I am because we are, we are because our ancestors were tirelessly, unfathomably strong. We are one.
The Black Diaspora stretches across the globe, residing anywhere people of direct African descent make their homes. From the depths of the Congo in the heart of Africa itself, to the Caribbean sands of Martinique and St Croix, to the capitols and countrysides of Europe, North and South America, black people populate every corner of the world. With them, they bring their unique flavor and some core Africanism. Brazil alone boasts 100 million people of African descent, in large part centered in Salvador, Bahia on the northern eastern coast. I traveled to Salvador in 2005, finding Africa alive and well in a host of ways. Acaraje, a staple meal made with black eyed peas and palm oil, originates in west Africa; the Bataria (a procession of 50+ drums in cadence) harkens back to a time when the drum was essential to ritual and communication in Africa; the Yuraba faith of Benin, Nigeria, and Togo seeded the Brazilian religion of Cadomble. Everywhere black people travel, whether by force or seeking opportunity, their souls and traditions join them.
The question rises “What is the current state of the Black Diaspora?” Despite many challenges we persevere. We are growing spiritually on both individual and collective levels and seek an ever-increasing mode of unity and prosperity. There was a time before integration in the US that Black Americans held a stronger position of economic independence. Centers of commerce thrived in towns like Tulsa, OK. As recently as 2014, African leaders such as Muammar Gaddafi sought to organize a similar ethos of African economic independence by orchestrating the African Union and pushing for a pan African currency based on a gold standard. His assassination only highlighted the power of his ideas and sent out a beacon to the black diaspora that unity is our greatest weapon.
I proclaim that liberation must begin in the minds and hearts of our people. Eurocentric concepts of self, definitions of who and what we aspire toward, must be questioned in light of more spiritual and collective modalities. We are the original people and as such hold a specific role in leading humanity back to peace and balance. An African world view is one in harmony with nature and with our fellow man, rich study and examination of matters of science and philosophy, and an earnest pursuit of justice.
Thehuti, the ancient Kemetic scribe and teacher, proclaimed over 5,000 years ago the law of correspondence: as above so below, as within so without. We must do the work we are called to do internally to raise the vibration of the community and the planet. With the capital of Black Americans, the work ethic of the Caribbean, and the natural resources of Africa, there is no bound to the abundance we can bring to every life within the Black Diaspora.
Focus, pray, live, work, be.