Thursday, August 6, 2009

Reclaiming Our Legacy

To put it simply, Egypt isn’t anything like I imagined. Although I have seen Ancient Egyptian pyramids and statues in history books, actually standing in front of these human-built masterpieces emanated a different feeling. While climbing through the intricate passageways of the Great Pyramid, I was filled with a sense of accomplishment…a sense of accomplishment, in knowing that we constructed these pyramids. Not just anybody, but black people, our ancestors, created these works of art. Realizing this made walking through the chambers of my ancestors slightly bittersweet. John Henrik Clarke states that if you start your history from slavery, everything else seems like progress. Granted, I voted for President Barack Obama and I was even a little emotional when I found out that he won the presidential election, but I feel like as black people, we put too much emphasis on someone saving us instead of saving ourselves. Barack Obama represents progress for the black community when we begin our history with enslavement. If we take a step back and truly educate ourselves on our history, this accomplishment no longer portrays progress when we realize that it has already been done. This accomplishment no longer portrays progress when we realize that we were kings and queens. Barack Obama no longer reflects progress, when we realize that we built pyramids-pyramids that to this day cannot be replicated. Barack Obama no longer represents progress when we truly understand that we had a rich and dynamic history long before the Greeks and Romans came along and long before the White House even existed. Walking through the pyramids and admiring the complexity and precision of these structures made me realize that we need to reclaim our identity. If we could once create pyramids based on the astronomical positions of the stars, we can do it again. We can reclaim this greatness and build modern day pyramids-pyramids that symbolize emancipation and social justice...pyramids that illustrate the unity among black people throughout the Diaspora. We need to reclaim our legacy. I feel like I am going in too deep and my body is starting to hurt due to riding a camel in the desert. Until next time…

Yours in the Struggle,
Havian Nicholas

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