the entire world with our Afro American Culture.

So why not accept the Beauty that is us and to hell with anyone who doesn’t get it?

Our Sovereignty speaks for itself.

We Are Limitless and We Learn from the Tremendous Resilience, Love,  Passion, Strength, Creativity, Ingenuity, Adaptability and Genius of our ancestors, slavery and all.

Because That is a very human thing.

.

If Not Now…Then When?

Open Letter to [Black] People of America

It’s Time. The Healing is Now.

*It’s Time.

Love, Compassion, Healing

Is waiting for You.

Claim it.

I see people have the desire to heal

The DESIRE to….

What is holding you back?

It is within you.

You can feel it.

I can feel it.

Its Time to Let Go.

If not now, then when?

If not You, then Who?

The pain you are feeling is undeniable.

The Love I have for you is Real.

The Love I have for you is Strong.

The Love I have for You is Unwavering.

I would not be here if it weren’t for you.

You have caused me to BECOME the Great Woman that I AM Today.

You have caused me to persevere, to love, to grow, to develop, to keep my eye on the prize

To take pride in who I am

To Love Myself

To Love Unconditionally

To Allow God and Patience and Love and Hope

And PEACE into my life

So that I can Live a Joyful and Fulfilled Life

So that I can be the Best that I can Be

So that I can Honor My Life

So In This Moment I Give Those Words Back To You.

You are Powerful

You are Strong

You are Determined

You are Believed

You are Loved

Let this be the Moment You Let Go

Allow yourself to Receive the Love I have for you,

The Love God Has For You.

Let this Be the Moment You Let Go

Receive the Love that is Already Here Waiting

For You

Let Go.

Let Go.

Let Go.

Let go of the belief that you are hated; You Are Loved.

Let go of the belief that you are less than; You Are MORE than.

Let go of all the pain you’ve been Experiencing

Let go of other people’s opinions.

Let go of insecurity.

Let go…

Let go…

Letting go

And Claim the Sovereignty that is Rightfully Yours.

Your Heritage is One of Beauty and Passion and Love.

Allow yourself to Let it in.

Allow yourself to BELIEVE

Allow yourself to TRUST

Allow yourself to KNOW

Because you Already KNOW Who you are inside.

You already Know.

Allow yourself to not care what other people think

And in that Allowing

You will find your Strength

It is already there waiting for you

To Claim

Will You?

If not now… then when?

If not You… then Who?

With the Warmest Love and Light,

Cherokee

All is fair ….in Love and War

There is a documentary on Nat Turner that interviewed a host of historians as they told the story of one of the most famous slave revolts in american history. An enslaved man named Nat Turner organized a posse and carried out a series of murders, going from plantation to plantation and killing every white person they came across. Every one. Even the children. It was rumored he even went back to kill a baby another person did not have the heart to kill.

In relaying the account, an elderly white historian woman shook her head sadly and said ‘He didn’t have to do that’ in her sad and disapproving way, unable to come to terms with the fruits that negative behavior reaps

And so it was something of a coup

A takeover

Of the interior kind

We have seen this many times throughout history, including in Rome where Shakespeare coined the famous phrase Caesar uttered to his best friend Brutus ‘Et tu Brute? [You too Brutus]’ as he was gutted for his part in a political power struggle. A reminder that in a sea of corruption, who can you really trust?

The practice of killing every person in charge and their family and friends is an age old practice,

Lest one of them many years later decide to seek revenge on you. Or to seize power.

There could be a vicious cycle of recurring avengers so total elimination was practiced to prevent that from happening.

For thousands upon thousands of years, horrible behaviors that reflect exactly where corruption and greed lead to are recounted for us as historical examples, patterns if you would, of how things always turn out.

The law of attraction states that which is likened unto itself is drawn.

So when you put out negativity you simultaneously attract it back to you – like a magnet.

In other words, those events are attracted

because negative emotions that have gained momentum will drive people to behave in erratic and sometimes horrifying ways

Hence the phrase “All Is Fair In Love And War”. In other words, when emotions are high, there are no f&cks given.

