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Mwalimu K. Bomani Baruti: Groundings With My Daughters

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“Young sisters, you must think deeply about the way of our ancestors.
Those of ancient Nubia, Kemet and the rest of our motherland
surpassed all others in their wisdom and humanity. They are the ones
who warned us about committing treason against the culture and
tradition that make us Afrikan, lest we destroy ourselves.

Remember, there is no separation of the past and present, no divide
between ourstorical interpretation and contemporary reality. Only
when we are taught that the new is always better than the old are we
misled into believing that what has happened to us is not connected
to what is happening, and will happen, to us if we do not rise as a
people. Only in a world where we believe we can run away from
ourselves, from our people, from our truth, can we accept that a
people’s story has no bearing on the awareness, condition and
possibilities of its individuals.

Young sisters, you must know that you are one with our past. And you
must know that your greatest stories and traditions lie far beyond
these shores in both time and space. But, more importantly, you must
know that your being conscious of these two facts is vital to our
survival as a people. You are the new vanguard, our people’s healers.

Our story is a phenomenal record of Afrikan women. No other women
have been so loved, coveted and envied for their strength and
elegance. Their lineage determined whether a man could be pharaoh.
The world’s first divinities were female. The world’s first female
doctor, Preshet, who was a “chief” physician, was a Kemetic woman.
The world’s first ruler of an empire, Hatshepsut, was a Kemetic
woman. The warrior who, even after Europeans tried to break her
spirit by kidnapping, torturing and beheading her sister,
relentlessly led the Angolan armies in a fight against the
enslavement of Afrikans and the Portugese onslaught for four decades,
a woman so feared by her white enemies that she was called “The Black
Terror,”was a queen named Nzingha. The warrior queen named Sarraounia
militarily defended her people against Islamic invasion at a time
when states all around her were submitting to this forced conversion
and relinquishing their Afrikan spiritual traditions. Queen Candace
led her troops in battle against the invading forces of Augustus
Caesar. The remains of the world’s oldest human belonged to an
Afrikan woman named Amargi (misnamed “Lucy”). The list of your
accomplishments on the Continent alone is endless. Many are the names
and deeds we will never know but can surmise because we know Afrikan
women. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that our ancestral
mothers’ social position as equals with our ancestral fathers led
other people’s men, afraid to lose their patriarchal privilege, to
suppress and brutalize their women to keep them from aspiring to what
Afrikan men accepted as normal for Afrikan women.

In being themselves, ancestral Afrikan women had no difficulty taking
up arms with their men against invaders. On the Continent, they
commanded armies, served as guards, spies, guerrillas, foot soldiers,
archers. They became responsible for keeping the oral ourstorical
record when the men were carted off to slave on plantations and mines.

On the Kemetic Ocean, during the Middle Passage, they did no less.
They were the eyes and ears of our revolts. They dealt with our enemy
as their men did.

Enslaved or quasi-free in the western hemisphere and elsewhere, they
did no less. Time and time again, they conducted enslaved Afrikans
out of physical bondage. Harriet Tubman, in looking back over her
life and thinking about the hundreds of Afrikans she had freed from
the physical bonds of our enslavement, reflected on how she “could
have freed thousands more if they only knew they were slaves.”
Sojourner Truth, making the point that Afrikan women did the work
that supposedly only men were capable of, refused to accept being
defined down to the level of european females. Her cogent question
of “Ain’t I a Woman?” still rings as a wake up call in our ears.

Standing tall alongside the likes of Ida B. Wells, Mary McLeod
Bethune and Fannie Lou Hamer, they withstood insults, taunts, water
hoses, dogs and bullets. They spoke truth, regardless of
consequences. They more than earned the honor of being named “first
teacher” and nurturer.”

These various acts made them neither less than nor more like men.
None of these responsibilities negated or confused their womanhood.
They defined it.

You are the daughters of these incredible mothers who gave birth to
humanity, to cultivation, to civilization. You are the inheritors of
a legacy beyond the imagination of most.

