Black Spirituality Religion : The Story Must Be Told

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Kwaku Bendele, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. Kwaku Bendele

    Kwaku Bendele Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Story Must Be Told!




    I asked myself a question one day, a question I was not prepared to get the answer for. It opened a door for me that I wish I could shut. Life was much simpler when I did not have to re-examine everything that I knew as truth. One day, when I was in deep meditation, the spirit of a strong willed African woman came to me and lifted my veil of illusion and confusion. Let me recount for you the true story she revealed to me.

    One beautiful, glorious early morning, this young woman rose to greet the sun and face another day in harmony with the earth. She was greeted by the gunfire and weapons of white men that raided and attacked her village. She fought but she was beaten and subdued. She saw the bodies of her family and community, massacred around her as the stench of death and blood hung heavy in the air. She was dragged away, kicking and screaming as she saw the crying and anguished faces of the young and the old that were left to die like useless livestock.

    For months, she walked alongside the horseback prone pale men that raped her and beat her at will. Her feet were bloody and raw, she was lonely and hungry and she ached for rest but they did not and would not let up. She was chained to the bodies of men and women that were dead, sick, fatigued and dying, yet she had no choice but to carry on under the whip of the slave traders. She learned quickly to stifle her cries of pain and anguish because they seemed to bring the sting of the whip that much more. It was clear her pain served to amuse her captors so she resigned within her soul to not give them that pleasure.

    They waved strange items in her face, two wooden sticks tethered together and a coded document of some sort that was bound by a dark piece of cow hide with golden symbols on the front. They would yell and scream at her in a strange tongue and seemed to take much pleasure in kicking her in her private parts or even her head while screaming this strange word over and over again. They were brutal in their torture, pushing her body past the human limits for pain. The only way she survived the excruciating pain was to call upon her God to save her. She prayed and chanted, she did rituals in the dark of night when her captors were fast asleep, all to help her survive this unknown journey into darkness.

    Arriving at what she thought was to be her final destination on earth; she was ushered beneath the ground to a hole with a stench so awful she could not hold anything on her stomach for days on end. She was separated from the people in her village, most of whom hadn’t even survived the journey to the coast, and she was housed in a room made of stone with more rats and insects than humans. The other women there ministered to her, even though they were from different tribes and did not speak the same language; they bonded with her sharing the same evil fate. They anointed her body with oils and herbs they were able to procure by having sex with the guards of the dark place. She longed for a medicine woman to come to help heal the weeping and oozing sores on her body and to heal her ripped flesh of her vagina, torn savagely as the men inserted any many of things into her body. Her period had stopped on the journey and she was sure she was no longer a woman but an empty shell to be beaten and left to die. She was sure she was going to be a sacrifice to the heavens for a crime she had not committed.

    For months she lay in the urine, feces and blood of the stone rooms while she called upon the holy names of Obatala, BabaluAye, and Orunmila to protect her, to deliver her from this nightmare. She prayed fervently, pleading with them to deliver her prayers to Olodumare to spare her life so that she might live to survive to the glory of the Universal Father/Mother, the Creator, The One Most High. She sent up prayers constantly because that’s all she could do. Her body was so severely malnourished she could scarcely put up a fight when the men came to defile her with their sick, twisted and perverted pleasures. Branded with the searing hot iron at the hands of the captor men, she was called a name that was not a name her had tribe had ever used. She learned quickly her new name was to be ******, but it seemed odd to her that all of her brothers and sisters in captivity had the same name as well.

    Just when she thought she could go on no longer, she saw the light of day only to find that her fate was worse. She was boarded on a ship, packed tightly one body on top of another, scarcely enough room to breathe. Some days, the only water she would get to drink was the rancid piss of the people that were chained to the deck above that would drip through the rotted planks of the ship’s hold. She clung to life in whatever way she could, so she could die of her own choosing, not at the hands of the evil men. Her plan was to jump overboard to end her own life and not have it be taken from her by her vile captors. That was not to be the case; she survived, clinging to life with the tender caresses of the others who had not gone insane from the pain, dehydration, disease and despair.

