We Really Aren’t Our Ancestors. : ThyBlackMan

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

We Really Aren’t Our Ancestors.

November 3, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) There seems to be a need for many black people to tell the world they are NOT their ancestors. When this statement is said it is an affirmation that they will not tolerate the conditions their ancestors were subjected to…especially in the area of violence. Many of us look at the past, and immediately begin to think about what we would have done differently. It is very easy to look back and state you would have fought your way off the plantation, or that no white man would have called you boy.

However, we don’t seem to look at what the ancestors had the strength to accomplish. Some how we lose sight of the fact that had it not been for the tenacity of the ancestors there is a chance we wouldn’t be here, or we wouldn’t have what the rights we enjoy. Though, as a people, we have come a long way…there are areas by which we have digressed. The ancestors seemed to have worked for freedom, as best they could, on all fronts. Can we say the same?

Let’s be totally honest. If we had to face some of the exact same pressures of overt racism as the ancestors we may have don’t the exact same thing. If we were in that time that would have been all we knew, so we would have done what is necessary to stay alive and protect our family. We do have more than the ancestors, obviously, in terms of opportunities. Though we still face oppression we have more weapons by which to fight such, and more tools to organize our people. We must ask ourselves are we doing all that we can to move black people forward before we compare ourselves to those of whose backs we stand.

It may be difficult to hear, but it could be argued that we are not as strong as those that came before us. There is a different kind of resilience that is born out of direct oppression. When men and women were being lynched and raped, children snatched, and making eye contact with a white person could draw your last breath the sense of community was stronger. Black people had to stand with each other because we were all we had. Children were taught at a younger age, and education was a priority. Today many of our children have the choice of whether they want to further their education be it vocational or liberal. The idea that it’s a choice is not liken to our ancestors at all. Unlike them we often limit ourselves as we can’t always see the direct consequences of our choices.

There is so much we could stand to learn from our ancestors about organization, the strength of community, teaching our own, the power of family, and that violence is not always the course of action. We could stand to learn how to fight from rights on multiple fronts: protest, education, in the courts, with our voting power, buying power and through local community activism. Yes, we are facing police brutality whereby we are being targeted, and jailed or killed.

Yet, we must remember they faced the same, and many never made it to the jails. In areas that we have more knowledge accessible to us we must take it and grow into a positive force. The next time you say I’m not my ancestors remember the goal is to surpass them. We have yet to become as strong as those before us…we need to catch up, and take the place in strength, movement, and progress they died for us to have. We are still in the covering of their shadows.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

May connect with this sister over at Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/christian.pierre.9809 and also Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MrzZeta.


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