Friday, August 20, 2010

Hotep means peace

"Ancient Egpytians saw the divine manifest himself in all creation. New or different religious denominations would not have mattered to Egyptians because God is always expressing himself or creating himself in a new or different way. African people don't care what religion you are, its about how you live your life."
Dr Greg Carr
"To the Ancient Egyptians, good speech wasn't about what you said or proclaimed. To have good speech, one must perform ma'at in their actions."
Dr Mario Beatty

We are all back to the rigid temporal space that bind us to our oppressor. When I say oppressor I don't mean the quintessential White man, I mean ourselves. The nature of the oppressor isn't external, the true nature of the oppressor is that thing that looks to force everyone to a standard. So I thought about what Doc and Doc B said and I asked God for understanding of those paraphrased quotes. As it was the onset of Ramadan, I began to fast to understand some things about myself and my relationship to those ideas.

I remember on our full lecture day when I got up and I began to share what this trip meant to my life. As I began to share, I could see people's eyes start to water. I could see the divine moment of a new creation taking place. The Kemetic people must understood things about the Creator that we long have forgotten. The biggest thing being that religious affiliation does warrant a safe passage into the Afterlife, just actions and a good heart will.

To this day, that's how African persons see the world. To this day, the tradition of good speech or having a good heart ensures victory in the end. To this day, "God knows my heart" is something that transcends religious dogma. The Christian Church is seen as the moral compass of the Western world but there was a time when you had to pay to get out of purgatory. There was time when the Church allowed and justified the presence of European slave traders to steal humanity to the means of bolstering capital. When I stood up, at that moment of creation, I realized that the African worldview that allows for the creation or the expression of the modern world's 3 biggest religions is the key to reconciling their differences. What I'm saying might seem a little cryptic or a little far fetched but the idea that we must take a step back to create again is what the Akan call "sankofa" and now I understand that.

Upon our return to the States, one thing became clear to me. The progeny of the Arab invaders who now occupy the space also wish to stifle the worldview of those Ancient African people. They do it but proclaiming the Egyptian phenotype to be "North African Caucasoid". They do it by not allowing us to photograph the monuments. They do it by not allowing Dr Beatty nor Dr Carr to explain the cultural context of the glyphs in the temples and tombs. They do it by not allowing us to fully engage the Ancestors in their language. Most importantly, they do it by exploiting the African memory for profit.

As African people it is our responsibility to re-claim that space. It is our responsibility to tell the stories of those have heard, those who know what we have forgotten. I could go on for days but I'll end here. You guys will never know what you mean to me. You all beared witness to a personal weheme mesu and I will never forget you. None of you.

James Robinson
Howard University Student Association
Director of Student Advocacy for 2010 - 2011


Samantha R. Obuobi said...

AWWWWWWWW!!!! J.R. the feeling is mutual. You were 1 of the main people who helped make this trip unforgettable 4 me. I luv you.

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