AYIBOFANMSOCI脡T脡

Lighting the Path

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[I] saw a聽movie once. Then I聽heard a聽song.
sang the聽song to聽myself while I聽observed the聽images of聽the聽movie in聽my聽life. Time passed, I聽read a聽book and聽knowledge reverberated throughout my聽life. I聽am hungry for聽knowledge and聽thirsty for聽insight and聽I聽thank those that brought it to聽me. They expressed their perception of聽the聽divine experience that is life and聽lit the聽way for聽me to聽come to聽see myself.
I聽awoke to聽myself in聽a聽world that was no longer familiar and聽as聽I聽reoriented my聽references, I聽realized that I聽did not know my聽counterpart, the聽African woman. Even though she gave birth to聽me and聽raised me in聽her many forms, I聽did not know her. Oh, but I聽did discover her. I聽found her in聽the聽soul of聽Erykah’s voice. She spoke to聽me through Nneka’s vibrant tones. She taught me in聽my聽conversations with Samaria, my聽dear friend.

I聽listened and聽searched.

You see, if I聽could not accept the聽other half of聽me, I聽could never accept myself. I聽thank my聽Mothers, the聽one who brought me into this world and聽the聽one who taught me. From you I聽came and聽to聽you I聽will one day return, when I聽pass from this realm to聽the聽deep currents of聽Ginen anba dlo.

Now, that I’ve entered, consciously, into the聽Stream of聽African Thought, I聽must determine how to聽stand, as聽a聽man. My聽father has always been the聽example for聽me. I聽learned not only from his achievements and聽his feats, but also from his mistakes and聽the聽manner in聽which he accepted all that he was. Outside of聽this man of聽great stature, literally and聽figuratively, there were many others.
From martial artists to聽musicians to聽powerful leaders. Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, dead prez, and聽Immortal Technique. FELA! They taught me to聽maintain my聽creative integrity and聽to聽speak truths others are afraid to. The聽discipline and聽philosophs of聽Lee Jun Fan (Bruce Lee) have always inspired me to聽overcome and聽defeat the聽enemy within. Mestre Bimba is one of聽the聽two most respected Mestres of聽capoeira and聽decades after his death, I聽experience the聽power of聽his influence and聽presence. He built men as聽a聽Mestre and聽as聽a聽Priest of聽African tradition. Ax茅!

Then there are the聽many scholars and聽warriors that fought for聽us as聽African people to聽stand and聽look upon the聽truth of聽our beauty. From Jean-Jaques Dessalines and聽Charlemagne Peralte to聽Marcus Garvey and聽Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Tour茅), Kwame Nkrumah and聽Patrice Lumumba, the聽great Minister Malcolm X and聽Thomas Sankara the聽Upright Man.
I聽do not mourn these men, instead I聽am thankful that their legacy has lived to聽reach me through the聽years and聽efforts to聽silence their voices. I聽stand taller when I聽think of聽them, as聽the聽weight of聽my聽responsibility settles. I聽do not worry, for聽they blazed the聽example for聽me to聽forge through in聽this world alongside the聽scholar-warriors of聽my聽tribe to聽solidify the聽foundation of聽our House.

Like Fela, I聽discovered Africa in聽California, for聽it was there that my聽quest for聽my聽identity and聽my聽history began. On聽her beaches I聽peered into the聽setting sun, oblivious that my聽future lay to聽my聽back, towards the聽rising sun. On聽my聽return to聽Miami, I聽rediscovered Ayiti and聽my聽soul sang to聽the聽Cosmos in聽joy. Erykah and聽Nneka had prepared me for聽the聽shock at聽the聽wonder of聽the聽beauty of聽the聽women of聽my聽tribe. Fanm krey貌l! I聽thank you for聽bringing me into this world. I聽thank you for聽loving me and聽showing me myself. I聽thank you for聽the聽grace in聽which you move through my聽life. I聽am struck speechless at聽the聽magic in聽the聽sway of聽this unique manifestation of聽African womanhood.

The聽songs and聽books and聽films are guides left to聽us by聽our Elders and聽they have led me on聽my聽path back to聽myself. Ayibobo!

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