So when I saw this woman’s reaction, I wondered if she considered all of the black children and people that were separated from their families, beaten, raped and tortured and how this could drive a person to repeat the same behaviors.

Right back at cha

I don’t think she considered that…but it looked as if nat turner and his associates did,

Which is why the event happened.

Those events, and other slave revolts, both at home and abroad (Jamaica hosting another infamous revolt), contributed to the mental torture southern whites experienced at that time surrounding the permanent enslavement and degradation of people, personal fears that blacks would seek revenge for all the wrongs heaped upon them.

Yes, they had created a monster.

Or Summoned one…

Because the monster was within them

and they were, you could say, trapped

Trapped between their belief systems, their greed, their ego.

After all, How do you build an entire society around the degredation of humanity

That is the very foundation for wealth and power in your world…

…And then just dismantle it?

That was the dilemma that was tossed around for years before slavery ended.

Additionally, the idea of race, and the subsequent racism that followed, was introduced into society and people bought into it. Something had to explain away the horrors of chattel slavery by supposedly civilized people and coming up with a new concept, like “Well….they’re actually not human beings, they are more like the animals….” Was a suitable explanation.

After all, who doesn’t like being told they are special?

The holocaust is another fine example of what happens when the common people are told some of them are more special than others.

But Arrogance does not just uproot itself and walk away so easily

Once the volatility of the situation was fully realized, people were want for change.

What’s interesting is change was wanted by both cultures, black and white.

Yes.

Change Was Wanted On Both Sides.

White people wanted change.

Congress wanted change because they felt the south had a never ending unfair majority in the House due to their slave population.

New white immigrants coming into the country wanted change because jobs were not available in the south because of the slave population.

Southern whites wanted change (arguably or not) due to what they felt was impending doom pressing in upon them because of their behavior toward the slave population.

Black slaves and freed slaves wanted change for obvious reasons – no one wants to be enslaved forever to anyone.

Thomas Jefferson said of slavery: “I have the wolf by the neck and I can neither sustain him nor let him go.”

And the desire for change COLLECTIVELY bubbled forth and created the change they were wanting.

Even still, of course, change – whether wanted or unwanted – is not so easy to adapt to.

It’s not like a war was won, a law was passed and all of a sudden whites and blacks were smiling and holding hands while running through the flowery meadows…

So it would take many decades, roughly a hundred years, of addressing deeply entrenched social belief systems before the total breakdown of oppressive laws were willing to be dissolved in America (at least on paper) .

Because Change Takes Time…

Change takes time – Both as a nation and as an individual.

But as Neil Armstrong said when he landed on the moon –

That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind”

John Brown and the Underground Railroad

John Brown/The Human Connection

If there is ONE person we have all heard of in black history, who stands out because we actually know who she was and what she did, We are all familiar with the Queen Harriet Tubman, neh Araminta Ross. The details of her story may not be well known but we know “Harriet Tubman” and we know “Underground Railroad” and we know she delivered the enslaved to freedom!

Not only was the Underground Railroad a bold movement of resistance but it was a joint venture between white people and black people who did not agree that enslaving human beings was a good idea.

So why is this article not titled: ‘Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad’?

Because this is not a 4th-grade report on black history.

No, there is a much stronger, much more powerful reason.

A few things stood out to me about Activism during the years of American Slavery:

  1. There was Activism during the years of American Slavery.
  2. This was a joint venture between whites and blacks.
  3. John Brown, as well as two of his sons and others believed so strongly in not denying people the right to be free that they laid down their lives for that belief.

As did any white person who participated in the Underground Railroad.

This was treason at the time so both their freedom and their lives were at risk. They placed themselves at risk for fighting back against a society that was conditioned to believe they were superior and enslaving others in such a heinous way was good and right.

We will see this social conditioning of superiority rear its ugly head later in history during the German-Jewish Holocaust; History repeats itself.

While the black story is often told and retold – rather obscurely – it’s important to recognize certain details that speak to the human spirit, because this unites us all.

The case of John Brown was a powerful one Because he led a slave revolt.

>>>>>>skiiiiiiirrrrrrt<<<<<<<<

Rewind that back.

You heard that right.

Nigga

Leda

slave revolt!