So, young sisters, you must recognize who you are in order to see and
begin to fulfill your responsibility as a woman of Afrika. Only a
clear understanding of ourstory through our people’s eyes permits
this. Any other interpretation, anything less, fosters confusion.

Simply because you are being exposed to ourstory you are very
privileged. And privilege carries responsibility. With it, you accept
the difficult and humbling task of learning and teaching others so
that your generation’s liberating mission can be fulfilled and
correctly passed on to future generations. It is because of your
privilege that you have an undeniable responsibility to your
ancestors, those around you, and those yet to come.

There is nothing so powerful as a young sister who knows who she is,
who stands proudly on the shoulders of her ancestors because she
knows she is the culmination of their wisdom and spirit. Nothing is
more beautiful than a woman warrior in training who has studied her
own before and above all others, and interprets reality and society
out of that truth first.

I honor you, my warrior daughters, because of your power, beauty and
privilege. I charge you with the mission of helping our people
empower ourselves, of giving us the choice of walking the way of our
greatest ancestors.

To help fulfill this mission, allow me to act in the role of father
who, in the tradition of our ancestors, is every responsible man in
the community. Let me pass on my wisdom, common sense, and
expectations of what you should do, be and not ignore in this
callous, corrupt, predatory world.

First, seek out a higher education, not a higher miseducation.
Exercise your mind to its fullest extent. Like a muscle, it is
strengthened and honed through more, intense exercise. Thinking is
the mind’s exercise. Search for problems which will challenge it to
explore deeper, higher solutions. Knowing that “can’t died before you
were born” and that nothing that you can visualize is impossible,
find and work with all your power toward solving your people’s
problems. Know that some will say, “You can do anything,” but will
contradict themselves by saying “This particular dream of yours, this
dream of building an Afrikan world, is impossible.” Nothing on this
earth could be more gratifying and empowering than helping to
liberate our people. A powerful people makes for more powerful
individuals. Higher education, wherever you are at intellectually, is
the key to this mental liberation.

Despite having dropped out of school, barely in the eighth grade,
returning only after many years of alcohol, drugs and mindless play,
I have committed myself to ReAfrikanization and nationbuilding. I
know that I am not smarter, more intelligent or more powerful than
you. I know that you ancestors’ brilliance and resilience flows in
your veins. So you are capable of equaling and surpassing my work and
that of all your elders.

Know that when we are speaking of higher education we are not talking
about credentials or classrooms. We all know idiots with PhDs; we all
know “geniuses” who could not punch their way out of a paper bag
because they lack common sense; we all know honor students who could
memorize chapters and books of information but could not think.
Credentials and classrooms are useless unless they lead us toward
consciously applying knowledge to improve the quality of our
community. For us, education is significant when it is constructively
applied by self-determining Afrikan warrior scholars toward their
people’s empowerment. Only fools with a genocidal death wish nurture
and protect others before their own family. Our family should be the
model we have provided for others to follow, not a joke for others’
entertainment. If you want the reputation of a warrior scholar, then
don’t run from the challenges of intellectual warfare. Be Afrikan!

Second, think about the consequences of your sexual behavior, first.
The advice here is simple. Don’t be drawn into sexual relations
without having a mature, clearly defined plan for the birth and
rearing of Afrikan children. Do not engage in sexual behavior that is
not reproductive, because you assume that it will not lead to
disease, or sexual activity that leads to reproduction. Do not rush.
Always think. And while thinking, bear in mind the fact that most
males raised within the western cultural context see females as
sexual prey and toys however kind their intent, however lovingly
conveyed or oblivious they may be to their own predation because they
have fallen for their own confusion that every female is “the one.”
If they “love” you, they can wait. As the elders constantly remind
us, “It’s not going anywhere.”

Third, understand the purpose of dating. You are searching for a
complement. You are trying to locate someone who will work with you
to build family, community, nation. You are not playing a game of
sexual roulette. Neither are you a “piece” on display in a meat
market. Alexandre Dumas was right. “A man’s mind is elevated to the
status of the women he associates with.”

