Refulgent luminaries across the night sky.
Fifty thousand drums became a second heart beat in our dancing and singing.
Our bodies and minds were in rhythm with the vibrations that surrounded us.
Spice aromas and the smell of cooked meats filled the air.
Laughter and loud exclamations.
We exulted because of our place in the world.
A place of light and hope.
Outside our lands, there was sickness and desolation from the aftermath of many wars.
In the five hundred years of our countries existence, we were able to stand apart and cultivate a thriving populace of health, and innovation.
We were the source of economic stability and foreign aid that many nations around the world looked to us for.
We were one of seventeen prosperous nations in a war-torn world slowly rebuilding.
Our technology was unmatched and the interconnectedness by which we lived among ourselves and those nations around the world that were part of our network of rebuilding became both a beacon and catalyst into a higher way of being.
Our way of life sought to always aim towards an evolved state of consciousness.
Life for us always meant a better way and that better way always meant our best selves for each other.
Healing through a commitment to love and the betterment of the inward and outward lives of everyone.
We were founded by just a few hundred individuals who left the United States amidst the psychological, emotional, and physical upheaval of the black body.
500 years ago our ancestors came to this country, and in tandem with those already here envisioned something new and life giving for themselves.
Energy renewal, technological expansion, and economic resurgence were cultivated and changed everything for not just our region but for large portions of regions across the continent.
It was the beginning of the redemption of the cradle of humanity.
A place once ravaged and exploited by humanity was again being restored.
There were two hundred and seventy people who came in the initial migration.
More came over the next several years but that first wave of our ancestors knew the lived experience of the uprising that was the cause of their desire to leave the United States.
State sanctioned public servant executions against black men, women and children intensified.
Every year the numbers grew and the every year the visibility and increase of the number of those killed continued.
There were riots in multiple cities,
freeway shut downs,
boycotts, and interference of day to day capitalism.
Even with these outlets of protest and cries, there was still something seething just underneath the surface.
A restlessness and unsettled fatigue.
Tiredness of tiredness.
As the killings continued, the reality of the inevitability of what happened next was undeniable.
My great uncle, Chizoba told the story best.
Almost a decade after the United States first black President left office is when the push back began.
A series of uprisings that many would describe as calculated and relentless biting of the heels that were symbolically and literally crushing us.
Public Servant Departments were ambushed across the country.
Places of incarceration were emptied by informants on the inside.
Cities were turned upside down
A civil war began, more nuanced and complex than the first.
Everyone fought for different reasons.
Blacks fought to be heard.
Many whites defended what they believed to be a disruption of social order and to stand beside the side of law enforcement.
Still many others simply fought to survive .
There was retaliation even on those who weren’t part of the uprising.
Racial profiling of blacks was unprecedented.
‘Black Terrorist’ became an American household phrase and all melaninated skin was guilty.
Media fueled public fear of black retaliation and the collective ache of the black heart burned with unsated rage for justice.
Twelve thousand, nine hundred, sixty-four lives were lost.
Blacks and whites and other races that weren’t part of the racial tension involving public servants and communities of African Americans were included in the massive loss of life.
There was no origin point.
Just a series of tactical assaults in every major city across the country.
While there were entire movements of people driven in this push back there were also those who had their eye on life after the uprising.
Many thought that the push back and killings would only make things worse for black people in America.
Others thought that our voices would finally be he heard; that change for the better would ensue.
The latter was far from the truth.
The four and half months of carnage brought an even heavier military presence within black populated areas, and martial law cemented in the majority of the country in the following years.
It was from this place of regression that the initial community of two hundred and seventy souls made their escape.
First from Los Angeles into Mexico, and from Mexico, they spent several months further south in Guatemala.
A small community in Sierra Leone West Africa reached out in refuge to any Blacks and African Americans who found a way of escape and that is how our ancestors first returned to this land.
“I’m not sure it was in the mind of those who first arrived in Sierra Leone that they would eventually end up coming to West Africa, I think they were just trying to escape martial law”
My uncle sat in the middle of our communal place, Kumbukani, a sacred place of gathering and reflection, it was a white dome structure that was layered on top with one of our gardens. When we celebrated our anniversary like this it was customary to retell the story of how it all began, to hear the story of where we came from as a practice of remembrance.