Only he was white.

Now why on EARTH would a white man lead a slave revolt?!?!?!

Because black history is HUMAN history, that’s why.

It was people like John Brown who understood that oppression for some of the people was oppression for ALL of the people. It was simply a matter of time. This is the reason why separation of the people is a big No-No in terms of retaining your individual rights.

In moments of manipulation, that kind of realization is not so readily understood by the populous.

If the people are not united, FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER, the likelihood of that same oppression eventually making its way down the pipeline to YOU is simply a matter of time.

Is simply a matter of time.

This is why it is so important that People remain United. Allowing a government to divide people is Never a good idea. Ever. To retain their power they will always create some reason to separate people and we have to be Attuned to that in order to retain Our power.

The power is in the people.

It always has been. It always will be.

As long as the people stay United.      

[No I am not anti-government; we Need government at least in this part of our human journey. But we also bear the responsibility of Joint government as democracy calls far. It is for the people, by the people and in order to make that so, the people need to be actively involved in supporting – not only criticizing – those who bear the responsibility of creating an environment we all want to live in. We are Co-Creators in that, are we not? But That’s another topic for another day]

If there was one lesson I learned from studying the holocaust (and there were many lessons to be learned) it was the dangers of allowing government separation. The educators I was privileged to have made a point of highlighting that importance. They were all Jewish 🙂

John Brown understood this at its core but he is often overlooked in black history as is pretty much any white person who participated in Activism at the time, and there were many. John Brown’s history is black history. Black history is white history because it is HUMAN history.

So because John Brown, as a white man, gave his life for something he believed in – Human Freedom – and because this is the “Cultural Connection” the title is:

John Brown and the Underground Railroad.

He was a part of the Underground Railroad and knew Harriet Tubman. He believed in so much more than “black people should be free”.

He believed A L L people should be free.

And that is important to note.

In every history book, you will find people who are oppressed in a host of ways – all different cultures, “races”, religions, sexes, and you will find a desire to be free and a fight for that freedom.

It is the same with afro-american history.  It is Not different from other people’s history.

We are Not the exception to the rules of humanity as belief systems often present themselves to us that we are. We have our own journey and our own story to tell, but it is a human journey nonetheless and just as equal to and important as anyone else’s story.

WE ARE a stellar example of passion, drive, force and connection in the world of History and in the continuation of expansion.

It is time we see ourselves as such ♥

It is time to Reclaim our Heritage !

Why Chattel Slavery ?

Slavery has a long Human history, never very pleasant for the person on the receiving end and at times downright ugly. And although it is not openly practiced today, it is for sure, a hidden market (Wayfair, ahem).

The type of slavery practiced in the United States (from 1619 to 1865) was known as chattel slavery which referred to the treating of human slaves as property and not as human beings. As long as people have been alive they have wanted to exact some sort of control over others. According to the bible [don’t lose me here] the Hebrews were enslaved to the Egyptians for 400 years and the practice got pretty ugly as the number of slaves started to increase. After all, if their slaves continued to outnumber the slave owners, that show might be over sooner than expected. Similarly, the behavior of slavers in america got pretty ugly as time went on for the same reason – Control and a lack of it.

So slavery was not a new concept in the world prior to the new inhabitants’ invasion of the Americas. They were either agreements or punishment for a period of time is how it was practiced in Africa which is where black slaves of the americas came from. Initially, whites and natives were enslaved in america, simply because they were here, but they could run away and at a time when there were little means of tracking – no cameras, videos, or the like existed yet –  the further you were willing to run, the more likely you would never be found. You’d blend into whichever society you resembled the most and freedom was yours.

But in an effort to “maximize profit and minimize cost” as big business is oft to do, the idea of obtaining slaves from africa was presented. Why Africa?

Because there were no black people here; not in droves anyway. So if all of the slaves were black, then their skin would stand out if they ran away, and they could easily be spotted no matter where they ran off to. In other words, if all the black people here had to ‘belong’ to someone then even if they ran away, the likelihood of the investors retaining their profits shot upwards. Cha-Ching!

and the slave trade began.

Almost.