    For months, she had no way to comprehend time or space. They landed in a place where she was poked, prodded and inspected like cattle only to be put on another ship to land at another strange destination. Once again, she was paraded around, inspected by the stringy-haired men, and she was put in the back of a wagon with other Black people and taken to a farm with an enormous cottage, the likes of which she had never seen before. The king was a pinkish man who would come to her at night and use her in ways a man was never supposed to use a woman. During the day, she was forced to work the land. Her tears fertilized the crops as she worked in silence alongside the people that spoke the same language as the brutal pale people.

    Many times, she would sneak off into the woods at night and dance and sing and escape in her mind to her home where she could be carefree and happy again. She would offer her prayers up to the orisha, pouring out libations on this unholy ground, and begging them to wake her up from this horrible nightmare. She prepared a secret alter to present gifts to the heavens and; it was her place of solace and refuge and it was her reminder of her peaceful but distant home. She longed to wear colors again, she needed to eat food that gave life, not the garbage the captors threw away, longed to dance and sing, and to feel joy again. She longed for the sensual touch of a man, not the brutal attacks she endured that made her die a little inside. She was slowly losing the sensation of dignity and self-respect, traits her fellow slaves never knew.

    One day, in the solitude of the woods, she anointed herself a high priestess. She had secretly fasted and prayed for one full rotation of the moon and gathered the herbs she needed to burn to put herself into a trance to pass through the spiritual portal to the heavens. With only the stars in the sky as her illumination, she uttered the holy words she had heard the spiritual elders say back home along with a prayer that the spirits would forgive any misspoken words in her solitary and extreme conditions. She knew that if she were caught, she could be killed instantly; the whites in charge were insistent that every African denounce all that was holy and good from their homeland. She couldn’t share her secret place with anyone, the blacks that were born in captivity in this new world knew nothing of the spiritual beliefs that kept their parents and grandparents alive on the bowels of those horrible ships, they ridiculed her for her language, stories, songs, and traditions, telling her that only the God of the evil white man was good. She wept for their souls; for they had never known what it was like to truly be free. All of their beliefs and thoughts were dictated by their owners and they would never know truth or independence all the days of their lives.

    Her secret place was not to be a secret for very long because one of the guards followed her one evening, found her alter, and flew into a rage. He slapped her body to the ground and dragged her to the front of the big house. He tore her meager garments from her body and began to lash her back with a whip. The leather tore at her flesh as she screamed out in anguish. The blood ran from the open wounds as she lay defenseless on the ground. He was screaming at her to accept Jesus as her personal lord and savior. She would never accept the God of these evil men and she prepared herself for death as she felt the flesh ripped from her body with each lash. Fatigued and frustrated from administering such a relentless beating, the man poured salt into her open wounds and forbade anyone to touch her. He admonished everyone that if they didn’t accept Jesus, that they would get the same treatment or worse. For hours she lay on the ground, drifting in and out of consciousness, floating between life and death, visions of her homeland calling out to her.

    That night, the others came to collect what they were sure was her lifeless body. How had she survived such a brutal beating? The word that clung to her lips was faint yet determined, “Yemaya, Yemaya.” The fact that she went on to recover physically was nothing less than a miracle.

    The years passed, she learned the language of the people, she gave birth many times, her children not hers to raise; they were sold off to other slave owners, never to be seen again. She wanted desperately for her children to know their real names, to understand that where they came from was a much better place, to pass on the history, culture, language and traditions of the place that she knew to be home, the people she loved and missed. She didn’t want them raised to be *******, dead to the ways of life and conditioned to believe in their inferiority.

    Her last child was the child of the slave master, and she was allowed to keep him. She would sneak him off into the night as a young boy and teach him the traditions of her homeland. He learned quickly and showed great promise and enthusiasm. The slave master heard rumors that she was teaching her son the ways of Africa in secret and threatened her that if she didn’t stop her teachings immediately, if she didn’t teach her son to worship Jesus and denounce her African beliefs, she was going to witness her son being lashed until death in front of all that could see. The pain she felt inside was the greatest pain she had endured since her nightmare had begun. She knew that she could not bare the thought of seeing any harm coming to her child but she also believed that his only chance for freedom was in the saving grace of Olodumare to deliver him from the false perceptions that surrounded them.

