After being in Africa I learned some things.
I learned where some of the traditions that we have today came from. The funny thing is that many of the traditions or rituals that we have I don't think we really know where we got them from. When we visited the chief we had to bring him a bottle of schnapps. This was used for the pouring of libations. Whenever there is a ceremony there is a pouring of libations. In this tradition what happens is the chief holds a glass of schnapps up to thank god and then pours some on the ground for the ancestors before he takes a sip himself. This is very similiar to what people do when the pour some liquor on the ground for the homies that are gone. When I learned this it made me think that someone heard about this ritual but somehow misinterpreted it a little. But yet and still it's done and it came from Africa. They talked about Ghanian time...which is the same thing as CP time (colored people time). You've heard the saying that it takes a villiage to raise a child. You probably even lived that growing up and being reprimanded by a neighbor or someone not of your family but that knows your family. We it doesn't have to be said in Africa it's just done. Children roamed around the villiage alone with no fear of being harmed because there is always someone watching and taking care of them. This is where we got that from too.
Even with these traditions or rituals that we were able to hold on to and not knowing why necessarily. We still somehow were able to hold on to things that slave masters couldn't take from us. Now that's just a couple of things that I found similiar but there are more.
You may have read or heard a Black person reciting in a poem or stated in a book or some other source that we are Kings and Queens. I have even said it before in my blog. What I realized while in Africa is that we are not all Kings and Queens and that was evident to me by the hierarchy of things that I saw. So I will no longer refer to myself as a King or anyone else that is Black as King or Queen because the truth of the matter is that I just really don't know. The one thing that I do know and as sad as it is this is one thing that all Black people in America, Spain, or anywhere else in the world can be proud of is that those slaves that were taken from Africa and survived the horrific circumstances that they did were the strongest of Africans. While visiting one of the slave castles the African guide made this quite clear. Not only did they survive the unsanitary and inhumane transportation but even surviving the time spent in the slave castle was indication of their strength. 100s of African men, women and children positioned in rooms with little space to move. There were no bathrooms for the slaves to relieve themselves or places for women to clean themselves when menstruating. So the stench of all this they endured in rooms approximately 500 square feet holding upwards of 200 people, in tightly packed rooms in the castle and also on the ships.
We are who we are and can be proud of our ancestors and know that even if we couldn't survive what they did then today...it's possible that wherever that strength came from is the continued strength that our slave ancestors and beyond had that now affords us some of the liberties that we have today. If you didn't know before you should know now that we come from strong people. Be proud of that because the strength that they had is still in us.
Somkey Robinson recited a poem on Def Comedy Jam sometime ago. Take a listen.