That being the case, there are things you must know before you make
any serious decisions. In this world, if approached with eyes open,
dating can help you get at these answers. You need to know, what is
he now doing in preparation to be what he says he wants to be? Is
there clear evidence of his vision in his work? Does he love himself
and his people? Does he have a sense of humor? How well does he
recover when he stumbles or falls? Does he lie? Steal? Not see lying
or stealing wrong when others do it? Can he admit mistakes? How does
he handle them? Are his gifts to you superficial, popular trinkets
(regardless of monetary value) or is the bulk of his giving based on
what you need, without you having to ask for it? Does he care about
your health (does he care about what high heels do to your feet and
spine, that tight clothes and underwear cause health problems like
poor circulation, yeast infection and worse)? Does he really, truly
care about your mental and physical well-being? Does he protect his
responsibilities with more than his mouth? When in your company, does
he scan the environment looking for potential dangers, or is he
always so engrossed in your attire/body (or other females’
attire/bodies) or his conversation that threats go unnoticed? Does he
know any of ourstory? Does he read anything of substance? Is he what
you would want your sons to be like? Spend some time getting these
answers in what he does more than what he says. And do not expect to
change him if the answers you get are less than what you might
expect. Look elsewhere. In their hearts, individuals are who they
are. Find someone worth you.

Fourth, never marry a man who is not your friend. And friendship does
not evolve in a few days, weeks or months. Sometimes it requires
years to develop friendships that are deep enough to truly know a
person.

Talk to elder couples you respect about friendship and marriage. Find
those common threads among these complements that have enabled them
to endure the struggle of marriage together. Take their advice on
relationships seriously.

Above all, know that marriage is work, hard work. It takes hard work
to build anything worthwhile. Marriage is compromise and patience. It
does not come easy but is well worth every emotional penny invested.
And remember that time is the greatest predictor of success. The more
time you invest into something, the better the outcome/product and
the larger the reward.

Fifth, you are what you eat, just as you are what you think. Work to
replenish what you most need. And, the best indicator of what you
most need is what you most are. Humans are about 75 percent water
(interestingly, the same percent of this planet’s surface is covered
by water). Drink water and follow healthy diets.

Remember, your temple comes first. If you seriously care about your
body, read Queen Afua’s Heal Thyself and Sacred Woman, Llaila O.
Afrika’s African holistic Health and Nutricide and Jethro Kloss’ Back
to Eden.

Sixth, stay as far away from drugs and alcohol as is humanly
possible. If elders are here to teach the youth so that they will not
make our same mistakes, then let the wisdom gained from my experience
be your lesson. Twenty plus years in the bottle and somewhere around
forty-five thousand dollars wasted on drugs and cigarettes has taught
me that only you can free your mind. Nothing artificial will help you
feel, measure and channel your Creator-given power to your and our
benefit. Do not bring the enemy within because, once in, it may never
leave.

Seventh, know thyself. Deeply study ourstory to know who you are. Our
ancestors warned us that, “if you don’t know who you are, any history
will do.” Being the culmination of all the Afrikans in your bloodline
who came before you, in order to understand who you are, you must
understand who they were. Daughters, do not fall for the
amalgamationist, subintegrationist hype of a supremacist people
desperate for security in the midst of those they have systematically
sought to destroy. All people chose their ancestors. Only the names
of those deserving remembrance should be called. Rape, under any
physical or psychological conditions, automatically disqualifies one
from ancestral status. There should be no statute on limitations of
either rape or murder. And, if there is, there shouldn’t be. Afrikans
have no european ancestors.

And last, but definitely not least, be your spiritual self. Know your
ancestors. Call on them for guidance, protection and power. Feel your
power in spirit, and do not mindlessly submit to the deadening dogma
of religion. Know and live by the principles of Ma’at, i.e., truth,
justice, righteousness, order, balance, reciprocity and harmony (all
the while remaining mindful that everyone around is not Afrikan). Do
not see them as words you just perfunctorily mumble. And allow the
Creator to fully manifest in what you think, say and do. Be the
Afrikan your ancestors meant for you to be.”

Mwalimu K. Bomani Baruti

“Groundings With My Daughters”

“If the enemy is not doing anything against you, you are not doing anything”
-Ahmed Sékou Touré-

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