    She watched her son grow to manhood; he denounced his mother and her African ways and wore a cross around his neck exactly like the one that she had seen so many years ago around the neck of the men that first raped her. He called upon the name of Jesus for his salvation and he refused to study anything but the leather bound book that justified the reason for the enslavement of his people. He looked down on her in disgust for her flawless skin the color of rare ebony. He cringed in horror at the sight of his mother’s natural hair, completely convinced that the hair of white women was somehow more beautiful because he believed that white people were better than blacks. He could not comprehend that the wooly hair, thick lips, wide nose and high cheekbones of his mother were in any way beautiful for he had been told all his life that only white women were beautiful. He did whatever he could to separate himself from being a ****** because no one in their right mind would want to be that.

    I wish that was the end of my story. I wish that had only happened in isolation and this was a fictional but tragic story. Sadly, it rings true for every African American who has ancestry in slavery. The details might be slightly different but the experience of capture, transportation, spiritual annihilation, and mental enslavement are the same. There is a lineage of survival and courage in our veins that are at unrest because we, the children of the great ones, are practicing the religion of the people that made them endure the most horrific torture possible. They cry out to us to look back, to feel their presence, to understand that the lies of the slave master were only to justify his evil actions and the beliefs that we were inferior. Africans were not heathens, Christianity was not a gift to Blacks, we were not rescued from a savage place we were kidnapped and stolen to live life lower than an animal.

    Today, the beliefs of the slaves are still so much a part of our psyche, that most Black people reading this will react violently at the thought of threatening their religion and reality. They will do anything to hold onto the beliefs of the whip that told us that Africans were saved by slavery. They will justify the lessons taught by white people and they will insist that other Africans sold their ancestors into slavery and that it wasn’t white’s fault, completely absolving whites from any guilt in their participation in the slave trade. They will say, “God had a plan and that was to bring Christianity to us through slavery,” justifying the torture and abuse of our African ancestors that survived so that their legacy might live on in honor and in glory, not in captivity. I’m sure they could find no equal justification if even one white person were to endure that same treatment today. They would never find the “silver lining” in the brutal enslavement of white people yet the very blood that runs through their veins is from those that endured more than their minds will even try to grasp. They will say, “I’m not a victim,” incorrectly assuming that to be a victim means one chooses to be weak. They will not understand that if they do not see the horror and errors of our collective past, they are victims of brainwashing and lies.

    Perhaps there is one however that will read these words over and over again, looking for their own answers, putting together the pieces of a long forgotten puzzle. Perhaps there is one who will go into meditation and prayer and call out to the one that refused to let go of their beliefs during captivity and died knowing that they were truly free. Perhaps there is one that will ask the questions that reveal the ultimate truth.

    The spirit that called out to me lives in these words. Her blood was not spilled in vain because it sustains me and gives me life so that I might share her story with those willing to hear. I must be her vessel and her voice.

    Copyright 2005 Scottie Lowe

    Inspired by the film Sankofa

    Scottie Lowe is a lifelong student of African and African American Studies with a concentration in psychology. She writes extensively on her theory of the Psychospiritual Stages of Disability of African Americans and intends on developing her hypothesis towards a transcendent Africentric paradigm that lifts the collective consciousness of descendents of slaves. She intends on pursuing her Doctorate degree in Consciousness Studies. Scottie is also the sole owner and founder of www.AfroerotiK.com, a company dedicated to eradicating the negative and stereotypical depictions of Black sexuality and providing customized, personalized erotic stories for and about people of color.


    Scottie Lowe
    Afrodiva
     
  2. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

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    Except for one thing:

    The white slave masters did not introduce Christianity to Africa. Christianity was thriving in Africa long before slavery and long before Islam.

    Why is the paganism of the white man condemned but the paganism of Africa is studied and defended as "truth." Will we be set free if we go back to believing in fifty eleven different gods?

    By the way the only person in the Bible who was cursed with a particular skin color was the servant of the prophet Elijah, and he was cursed with white skin and yellow hair. So it is not the Bible that justifies our enslavement. The white man did this and continues to do it through pseudoscience or whatever he can find to twist around.
     
