Monday, May 14, 2007

The Dirty Dozen

This month folks in these United States of America, namely historian and pundits will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown. Historians have often misrepresented Jamestown as some type of quest for Democracy while at the same time acknowledging the exploitation of Africans and the indigenous folks who were already home trained and living on these shores that welcomed, what would become their enemy with opened arms.

I am thinking of this as I wait to give a talk on health disparities. It is strange when you think about it, that many of the problems and issues our community have with disease and limited economic empowerment started here and that I am asked to remember this even in celebration

Jamestown lead Shakespeare to pen his play the Tempest in 1611, which as one of the main characters was Calibain, who was described as a swarthy and fearsome and evil aboriginal.

I wonder what would have happened if the newcomers, the settlers, the colonizers, the Europeans had actually succumbed to the insects and diseases they had never witnessed before. I wonder what would have happened if this lazy group of trespassers had never learned to dig wells (from the inhabitants) and drank river water as opposed to learn to dig wells for spring water and succumbed to more disease and pestilence?

I just wanted to say for the record, I will not be celebrating anything related to the settlement of Jamestown for I am not a descendant of Jamestown, for it was only 12 years, a dozen years after its establishment that the first lot of 20 Africans from present day Angola landed at the colony.

Truth be told the current roots of family instability, economic inheritance and land accumulation all began with Jamestown. Maybe that is why it will always leave a sordid taste in my mouth, and I wish to spit on its inheritance with my word, deed and venom - for all we got from this act was the The Virginia House of Burgesses which only enacted laws establishing and perpetuating the institution of slavery.


poison said...

All I can think after reading that is--"WOW!"...Thanks for continuing to help me to keep my eyes opened RDB...

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

u welcome P - i sorry if i seem mad at the world but I am a scholar at war without any back-up it seems. Thanks Again.

JustMeWriting said...

hey, thanks for the visit. I'm with poison...I tire of the things shoved down the throats of 'we the people', but it's no different then the celebration of Thanksgiving and the celebratory salute we give the American Flag...I wish I could just rest my mind of things like this, but I can'

Mega Rich said...

Man, you gone make me pick my Revolutionary Boots back up. I got tired of stomping that pavement, seemingly for naught. Glad to know it's brothers and sisters still carrying on the struggle to free the mind.

Kort said...

As we think on things that are celebrated which really shouldn't be, let's also think TOWARD things that ARE NOT celebrated that really SHOULD be. For instance, some friends and I are planning a Juneteenth celebration compelete with sundresses, hats, gloves, and southern/soul food (though we have learned to modify some of those recipes so we don't croak on fatback and neckbone--and wouldn't some melanin-challenged people just love that...). In my experience, the best way to combat the ridiculous is to celebrate AND esteem worthy occassions (notice I said "esteem"). We have many, black people. Let's live it up in remembrance, joy, class, and style. --k

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

yea kortney

we have one in Memphis every year

mikeb777 said...

Ok, Im feeling nice and African again today!! Very well stated and great points made Mr. T! Rebel, rebel, reeeeeeeebel!! Oh and Happy Mother's Day to Africa!!

dclawchic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dcsavvystar said...

this is great - and eye opening, as stated above. i live in dc and we heard about the big celebrations for the queen (who visited jamestown last week) for about two weeks straight. craziness.

Girly_Girl said...

This is eye opening, definitely...but, I still maintain that the United States is the greatest country in the world. Without a doubt. Even with all its problems, there is no place else I'd rather live.

Racquel said...

free ya mind... dont disguise disgust... im scratchin my head right now because although i am with you im "not" with you.. but i definitely thank you for bringing important info to the forefront... knowledge is power... B.E.Z


Sylvia Hubbard said...

i swear you're taking some kind of drugs because WOW that was some deep shyte RDB.

I wanna hit of that!!!

Thanks for keeping my brain open!

DJ Black Adam said...

History is always from the perspective of the conqueror, as wrong as that may be, that is an actuality that cannot be avoided.

In this case, at least, we now as children of the Africans of the Diaspora can add our perspective to balance that history.

I don’t think independence day (July 4 not Juneteenth) nor Thanksgiving should be celebrated by those of us who know better, hopefully one day, the majority can look on the past in earnest, good and bad, upon which this nation was founded.

The OE said...

If history falls in the forest is there anyone to hear it scream?

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