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The H3O/Art of Life Blog

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"The Tracks of Our Tears"

Updated: Oct 17, 2020

 By Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace

Presented by Omni-University

"We have come

over a way that with tears has been watered,  We have come,

treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered..." "Lift Every Voice and Sing"[1] 

Recently, a well-written and informative article, "The Relentlessness of Black Grief", was published in "The Atlantic"[2]. In it Journalist Marissa Evans observed that, "We are in the middle of a Black bereavement crisis, and we do not have the privilege or time to grieve..." "The death rate among Black individuals is up to 10 TIMES HIGHER than among White individuals. We lost [and are still  losing] mothers, fathers, siblings, uncles, aunties, Nanas, play cousins, friends, and neighbors as the pandemic ravages our community". Among the most significant of our kinsmen and women who have lately joined the ancestors is our Beloved Nana Dr. Akosua Akyaa, who was professionally known as Dr. Patricia A. Newton.  Dr. Newton served as the CEO and Medical Director of The Black Psychiatrists of America (BPA) and was internationally acclaimed for her relentless research and expertise on "Post Traumatic SLAVERY Disorder". 

The PTSD to which Dr. Newton referred and to which she dedicated her life and practice far exceeded the PTSD, i.e. Post Traumatic STRESS  Disorder associated with modern medicine. Dr. Newton recognized, as did her kinsman, Author and African Historian, Kiarri T.H. Cheatwood, that there are few- if any- physical, psychological/mental/ behavioral disorders or aberrations- including social abnormalities, i.e. disorderly conduct and/or whatever else is alleged to be "wrong with" Black  people that cannot be traced directly back to "chattel  slavery", its aftermath: Jim Crow, and "the systemic inequities in health care, criminal justice, voting, housing, education, [and] the economy..."[3]. It is this phenomenon, "Post Traumatic Slavery Disorder" that underlies the alarming statistics on the widespread and growing maladies among our people which, in turn, fuel the high mortality rate of Black people in America and in the diaspora.

"According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, communities of color are at high risk for COVID-19 due to ailments such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure- whose prevalence in these communities is the result of long- standing racial disparities."[4] Dr. Newton and Cheatwood "snatched the cover off" the backstory of these

"long-standing racial health disparities", by unearthing their roots in "slavery"and the

"slave trade" both of which continue to serve as pseudonyms for the African Captive Trade. It should come as no surprise that "Pre-existing conditions" continue to afflict us. For we are the survivors of a people who have been/are being deprived of their land, language, culture, and kinship group, by" crimes against humanity that would disgrace a nation of  savages"[5]; we are the progeny of a FREE people who were captured and cargoed for hundreds of years, in the bowels of "slave" ships, across thousands of miles of the Middle (Atlantic) passage, and brutalized into submission to human traffickers; we are the people who, after losing countless millions of our "mothers and fathers and siblings, and nanas, and uncles and aunts..", and so on and so forward, were "traded" like livestock in "Slave" Markets in the same way that cattle are traded on the stock market. This is all while being subjected to every other dehumanizing condition that  could be contrived by our adversaries; Therefore, it cannot be claimed as surprising that the so-called Pre-existing "conditions" persist among our people. These "conditions" were/ are predictable for they are very same "conditions" that have been perpetrated on the Black communi(ties) throughout the Diaspora for generations. These are the "conditions" that account for the "Black bereavement crisis" for which we have neither the "the time nor the privilege" to grieve". 

It is precisely because of this state of affairs that we hasten to invoke the declarations of our community: " "We are NOT here for this!" period, exclamation point. We are not here to plead for the "privilege" of grieving over the loss of any more of our loved ones or neighbors. We are here for "liberty and justice for all". We are here for "peace on earth",  "good will toward (the human family)". We are here because, as the ORIGINAL PEOPLE - as the PEOPLE whose labor and ingenuity made America  -as well as the rest of the world great-  we have a right TO BE which includes the right TO BE HERE- or anywhere else on this planet we choose to live, as well. As Ancestor Dr. Margaret T. G. Burroughs proclaimed: "...our ancestors (were) an industrious black people Upon whose backs and labor have been built the wealth of The continents of Europe, Asia, and America...".[6]

In the immortal words of El- Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, formerly known as Malcolm X, in a speech given, in 1964, before the "Organization of Afro-American Unity": "We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as human beings, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary."  

Blognotes [1]"Lift Every Voice and Sing" by James Weldon Johnson and James Rosamond Johnson [2] Marissa Evans in The Atlantic 9/27/20:

"The Relentlessness of Black Grief" [3] Op Cit, Evans [4] Ibid, Evans [5] Frederick  Douglass, "What to a Slave  is the 4th of July?" Speech given on July 5th 1852 [6] Dr. Margaret T.G. Burroughs,  "What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black? In "Life with Margaret" by Dr. Margaret T. G.  Burroughs "No More Auction Block for Me"

You are invited to view The H3O Art of Life  Show: "Triumphing over Trauma" featuring: Dr. Asantewaa Oppong Wadie and Hunter Havlin Adams III

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