going above and beyond
- Jun 18, 2004
- retired computer geek
This thread was first started as a means of self-education and self-reflection for those like me, people who have some identifiable native ancestry within their Black family. However, as the thread progressed and took on varying nature, it has shown me that this topic of Black Indians is not one merely of intellectual rationalizing but more so hearing and listening to spirit. This thread exposed for me, in my naivete, the gaping hole of identity that exists among Black people today as we attempt to define and describe just who we are and what is the Black experience. We each bring to the collective table certain unique backgrounds and experiences that shape and mold our ways for seeing, collecting and categorying things, as well as, how we view and process information.
We must learn that Black people are not monolithic. What we share in common is our recent arrival from Africa under the duress and oppression of servitude and captivity, our ancestors' low status in American society and the continued oppression of being people of a darker skin. Yes, as a collective group, we have experienced the Code Noir (Black Codes), Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, the integration of the 1970's and 1980's, the low quality of living throughout the decades due to improper health care, social and economic redlining and exclusion, environmental racism, police and legal injustice, self-hate cycles of black on black homocide, drug use and incomplete households with immature parenting - as a collective we have all expereinced this. But if this is what defines being Black and the Black experience I must say your script was written by the writers of Good Times.
Yet, what is undeniable is the relationship between Black and Red peoples and the fact that their interaction created a new addition to the Black experience both in terms of physical and cultural progeny. Anyone wishing not to see this relationship, as I stated for better or for worse, is sorely amiss and operates within a caricature of the Black world created and manipulated by white mass media tempered by a Black man's shallowed mind intolerance framed by the same ideas detailed in the Willie Lynch letter. You ain't black, ***** you too light. Your hair is too fine You from the Northside.
For those who find themselves in a similar position such as myself, being involved in two worlds - no fault of your own (it's just your heritage) - I say let no one define who you are. Stay true to your being. Have courage. I had to come to grips some time ago that I have another heritage that was not only Black. So focused I was only on Africa and Black matters, that an ancestor visited me in a dream. This ancestor said, "Do you not know me? I am you." Later in was Vodouisants that encouraged my complete and confident acceptance of myself for who I was. I was afraid of being a Black person trying to be Indian. I would ask why do I always think about Indians when I'm Black. I came to find out that I have just as many Indian spirits around me as African spirits and one of my Indian spirits actually pushed me towards Vodou. In Vodou my met tet is Kouzen Azaka. Bonswa Kouzen. Ayibobo...
This journey has been about listening to spirit and allowing spirit to guide. I do not need to parade my "Black" credentials in front of anyone and neither should you. Anyone who questions your Blackness due to your interest in certain topics has only found areas within themselves where they have become insincere in their own "Blackness."
Black Indians, for better or worse, legitimate or not, are a fact within the Black experience and any mentioning of their existence is only a discussion of the Black experience itself. Any attempt to confuse it as any thing else clearly exposes the ignroance of those trying to cloud and stifled the conversation to their own personal dsilike and displeasure.
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