Before the slave trade began, a group of 19 Africans were brought to america on a trial basis.

These blacks had rights though.

Because blacks were people and had rights. Even as a slave.

This meant their slavery stent would end.

This meant there were other means of removing oneself from slavery, such as marrying your slave master, for example.

Additionally, the individual was the slave, but their children were not.

Things changed but this is how it was at first.

So of course, as time went on, slave agreements would end or people would be removed from slavery in other ways and this was normal for slave ownership.

*Here is where human ‘need for greed’ creeps in. And this is still practiced today so it’s important to take note of how this works.

Businessman 1 would like to maximize profit and minimize cost.

“Ok we tried the African slave thing, it’s a’ight but eventually they get free and we gotta buy new slaves.”

Businessman 2: What if…once we buy a slave they are a slave for life so we never lose slaves, we only keep gaining? Is that possible?

Businessman 1: Anything is possible. Let me call my friend in Congress to get a law passed.

Businessman 2: How much will that cost?

Businessman 1: Don’t worry about it. It’s a done deal.

And this is the way human slavery in America progressively turned to chattel slavery (treating humans like property with no rights)

I believe all beings including animals should be free, but I digress.

So it was not that way at the start, but every time a black person sued in court for their slave stent to end or married their master or whatever other means to remove themselves from slavery, a law was passed the following year that said:

Actually, you are enslaved for life.

Actually, you are no longer allowed to marry your master.

Actually, you cannot marry any white person ever.

Actually, even your kids are enslaved as well.

Actually, they are enslaved for life as well.

Actually, you can never sue in court if you’re not treated right.

And on and on, new laws being created to progressively limit the rights of the enslaved until it turned into slaves were slaves for life, and so were their children, and they were no longer human (that was a law too).

And since their home base was a long way away, Who could they complain to?

Ahh, the devil was crouching at their door and they decided to open it and greet him with wide-open arms.

But they forgot one thing.

“They buried us but didn’t know we were seeds”

In other words, You cannot keep the human spirit down. Not for long anyway.

And that burning desire for freedom, that burning desire for justice (and in some cases retribution because let’s face it: alls fair in love and war) proved to be a tumultuous relationship between the enslavers and the enslaved.

Thomas Jefferson said it best regarding slavery: I have the wolf by the throat but I can neither sustain him nor let him go…

Ramadan the ReMix LOG Discipline, Introspection, Focus

Observances/Adjustments

It’s important to analyze the challenges, potential challenges and WHY something isn’t working so we can be successful in our journey. It’s very important to me that I follow this to completion. On Sunday I attended a spiritual workshop which was the perfect prelude to Ramadan. I decided to share part of my daily log that I utilize to keep myself on track. Much Love to You

Monday –          

AM       ♥ 10 mins Breathing

          ♥ Open Focus

            ♥ Sun Salutation, Exercise

Observances:    The morning was great; I felt really empowered. I brought water with me to drink all day. I removed one item from the morning routine and I’m very comfortable with the practice above.

For lunch – one note – I packed waaay too much food – a large salad, two red potatoes, 2 black bean burger patties, a pulled mozzarella ball and 2 peaches. I knew I packed too much but lack of preparation led me to throw random things in my bag the next morning (literally one giant lettuce leaf, a handful of arugala, 3 mini peppers, a stalk of cilantro) because I didn’t feel like cooking the night before. I didn’t finish all of the salad. So tomorrow scale way back.

The heater under my desk was removed, which was good because it kept me “glued” to my desk (obstacle). God removed this obstacle for me; I strongly doubt I would have done that on my own, lol. I thought of the heater often throughout the day but I got up to move my body to keep warm ☺. It is beneficial, though slightly uncomfortable, to not have it there, but when establishing new habits, a little discomfort is necessary.

