Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
This at least is somewhat logical...but the presence of our ancestors is too strong for me to do so. Hence I'm not a Humanist/Agnostic as my parents are. Our ancestors will cry out until they are acknowledged and their memory, culture, ways, and beliefs...which is and was their very EXISTANCE...their very LIVES...are known and defended by their legacy...us.
Was there existance, which BTW is the only way that we came to be, that unimportant? What ungrateful children we have become. This saddens me to no end.
A quick follow up:
1. Creation does not need to be ex nihilo, i.e., it does not negate continuity. As I use it, it does mean, however, that a metamorphisis does take place once the African goes through the Middle Passage and lands on this continent. There is continuity, but it is fractured and fragmented. Thus African peoples in the United States, though informed by their history, also create and adapt to their new situation.
2. The issue of ancestors crying out is a difficult one for me to engage. Numerous questions arise, that I was attempting to address when I referred to the practice of someone else. Perhaps I was to broad in my characterization, so let me be specific. Fagunwa is Yoruba, and thus practices the tradition of his people. But which ancestors am I beholden to and which ones do I mute or ignore. Even bracketing out my European ancestors, my paternal great grandmother was Cherokee. Do I ignore that part of my lineage? Indeed, as I grew up in on land that was once theirs, one might also add that there is a spacial/geographical/organic imperative to worship in the fashion of those ancestors in that place. As for other influences, do I follow the Yoruba traditions or those of the Ibo, the Hausa, the Akan, the Kanuri? Do I blend them and if so, does that not do violence to the integrity of each?
3. I have a number of issues with the Black Church. Yet, despite its numerous flaws, at its best it has been a source of strength and sustenance for generations of African Americans. Though critical of religion, I can not simply dismiss when one of the elders in the congregation stands up and testifies that Jesus made a way out of no way, that he healed their body, put clothes on their back and food on their table. Are you suggesting that I tell them that they are decieved. That they are victims of an opiate, a pathology. Do I reject the history of people like Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vessey, Nat Turner, Sojourner Truth, Jarena Lee, Henry McNeal Turner, Martin Delany, Alexander Crummell, Howard Thurman, Martin King, Fannie Lou Hamer? Are they not also my ancestors?
These are just some of the issues which percipitated my questions.