Children sat at my uncle’s feet, some attentive, others playing yet quiet and respectful of his presence that captured everyone else in the room.
The light of the room cast an amber glow which accentuated the copper and lavender hues of our skin.
An opening in the ceiling of the dome displayed the millions of stars above us that weren’t as visible as they would normally be because of the dancing lights on display above our city.
“Sure some would say that Amber and Corregan; (foster siblings who led the two hundred and seventy traveling) had a vision and a hope all along for coming to Africa, but I think the survival of their community no matter where they ended up was their priority”
Amber was the older of the two. Amber was small in stature but had a giant’s command.
Amber had a fiery spirit and always made sure others were seen and heard.
Corregan had a heart of gold and a gentle quiet spirit. When Corregan spoke, everyone listened.
People sensed his wisdom. There was a gift of grounding and stability that seemed to exude from Corregan and everyone felt safe, served and lead.
Corregan and Amber both had been part of the uprisings but not at first.
Initially they ran an organization together that provided rapid response and aid to those individuals and communities affected by public servant executions within the Los Angeles area.
Lawyers, Psychologist, food and monetary aid were mobilized and sent to those who needed it most.
They also became a place of refuge for others fleeing from places like Chicago and New York who were beginning to experience the crackdown of what would later be complete martial law.
Children were killed in a police raid of a shelter that housed people fleeing other cities.
This shelter was one of the many that were under Amber and Corregan’s care.
An excuse was given that the shelter was thought to be holding black terrorist.
A desire to protect the vulnerable became the door by which Amber and Corregan joined the movement of resistance and fighting back.
They teamed up with others in gathering weapons to protect their communities.
They retaliated against the public servant department that ambushed their shelter.
Their fight didn’t last long,
They saw that death followed the efforts of their low numbers and it became clear that it may be best to escape in preservation rather than fight and lose more life.
The exodus into Mexico began.
Borders that were initially open had been closed to prevent entry into and escape from the United States.
Amber had family in a small town near Rosarita beach in Mexico and it was their efforts that helped them free two hundred and seventy of the four hundred and fifty people of their collective.
Every time I heard this story I felt a quietness and affirmation in my spirit.
I was learning about the birth of a country that was now at the pinnacle of the world.
I was also learning about my ancestors and what moved them to initiate something life changing within humanity.
I am a descendant of Corregan.
I’m barely into my adulthood and while studying Systematic AI Theory and Bio-Stasis is how I spend most of my energy, none of those things capture my heart quite like human history and it’s direct affect on how I stand on this ground, in this moment, being me.
The time after the Civil War was delicate for the Americas. Powers were shifting and mourning was taking place over the massive loss of life.
One hundred and seventy years after the uprising, leaders within the American Union dispersed reparations to Blacks in North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean. Many took their funds and left their countries and came en masse to different regions of Africa.
A bulk of that Black Diaspora Exodus came to our country as they saw the potential in our efforts to build something new and different for Africa.
It was around that second wave of migration that many of the descendants of Corregan and Amber’s community settled further west of Sierra Leone and had a collective of communities that were ready to welcome the influx that came in.
At this point in the story, I got up and walked outside.
A breeze kissed me on the cheek.
The cacophony of the celebration grabbed my senses in a sort of shock that was a contrast to the stillness and calm that was in the Kumbukani.
Glancing up briefly I could see foliage and fruit draping from the hanging garden over the Dome.
I decided to make my way a bit north of our city to a place of quiet so that I could meditate.
Our celebrations had lasted for seven days and there was another week ahead of the same.
Two weeks of celebrating.
Two weeks to commemorate the passage across the Atlantic that Corregan and Amber’s community took on their journey to Sierra Leone.
I ran my fingers through the halo of curls that exploded in a crown on my head.
My grandmother told me about how her great great grandmother would tell stories about being intentional about the self narrative she told herself about her blackness.
How it was whole,
She did this to push back against the schools of thought that threatened her self worth and the value that she placed in her appearance and personhood.
The grip of colonialism and White supremacy was very real in the imagination of my ancestors and as I twisted my curls around my finger I felt grateful for the non existence and extraneousness of that reality in my own life.
White Supremacy was no more.
