December 1, 2023

Youth scream out, ‘We are not our ancestors!’

By: Omowale Luthuli-Allen

I don’t know whether to walk tall or sag my head. I don’t know whether I should be encouraged by the above picture or should I be disheartened and discouraged. I do not know whether I should be bristling with pride or shrinking with shame. That young lady with the incendiary sign is very probably your grandchild or grandniece or daughter.

We feel the righteous indignation. Jimmy Baldwin, author, and social prophet once said that to be black in America is to be in a constant state of rage. Trauma is internalized and cuts to the bone and marrow. Trauma can’t be repressed or suppressed forever. Billy Reece struck a chord and a nerve when he said at the MLK workshop that nothing is so dangerous as unresolved trauma. This trauma started before 1619, around 1441 when the Portuguese slavers arrived on the coast of Africa. Since 1441 we have been involved in a war, sometimes high intensity, sometimes low intensity but always defined by man’s destructiveness, man’s inhumanity to man. Sometimes white on black, sometimes black on black.

Did the little sister just accuse the ancestors of being cowards and wimps, fading and withering before oppression? Did she know about how our ancestors fought back during the red summer of 1919? Did she know that our ancestors jumped overboard from the slave ships into the jaws of sharks? Did she know that that between 1865 and 1910 that there were 3500 recorded lynching’s of black people in the US? Did she know that we just didn’t sit on a stump and sang strange fruit on southern trees, we organized and protested? Did she know that while we were shuffled as cattle into floating dungeons that we were singing BEFORE I will be a slave, I will rather be dead and in my grave? Does she know of TITANS Nancy Helen Burroughs and Ida B. Delaney? They put in the work and were greater than the Gods. These sisters took the anti-lynching fight to the dark forces and had to flee for their own lives? Countless John Browns and Nat Turners kept the mighty freedom candle lit and beaming like the North Star. Where did my little sister get her information about the lack of fight among our ancestors? BECOME A BLACK FUTURES THINK TANK BY EDUCATING YOUR PEERS ABOUT OUR SANKOFA moments.

Have you researched local icon ADA EDWARDS and SHAPE center leadership in the fight for justice for Ida B. Delaney., a grandmother and mother who was murdered by a deranged off duty policeman in Houston in 1989?

Maybe I am insulted and representing a thin-skinned group of old timers but if you are criticizing the ancestors, at least do the investigation.

Did the little sister not accuse the ancestors of not being courageous but stated that she represented a generation that had the means to retaliate? Fire hoses, cattle prods and dogs would not deter her nor civil disobedience. I want my little sisters and brothers to know that Malcolm did say ANY MEANS NECESSARY AS LONG AS IT IS INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED

Nevertheless, my little defiant sister is part of the solution and not the problem? She reminds me of myself at 18. Perhaps, we are the biggest part of the problem for not having Freedom Schools that would teach her our story. The Nigerian saying is true. If children do not feel the warmth of the village, they will destroy the village seeking the warmth that they were denied.

Part of our challenge is to channel the destructive volcano power of the denizens of the streets. Help me find this 100-pound bundle of intelligence and energy. Our message to her is that this is truly your moment, our moment, George Floyd family, Eric Garner, Trayvon and Tamir Rice’s family moment.

Remember, we don’t want to bring down a monster by becoming a monster. Focus on living for black people rather than dying for black people. Get with the veterans of the great struggles of the 1960’s and 70’s and create the future by building it brick by brick. We cannot afford to lose our Moral compass= NORTH STAR. Study Birmingham and Albany during the 1960’s. Children of past generations filled the jails. They were MAD, DIGNIFIED and DISCIPLINED. Keep your righteous anger and unleash it to build a MORE PERFECT UNION.

Find us before we become dinosaurs and we can do it better together. We will plant a shade tree so that the unborn and next generation will receive the breeze and the shade.


Don’t forget to VOTE for an improved America November 3, 2020.


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