PM       ♥ Breathing

♥ Open Focus

♥ Stretch

♥ Read

I fell a little flat in the evening. I wanted to eat out of habit or boredom. I felt into my body and I was not hungry at all. I wouldn’t have eaten regardless but it was easier to kill the idea to eat when I realized I wasn’t even hungry. I felt myself really, really sleepy. I sat on my yoga mat and started doing the habitual b*llsh*t  things I normally do that keep me scattered. I stopped myself. I started to do a moon salutation but my body was so resistant I stopped halfway through and remembered sometimes I get really sleepy in the evenings. I analyzed what was most important to me to practice each evening and I crossed off moon salutation. What I accomplished for the night is what is listed above. If anything comes out of this discipline, it must be the practices above so although I had other things to do, I allowed my body to fall asleep. This ended up being a good thing because it caused me to revise my night routine. I played my Tibetan singing bowl which helped to clear my mind (I had a bit of scattered energy), I burned a candle, practiced open focus and I fell asleep. When I awoke, it was way later than I intended. I decided I had to show up for myself so I did 10 minutes of deep breathing and read. I decided to divide my book up and read a chapter each night and I’ll be done in 7 days. I went to bed around 2am though…

So this is only Day 1, not bad. I definitely feel empowered, that’s for sure. And I didn’t practice any self-deprecating words like “you’re not doing enough” because my most important things are accomplished and I decided these will remain a part of my daily practice no matter what happens and my body and mind need time to adjust.  I decided the benefit of waking up early is I can complete the practices above while practicing discipline. Then, if I need to sleep later on, at least those most important things are already done. That really resonated with me.

Day 2     Tuesday

The rest of the world will be observing Ramadan starting today. This morning I felt super sleepy and it was difficult awakening. I gave myself a few minutes to rest and decided to show up for myself and start my breathing practice.

It awakened me enough to move forward into open focus practice. Then I did sun salutation but the only exercise I did was releves and squats. Well, something beats a blank. I packed my lunch and water and was off to work.

*of note, I was guided to eat an apple each morning so I decided at the last minute to add an apple and tea into my morning routine. I don’t particularly want to, as I’m quite comfortable not eating breakfast, but during this timeframe I will do as instructed. I had 1 or 2 slices left over from yesterday’s slices and drank my tea. Then I was off.

Lunch went much better than yesterday. I still had too much food though. I ate a large bowl of pasta and a yam and some arugala and cilantro. I feel the need to have less food so I’ll try again tomorrow. I’m also being guided to have less starchy foods so I’ll focus on lentils or beans, greens, plain oatmeal. I want to have a comfortable lunch and not feel too full. Onward.

This evening. I had some posting to do. Now NORMALLY if I’m doing a spiritual program or something like this I “check out” from the world and just focus on myself, but THIS time I was guided to find joy in this experience so I’m attempting to keep as much normalcy as possible while still maintaining my routine. So far it’s ok. A little scary in the mornings and during the day and in the evenings. Honestly, the “scary” is the thought of me having a moment of weakness and “failing”. I decided if I “fail” I’ll just keep going. It’s like if I’m walking down the street and trip and fall. I’ll get back up, I won’t lay there.

A text message came through today that my neighbor, who caters, is cooking dinners again and if I wanted to order something. I normally do since her food is the bomb.com, but not now because I also gave up fish. Awwwwwww maaaaaan she had catfish (she never has thaaaat!!!!) mac n cheese ( whoooweeee) and yams topped with marshmallow {saliva dripped down face}. But I’m not having fish, cheese or sugary things unless its fruit.

But SIKE! I aint fallin for dat. I’m good. DUH-LETE.

Tryna trick me! It’s only day 2! I mean damn

Well its outta my system. I CAN DO this. I’m a mexiCAN, not a mexiCANT!

I CAN and YOU CAN TOO

Ramadan – the ReMix

Disclaimer:  I’m not muslim, but I will celebrate Ramadan this year.

I’ve only fasted one time in my life and it was a spur of the moment thing. I was in a spiritual program and the host mentioned he had fasted and his diet was compromised when he moved in with other people. The program was Not about fasting but when he mentioned it, I wondered why I never tried fasting?

Oh because I love food, that’s why.                                                                            

So in all my years, the thought to fast never even crossed my mind. It so happened on the day I decided to fast, I had not eaten yet, had eaten late the night before and was off from work for the next 3 days. So I said ‘no time like the present’ and decided to go for it. I asked my peeps about fasting online since I had no idea what it looked like and wanted to know if I could still exercise or if there were some special precautions I had to take (I really had no idea) and I was told by people who fasted I could do everything I normally do.

