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"Our Daily Blog" #27

"Sticks and Stones and Names and Brands" Part Two

By Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace

(Click here to read part one)



John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."[1]

The foregoing Shakespearian quote works well as part of a 16th-century drama but, it wouldn't have the lifespan of a "snowball in hell" if, despite their fragrance, roses were classified as weeds,i.e., harmful plants, rather than flowers or other plants that are regarded as beneficial. Names define, give meaning to, phenomena. Unfavorable designations are inextricably bound to unfavorable treatment. Flowers are nurtured, protected, preserved, and encouraged to flourish while those that are not so classified receive the opposite treatment, i.e., they are "Rounded-up" and saturated with pesticides. Only the hardiest "weeds", among them the dandelions and the Kudzu (both of which are known for their proliferation and indestructibility), manage to survive the unrelenting attempts to exterminate them. 

To be called out of one's name- by n- names like negro (with the lower case "n") and nigger, is a form of low-intensity aggression which is followed,  inevitably,  by high-intensity aggression. This has been the order of every day since our forced return to the American colonies as captives. There appears to be no end to the litany of slanderous "n-words" to which Black people continue to be subjected- misnames that don't even begin with the letter "n", i.e., "subhuman"; "savage"; "3/5 of a man"; "underclass"; "disadvantaged"; "culturally deprived"; "minority"; "refugee"( Katrina), ad infinitum- in short, everything but children of God.  What continues to ride under the radar and, thereby, exacerbate the problem is the reclassification of Black people as "things", i.e., as chattel, as commodities, as animals to be traded on the stock exchange and in the "slave" markets, to be branded with the monograms of those who exercised brute force in order to ensure their property ownership rights to human beings, not only at that time but,  henceforth to into all succeeding generations as well. And, truth be told, this now centuries-old re-definition of Black people -not as persons but as "things"- still plagues us. 


It still stands as indelibly recorded in the 1857 "Dred Scott Decision"-an edict that has not been overturned to this very day. The main reason that Dred Scott could not get "justice" in the courts was due to the fact that still prevails: chattel, i.e., property/ commodities, have no standing to litigate in the courts. 

The "Emancipation Proclamation" could not grant freedom to the "slaves"

because the Confederate States-the "slave" states- had seceded from the Union. Obviously, the decree did not apply to non-Confederate States where there were no slaves.[2] The amendments to the Constitution, which pertained to the "emancipated slave" populations,  exclude(d) those who were held in bondage in penal institutions of which Black people in the U.S. are said to represent nine percent of the world's total. But, the truth of the matter is that our freedom depends neither on the men nor the documents. "It is the truth that will make us free."[3]

The importance of names cannot be overstated and, with that in mind, we must never forget who we are and from whence we came. It is our duty to know "the truth of our heritage"[4] so that we may know ourselves. The lives we save will be our own.


In order to know who we are, we must also know what we are not. African science is not governed by non-African scientific ideas.[5] Thus, Carl Linnaeus' system of classification which places "man" in the animal kingdom, i.e., "Mammalia", together with primates from whom they are said to have descended, does not apply.  African science provides for a Human kingdom with human ancestry of which the African family is an integral part. [6] That is not to say that Africans eschew their brother-/sister-hood with All life. However, it is to declare that this Kingdom is founded on evolution from human to divine rather than from animal to human.[7]

"Know Thyself" is an Ancient Egyptian( Kemetic) proverb that is enshrined on the entrance to each pyramid. It was and remains the order of the ages. It is our raison d'etre, i.e., our reason for being. "Our African Ancestors gave us "Ubuntu" or guidelines for what it means to be a human, a child of God, a human being. [8] "Human-ness, as is divinity, is a state of being-ness, not merely a set of transient, physical attributes,i.e., skin coloring, hair texture. etc. To invest heavily in these may permit one to "gain the whole world while losing one's own soul". We must steer clear of the inclination to fall for the "trappings" on this plane. Instead, let us make the conscious choice to follow the wisdom of our Ancient Ancestors "so we can become what God birthed us to be."[9] Aluta Continua.

Footnotes:

[1]"Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare.

[2]"To Save the Blood of Black Babies" by Kiarri T.-H. Cheatwood and"Forced Into Glory" by Lerone Bennett

[3]"What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?..." by Dr. Margaret T.G. Burroughs

[4]"Op cit. Burroughs

[5]"African Holistic Health" by Dr. Llaila O. Afrika

[6] Op cit. Afrika

[7]"The Origin of the Species" by Charles Darwin

[8]"We Can't Breathe" by Heru KhepeRa in "Our Daily Blog" #23

[9] Op cit. KhepeRa


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