  3. info-moetry

    info-moetry STAFF STAFF

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    peace sister River,

    I feel your spirit............You are correct when you say that Christianity was followed b4 the slave master stole us, but not in the current form that today's Christians follow.

    - It was not followed b4 Islam however, though many believe that Islam came into existance at the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), this is not true for any who disagree with this statement. The Qu'ran says "we found the Prophet groping" in reference to him always going to the cavedss in the mountain and sitting alone......

    "By the way the only person in the Bible who was cursed with a particular skin color was the servant of the prophet Elijah," - sister this is not true as one of the sons of Noah was also cursed as was Cain.

    I overstand your original point though as you have also alluded to this in another thread. Just overstand that the Christianity practiced today is in direct opposition to what WE practiced yesterday.

    - As for worshipping 50/11 gods, one would have to do a complete study on why b4 we cast judgement & WE might just see that the term GOD did not mean what it means today as they KNEW (our ancestors) who the Supreme was and always bowed down to her/him.......

    As always I leave u in peace..............
     
  4. river

    river Watch Her Flow MEMBER

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    And I come to you in peace as well brother info

    Yes I overstand that the Christianity of today is diametrically opposed to the Christianity of the early church in many points. Surely you must realize by now that I buy nothing wholesale.

    I will not argue with you about what our ancestors worshipped since I'm sure you are much more familiar with it than I am. However I am learning a lot from you and others on this board.

    Now I am perplexed. I have been told that Muhammed wrote the Quran. That it was given to him directly by Allah. How then could Islam exist before Muhammed?

    The curse put on Cain did not in anyway involve a skin color. In fact, this was the curse of an old man with a bad hangover. To my knowledge there is no biblical indication that God acknowledged or honored this curse. Again it is just another something the white man twisted around to suppress the truth.

    Interesting enough, I was in the Pan Africa forum a little while ago where they were talking about how the Arabs enslaved the Africans. Is there any monotheistic system that was not given to us by one of our many slave masters?
     
  5. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

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    If believing in multiple gods makes a culture happy, why should they change to a different belief? Which of us TRULY has the answer (meaning we've seen and heard God with our physical senses)?
     
  6. info-moetry

    info-moetry STAFF STAFF

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    peace my sister,

    Islam - the word is derived from Salam which means peace as in (A-Salamu-A-Laikum) "peace be upon you" The way Jesus greeted & left when he was among the people - Islam itself means the submission to God (or whatever name u wish to give to the ALL)

    A Muslim - is one who vows to submit his/her will to do the will of that same creator!

    - so Islam is not a religion in the since that we take a religion to be, it is more a way of life. True, it has been added onto by man (as all others) which has taken it off way off course. As I stated to a Muslim not long ago on another thread that prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said "3 generations after me will no longer be of me" - so this means that Islam has not existed in the pure form he brought since about 700 A.D.......

    - It is true that The propher "received" the revelations of the Qu'ran on Mt Hijra when approached by the angel who poked him 3 times (the # 3 is also used all throughout the bible in regards to prophets) & said Ikra "recite" & the prophet said "but I am illiterate, so how can I recite". On the 3rd time he opened his mouth & started to recite what was given to him. Now, I say that Islam existed b4 the prophet made it manifest in it's "physical form" because all of nature bows down in obedience to the "one God". Meaning that even nature follows Islam and all of God's creation are Muslims & Islam came into existance with God's creation.

    Even a Christian or a Jew are considered Muslims as they too submit their will to do the will of that "one God". If the Angel had to bring it to Muhammad, or "Re-veal" it that means it was already in existance but he nor his people had any knowledge of it.

    -Yes, the Arabs enslaved us also & gave us their form of Islam. We invited the Arabs in to help get the Romans off of us. They did that, but then they took the place of the ROmans in enslaving us & thus our people started to convert.

    "Is there any monotheistic system that was not given to us by one of our many slave masters"? - Yes, Islam! we followed this since remotest antiquity & it was only just recently during the Arab slave trade that it was "given back" to us in a corrupted form.

    peace my sister
     
  7. Pharaoh Jahil

    Pharaoh Jahil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Peace,

    Powerful Post sister. An excellent description of what has take place during the Middle Passage.



    Peace..
     
  8. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Powerful testimony!
     
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