So I did. I drank water all day (as I normally do) and I took herbal medicine (as I normally do) and that was it. Part of my motivation for fasting was to heal my gut (very long story, too long for this post) and part of my motivation for fasting was to deepen my spiritual connection.

My fast accomplished both things. My last meal was on a Thursday night and the next time I ate was late Monday morning or Monday at lunchtime, I don’t remember. During this time I realized my gut was processing food at a slow rate and I also had “all the time in the world”. It was like I was off for a week when it was only 3 days. I did my spiritual program, I went food shopping, I did door dashing, I exercised, I read – it was a beautiful 3 days and hard to believe it was only 3 days! I learned a lot about myself through the spiritual program I was in and through meditation and I wanted to do it again.

I wasn’t hungry the entire time (possibly due to the slow food processing) and didn’t hear my stomach grumble until late Sunday or Monday. It was healing and therapeutic and freeing and a beautiful experience.

And I wanted to do it again

But since that time I failed miserably at fasting. And I know why (mainly):

I’m a stress eater

And when I’m at work –  I stress Eat. All. Day. Long. I eat crackers, granola bars and the like but its constant, in other words, im not giving my body a chance to rest, a chance to stop processing food so it can focus exclusively on repair work.

Enter Ramadan.

Last year I got in my mind to celebrate Ramadan but I didn’t know anything about it and I didn’t do it.

This year is here, however, and I’m ready.

I’ve learned that Ramadan is a dedication period to celebrate divine inspiration (I am not muslim, so that is how I interpret “the revelation of the koran to the prophet mohammed”) and I appreciate that there is time set aside to reflect on the help that God gives us at the right time to assist us in our journey, divine inspiration being one aspect of the Most Holy.

That being said – I’m scared sh*tless. I have never fasted for a month. If I was home I don’t think I would have this reaction, but I’m not going to be home for the bulk of it, I’m going to be at work and without the food crutch to escort me through my day I am fearful of if I can do it and how it will affect me.

So in all things we must make it our own. This is how to “embody”. There are many ways to fast, and fasting during Ramadan includes early breakfast before dawn and dinner after sundown, which to me means it’s just a fast from lunch. But it also includes No Food, No Drink during the day and No Sex during the entire 30 day period.

I will not follow this type of fast because my body does not want to eat dinner and often does not want to eat breakfast and I have to follow what my body wants. For me, the fast will be lunch only each day, no breakfast, no dinner, no “snacks” and I will continue drinking water as usual.

I Have Clear Focus on Why I’m doing this fast:

♥To heal my body and to deepen my connection with source energy through Discipline.

I have Clear intentions on the outcomes of this fast and that includes modifying what I’m putting into my body at this time to aid in the work. For me, I will relinquish Cheese. And eat green foods daily.

Even as I say this I am welling up with tears

For the cheese,

That I love.

I will also continue to understand the nature of Ramadan, as it coincides with moon sightings, so I will seek to deepen my understanding of God’s creation of the moon in relation to our bodies.

I will practice discipline and learn to be in a space of displeasure and Not reach for food as a means of getting me through emotional turmoil.

I will seek out other ways to be Strong instead. What they are I don’t know yet, but I have a few ideas.

I will continue to practice daily gratitude and appreciation for all things and for the space to perform this fast.

And – it just popped into my head – I will continue to be joyful???

… I will ?

<<crickets>>

That might be a stretch… I mean this whole thing scares the hell out of me but I can see how beneficial it is for me to go there. So I’ll do it and ill read these words each day so I can remember to find some joy in this.

Since the idea of this 30 day discipline is super scary, I will just do what I know to do: Take.One.Day.At.A.Time.

Day one starts Monday (for me). Most other people will probably start Tuesday evening as the actual day is based on the sighting of the crescent moon, the very beginning of a moon cycle.

Happy Ramadan!

Ramadan Kareem (Have a Generous/Noble/Honorable Ramadan month)!

Ramadan Mubarak (Have a Blessed month of Ramadan)!

