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Where There's Life...

By Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace

Presented By Omni University


"Life is our Divine self, our God-being. God is our Life we had before ever the world was. To dwell upon this Life is to dwell upon the perfection  of the Infinite."[1] Paul M.Brunet 


"Where there's life"... is most often followed by "there's hope". Hope is synonymous with anticipation; It is a desire, a wish, an expectation-a dream. While "hope" is a very comforting concept, it must be initiated. Indeed, unless hope is cultivated, it may lie  dormant. Like "faith without works" hope, not buttressed by faith and perseverance, is dead.

At the height of the "Civil Rights" era, we were encouraged to "keep hope alive"[2] with  the expectation that "we shall overcome someday ". [3] In retrospect, one cannot help but wonder whether it was the song or the anticipation of "overcoming" that seems to have fallen by the wayside. But, the "Dream" did not "perish with the "Dreamer". It was transformed into the vision that, "We, as a people,  would get to the promised land".

The "American Dream" in which our "Dreamer's" Dream had been deeply rooted,"[4] was itself anchored in an incredible "truth" that was hidden in hindsight and obviously not self-evident either to Dr. King or to most of the rest of our of community. That was the "truth" that was codified, more than a century earlier, in the Dred Scott Decision of 1857. That Decision, which was concocted from the "damndest piece of fiction ever told"[5], defined Dred Scott as not a man but a commodity and, by this invention, not a human being. Thus classified as "goods produced for sale", Dred Scott "had no standing" to bring suit in an American court of law and " no rights a that a white man was bound to respect". In addition, this "Decision" was inclusive, not only of Dred Scott but also of the other members of our kinship group, retroactively as well as in perpetuity. Hence, the reference to "all men" in the "Declaration of Independence", did not then-and does not now- appear to apply to those who have been relegated -not to an under "caste - but to those who have been legally counted out of the human race by the Criminal Justice System. 

In 1963, Dr. King, our beloved "Drum Major for Justice", shared his dream- his wish, his anticipation, his desire, his expectation of "equal rights"- not integration. But, his hope had already been dashed against the bedrock of white hegemony that continues until this day. We have awakened to find ourselves between a rock and a hard place.


This is reminiscent of a stanza from another of our "Freedom songs": "Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet come to a place for which our Fathers  sighed?"[6] That place for which our Fathers may have moaned is the juncture at which the questioning of our humanity must be resolved-once and for all for "Where there is no vision, the people perish."[7]  

In 1857, the same year that Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney "Decided" to order the legal commodification of Dred Scott-and all of his fellow men, women and children- our brilliant Ancestor, Frederick Douglass -  the "runaway "property" who taught himself to read and write; who represented our interests in every forum available to him both here and abroad; who, having emancipated himself and devoted his Life to the liberating our people in spirit and in truth- that "one, two, three times a [man]" issued this rallying cry to us:

"Where there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are like men who want crops without digging up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its mighty waters. This struggle may be a moral one or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical but, it must be a struggle. 


Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will... The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."7


Our beloved Ancestors had convictions and dreams and visions that : Where there is  struggle, there is progress; Where there is hope, there is faith but, above all: Where there is Life, there is God.


You are invited to view The H3O Art of Life Show, "From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Part One", Featuring: Ancestor Lawrence E Kennon, Dr. Maisha Bennett, and Liane Casten.


 

"Oh, Freedom!" Sung by Odetta Blognotes [1] "Master Meditations" by Paul M. Brunet  [2] Rev. Jesse L. Jackson,  Sr. [3] "We Shall Overcome" [4] The Declaration of Independence  [5] Ancestor Dr. Yosef ben Jochannon  [6] "Lift Every Voice and Sing" by Ancestors James Weldon Johnson and James Rosamond Johnson  [6] Proverbs 29:18 [7] "West India Emancipation" Speech by Ancestor Frederick  Douglass 


Recommended Reading  "The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass: A Will to Be Free" by Frederick Douglass  "African  Origins of Major Western  Religions" by Dr. Yosef ben Jochannon  "Africa: Mother of Western Civilization" by Dr. Yosef Ben Jochannon 

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