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~Did YOU know that January 1, 2013 marked the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation? Me neither. I slept it and as a Black American, American period!, that is awful..Thankfully the date is NOT too far past to pay tribute to it here on my blog. I am a very proud Black woman. I am a very proud American. I celebrate life daily and in doing so pay homage to my GOD, my ancestors , my parents, and myself..There is a project in the Black Voices section of the Huffington Post(I’m a subsciber and read it on a regular basis) that is called “Letters to Our Ancestors” It is in tribute to the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Huffington Post asked leading members of the Black community to share their own letters to their(our) forefathers. With these letters, it is hoped to look back on the progress our community has made & give thanks to those who paved the way for US…They were a generation of BRAVE souls who embarked into a NEW world after hundreds of years of subjugation…You’re free to pull up the Huffington Post site and read the many letters there in the section of this project. For the sake of this post and tribute in my blog I’ve selected a letter from The Rev.Dr . Otis Moss III to post. He is a descendant of enslaved African named “Tinko”. I found his letter to his forefather very inspiring and heartfelt..So I chose it out of all the other letters I read there. This is an excerpt from the actual letter…
I wish you could visit Harlem and hear the songs and sounds of who took the genius of your contemporaries and created poetic works and literary songs of a new “Negro” renaissance. I wish you could walk the campuses of Tuskegee, Morehouse, Spelman, Howard, and Hampton, and witness ideas blossoming in the mind of the grandchildren of slaves yearning to be men and women . I wish you could witness Marcus Garvey speaking to us as God’s children and not “the wretched of the earth”, or read the essays of W.E.B. Dubois, as he reflects on life post-reconstruction, or sit in on an organization meeting with A. Phillip Randolph as “Pullman Porters” claimed their dignity through organized labor. Atlanta, Georgia the citadel of the genteel south produced a prophet named Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., who forced the Constitution to repent and America to reflect upon her creed.
I know I am leaving out much more:yet, the triumphs are too vast and tragedies are too numerous to count. I must also share an unbelievable moment in our history. Our current President and First Family are people of African descent! As unlikely as it may sound, democracy and history collided and produced a moment you or our ancestors only dreamed was possible….
There are those who claim we live in post-racial society and others who claim we still live in a racist society. I say we live in a race-consciousness society, fearful of class and apprehensive about color. We are NOT post-racial, nor are we soley defined by the social construction of race. We are post-emancipation, but, we are still a pre-promised land nation still looking at the future from the mountain-top and not the plain of realized dreams. Gains have been made in this nation, but the beloved community still waits in the harbor of our prophetic imagination. Maybe ONE day we will reach it but as of now we still dream….
I thank you for your courage this day, and look forward to meeting you one day in our Father’s house, when time and space cease to be weights upon our temporal existence.
The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III(Descendant of enslaved African named “Tinko”)
**I found this letter to be close to what I feel to this day….I’ve read books from every single author he noted(starting when I was a child in my own Daddy’s house..) I’ve read in history books, NOT the ones I was given in school, on dates/events the Rev. Moss speaks of..Reading his letter has inspired me to follow up on the family roots(he has done extensive work on “my” family tree:maternal & paternal sides) that my own Daddy has worked on for over 30 years!(collecting data from records from long ago isn’t easy by far)..And I’m hopeful to also encourage/employ my 3 sons to help with completing the task. One needs to know where their roots begin. Yep, including me!/my 3 sons/my future grandchildren. How many of us as Blacks here in America(born & bred here..) know IF we are descendants of slaves? How many of us as Blacks here in America know with certainty we hailed from Africa? Stumbling upon this tribute to the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation re-awakened an internal spark inside me to know. Mayhaps it just might have also done the same for one of ya’ll reading this. Until I read you/write you stay UPlifted N blessed. 4ever sincere Berna(the 1 N only)