Do you celebrate Ramadan? How is it for you?

Well, Social Media is “Social”…

Observations: Posting on social media

Inspired by a video I reposted on whether homosexuality was a choice and a separate video I watched on male circumcision & its appropriateness in our (american) society. The vlogger was very angry that male circumcision happens. He was circumcised, did Not circumcise his children but remained extremely angry that it exists, calling circumcision “chopping up a dick” and compared it to female genital mutilation (aka female circumcision).

I made a comment exploring the why (repetitive habit from an old custom) and a person’s personal choice and why it does not Need to be a big deal to be Uncircumcised save for “not fitting into society”. It is a personal choice and no one else’s business.

observations about others:

  1. people who are accustomed to being victimized – this is the go-to mind set. If I pose a question, and a person is sensitive to the TOPIC, they could respond on the defense or negatively, without listening to the discussion because they Anticipate a negative response, even if there isn’t one. This requires sensitivity when responding.
  2. your vibe attracts your tribe. and there will always be resonance for either good or bad, positive or negative energy that is expressed.
  3. people do not read or do not read in its entirety.
  4. especially if a long comment is posted, people tend to react to the first sentence or two assuming they know what the entire paragraph says (could either be laziness or sensitivity and/or arguably just a defense for the person they agree with who posted the video).
  5. speculation surrounding if they actually have an opinion other than the one presented to them, or if because they like the person, they defend the person.
  6. when people are emotionally charged up that will create an environment where they become irrational, even make up your responses, that were never said, and assume your characteristics, that they have no idea about, simply because you didn’t Immediately agree, or had some other perspective that was rational. *I will add there is nothing wrong with being angry. We have emotions for a reason. However, uncontrolled anger, unseated anger, could cause us to be irrational, which keeps us stuck with no resolution to our problems.
  7. one person said I never experienced oppression (my picture is reflected next to my name) —– ok. I am well accustomed to stereotypes, but that is a new one, lol. First time for everything…
  8. there were only a few responses, maybe 8 or so in total including mine. my response had 3 negative responses (meaning they were very angry). there were a couple of other responses, all by men, except for one woman who also gave a rational, unbiased approach, to which I liked her comment. But I wondered if in general men have more male audience members and if females have more female audience members…just curious…and if those sexes are then reimagined in some way into “taking sides”. I wondered this because someone mentioned my being a woman, and assumed I had Disagreed, possibly based on the separation and dysfunction of the sexes as another factor.

observations about myself:

  1. do I typically post a comment disagreeing with someone? If I feel I need to speak my truth, yes. it is about equal. also I don’t post hot-headed responses, because how does that help anything?
  2. I was surprised at the negative responses, mainly because the orator was spiritual and I assumed the audience would be rational or open-minded. it was the kind of reaction I would expect elsewhere on social media, so that gave me food for thought
  3. I was reminded that we all have different awarenesses and that our vibe attracts our tribe on Any and Every awareness level. It does NOT depreciate a person’s value or spirituality. Who can play God better than He Himself? So I will leave that to Him
  4. I am grateful for a newfound community that I truly feel at home with. We have open, healthy discussions and are aware enough to understand that we all have different truths and everything is the all. we learn from each other.

I did not respond to any of the negative comments because it was not my page and what would I respond other than comments that would be sarcastic, lol, because the people with negative comments didn’t read mine in its entirety. The takeaway? My observations above. Would I do anything differently? No. I stand behind my words completely. They were balanced, open, practical from my perspective and left room for everyone to embrace who they are without judgement – if read in its entirety. As for the person who felt he was oppressed (his word, not mine), a forever victim because of societal judgment on Uncircumcised men, people who need approval from the masses will forever be victimized by that desire. At times we just need the right perspective, presented in the right way, by the right person for us as an individual. That video was definitely not that, it only fed into anger that “society” doesn’t accept things. My comment was also not that, probably too long for some people to bear. Maybe one day he-we-they- will find that perspective and if open to it, assume it. Maybe not. That is part of the individual journey.

Keep Rising

Keep Thriving

Keep Loving

the Power is in the People

Much Love,

C