(2014 Update: The original video commentary offline, so have no substituted something on the Door of No Return.)
I find myself agreeing with her on much.
While I have an historical interest in Egypt, and of course authentic human anthropology, I have often wondered why it easier for African descendents in the ‘New World’ in seeking to identify with their lost identities, choose to model their spiritual lives against lineages not related to them except by ideologies in the farthest reaches of antiquity.
The enslaved Africans who helped to people this part of the world WERE from West Africa. So why are Rastafarians modeling their spiritual beliefs against Judaic religion, or why do my Khemetic leaning brothers and sisters choose a system that hasn’t even been fully or correctly translated, and whose rituals are thousands of years out of practise, when the living traditions of our WEST AFRICAN ancestors exists still in largely unbroken lines down to us today?
The sisters commentary is interesting, and touches quite a few points I’ve raised myself. I often wonder if the state of our communities is directly related to an inability on the whole of us to connect with this West African heritage. Without it, we’re still not a cohesive unit, still labouring under false pretenses and mental slavery.
In a facebook discussion, a young man who I have discoursed with for years, and who incidentally I share very little intellectual or ideological common ground with, asserted that the sister in the video had nerve to imply disrespect because of other people’s priorities and choices.
I replied, ” I actually understand many of the forces that shape these ‘choices’, which are often ‘no real choice’, not always, just often, and I put them in what I see is the appropriate context. Also, ‘depends on the question’? What is her question here? It’s the same one I frankly ask on a regular basis… I put it to Rastafarian brothers and sisters, to Khemetic brothers and sisters, to Christian brothers and sisters and Muslim brothers and sisters… and I find the answers (often ‘non answers’, not always, but often) very grounded in a particular world view and mind set. ”
I also want to ask a couple more questions, and I included it there too. When you look out across the Atlantic, what do you see? Just the Sea?
I see a turbulent ocean true, but I can never look at the Sea and not see Yemoja and Olokun. I see that too…
When I look out across the Sea, I can never forget that across this water, the next land mass is where my Ancestors came from.
When I look out across the Sea, I can never forget the millions of Africans lost to it’s depths, and when I see that choppiness of the water, I hear them call out to me… to something inside me asking me to remember them and honour them.
So for me, I can never look past my spiritual roots, beyond it to something else. I am not denying the African origins of Egypt, Christianity, Judaism or Islam. I accept these this as part of my historical understanding, even if many others cannot see it, or reject it.
My only point of divergence, is I would say, her comments on the origins of humanity in north-eastern Africa. I am fairly convinced of that. Even the Yoruba believe they walked out of Khemet, across the desert and into Sub-Saharan Africa thousands and thousands of years ago, with an intact religious system handed down largely unchanged until (colonialism) recent times.
My question I put to many across the Diaspora–and I mean those who are seeking, those who have invested themselves in homegrown spiritual solutions, Rastafarism and Khemetic philosophy in particular–why they feel the need to create something from strands of something else, when such a powerful tool as their own Ancestral practise and their spiritual inheritance is there for them to use.
(2014 Update: Video commentary offline)