It had become extinct in the memory of my great grandfather’s parents shortly after the Third World War.
European and White North American powers had been virtually nonexistent for close to three hundred years.
First Nation peoples in the Americas once again had autonomy and authority of their own lands.
European nations were slowly beginning to rebuild their own cities and economies.
People of Color the world over were awake and in a new era where a more united consciousness around true diversity had emerged.
Where People of Color once held in their bodies, mannerisms, ideals of beauty, speech and psyche – marks of white dominion; they now held authenticity to their own heritage, pride and ethnic constructs.
Systematic privilege and the idea of white supremacy had met it’s grave along with the death of war profiteering and manufactured poverty.
The white people in my own life didn’t see me as other, or less than. They just saw me.
I was grateful for that.
I sat in stillness under a Marula tree.
In the distance, I could see the cascading gardens that enveloped the structures that made up the skyline of our city.
I closed my eyes.
Centered my focus.
I felt the earth beneath my tunic.
My bare feet lay comfortably underneath me.
My mind became quiet for a short while before the flood of thoughts came in.
Thoughts of the world at present and as it once was.
Celebrations like the one going on a few miles away in the city always made such thoughts vivid.
There hadn’t been a war in the world for close to two hundred and fifty years.
All over the world, people were committing themselves to higher consciousness and Compassion Devotion.
Nations like my own who were fortunate enough to escape the world war and be an aid to the world after the major war ended were seeing the fruit of what it meant to commit to peace within ourselves and to those around us.
Maybe it was the trauma and pain held within our genes that amalgamated into a driven commitment to a better way of being.
A push back that said that this would not be the future of our children or of the world that our children lived in.
Maybe it was evolution’s way of pushing back against the destructive variances of Homo Sapiens survival instincts.
Images of Ambers’ digital video log came flashing through my mind.
the police raid of the shelter.
the video confession of Amber’s anguish that it was necessary to fight
another video confession of admission that there were not enough resources to fight and that there needed to be a way of escape.
Images of Corregan’s description of the outpouring of solidarity, aid, protection and shelter from multiple towns and regions as they traveled through Latin America.
Still, more images flooded my mind.
Of the Declaration of Reparations.
of the Black Diaspora Exodus.
Countless stories of individuals and families making the journey to Africa with hope at the core of their being and redemption in their vision.
Images blurred and faded black, the stillness at the floor of my heart and mind returned.
Ancestral Remembrance and Honor.
My grandmother Ida came to mind.
The rose mahogany hue of her skin,
Her bright white hair and the solemnity and warmth of her gaze
A memory from my childhood right around the time of my ninth birthday.
“Do you know how Obsidian is made Oshun?” my grandmother asked me this as my head straddled between her legs as the curls of my hair danced through her fingers.
“How?” I asked.
“Volcanic activity, and the rapid cooling of it’s lava. Fire and pressure in the earth have produced something black and beautiful, just like us.
We came out of fire and in our healing and cooling we shine, black like the Cosmos, sharp in our edges, elegant in our beauty”
I came back to the present moment and held the obsidian orb around my neck, clasped tightly in my hand.
A gift from my grandmother which was given to her handed down for many generations, all the way back to Corregan who had a fascination with geology and who had a hand in the naming of our country.
Our countries name and it’s origin song spoke of the beauty and resilience of blackness and of healing.
Songs that Corregan and Amber sung when first arriving on the coasts of Sierra Leone as they knew deep down that this was the beginning of something new.
Healing was in store.
Obsidian Song for us, for our children, and for the world.
Our peoples healing that extended to the healing of the world.
In fire and pain we knew death, we knew communal crucifixion yet resurrection was ours too.
A better way for us and our children.
One day my children would hold this orb and will pass on the legacy of sitting with and burying the pain, and of awakening to a better way because of it.
Remembering to heal ourselves first, giving permission to the world who looked on at us to do the same.
About the author:
Danny was born and currently lives in Atlanta Georgia, and works in IT. He is passionate about writing and social advocacy, volunteering on occasion with a a few non profits. At present he is trying to learn how to screen write after recently spending a few months working on a few film productions in Atlanta.
Image is Found on Pinterest “Black and Diamonds Are Forever” Please let me know if there is any copyright infringement or wish to take this image down. Thank you.