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Pamoja tutashinda: Together we will win!

June 7, 2013

by Paradise Free Jahlove

I have a friend I haven’t seen for many years. His name is He Who Walks the Earth. I don’t even know if he is still walking the earth anymore. And for many years his name was interesting but didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. But I thank that brother for his name today because it is giving me greater understanding and sense of direction.

This is why names are so important. In your n-aim should be your aim. It should resonate with power and magnificence and sprinkle stardust on all those who encounter it. Your name represents you, your brand, and should brand folks in a way that you are not easily forgotten.

Malcolm Shabazz funeral graphic embrace by Malcolm X 051713
Young Malcolm and his grandfather are walking together in paradise, as depicted in this artistic rendering displayed at his funeral in Oakland on May 17, 2013.
How important is your name? Your name is going to be spoken and read, heard and said millions and billions and trillions of times, each time being an opportunity to make a difference in the world and in the lives of those around you. Your name should lift you up like a star in the world and say to yourself and the universe, “This is who I am, this is what I strive to be. Give the essence, glory and power of this name … to me!” (Add here the sound of thunder and lightning crackling.)

Why on earth would you be walking this earth with a “say nothing, do nothing” name like Bob? But we’ll talk more in detail about adopting more powerful, magical, community enhancing names – as is the Afrikan tradition that was taken from you – at another time.

Here is the lesson I’m learning from the name, He Who Walks the Earth: A family united walks the earth together. Couples walk the earth together. We come from tribes who used to walk the earth together. Why? Because there is power in numbers.

The great university-nation called Timbuktu started because scholars and knowledge seekers and book collectors decided to walk the earth together. Muslims walk the earth together and Muslim women can often be seen wearing a garb that reflects their beliefs. This is how Harlem became known worldwide as the great Black entertainment and culture center: Black artists decided to walk the earth together in that part of New York City. And Hollywood emerged as a world power on the West Coast because Caucasians decided to walk the earth together and perpetuate the myth of white supremacy, from “Birth of a Nation” to “Star Wars.” And what a mind job they have pulled on the world, because they realized that there is power in numbers.

Ants walk the earth together. You will never see an ant thinking he’s “big pimpin’” trying to walk alone in a world of giants. But you see us Black people trying to walk alone, so we become like scattered little black ants trying to avoid being smashed by the ubiquitous feet of the oppressor, when enough ants walking together, working together and fighting together can take down an elephant! And what is an eleph-ant but a giant ant, walking around with tons of ant-like parts? What is an ocean but a large or gi-ant drop of water made of many little drops of water?

Here is the lesson I’m learning from the name, He Who Walks the Earth: A family united walks the earth together. Couples walk the earth together. We come from tribes who used to walk the earth together. Why? Because there is power in numbers.

Yes, you know where I am going with this. Walking the earth together and power in numbers … this is the purpose of Buy Black Wednesdays: to retrain our feet, hearts and minds to walk the earth together again. Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma, once had over 600 Black businesses in a 10 square mile area! Were they destroyed by tornadoes? No. By racism? Almost, but after being rioted and burned down in the early 1900s, Black folks built it back up! Black Wall Street came tumbling down when Black folks decided not to walk together but go their separate ways and live on other people’s land, in other people’s projects, shop in other people’s stores, ride on other people’s buses, put money in other people’s banks, play for other people’s teams.

Before I go outside each day, I use this amazing prayer/affirmation: “Today I am meeting all the right people. I am saying all the right things. I am turning in all the right directions. I am appearing in all the right scenes.” Meet a brother or sister today, say something nice or compliment them in some sort of way, turn toward the Black community as if it were Mecca, say a prayer, and then appear on the scene to support a Black business or two. And keep in mind this saying of mine, “Wherever the beautiful ones gather and go, the rest of the world will inevitably follow.”

Yes, you know where I am going with this. Walking the earth together and power in numbers … this is the purpose of Buy Black Wednesdays: to retrain our feet, hearts and minds to walk the earth together again.

Many Afrikans are still with us, but are no longer walking the earth. Those Afrikan brothers and sisters of ancient times in Kemet walked the earth together in opulence, and although we are still learning from their Black brilliance, they are no longer here with us in the flesh. Like young brother Malcolm, his grandfather Malcolm X and grandmother Betty Shabazz, they no longer walk the earth, but they and their families remain in our thoughts, prayers and well wishes. May we take steps in the right direction (toward each other!) and walk the earth for our ancestors, our people and the higher purposes for which we were born.

Pamoja tutashinda is a Kiswahili saying, meaning, “Together we will win!”

Paradise is president of the International Black Writers & Artists Local 5 in Oakland and was honored by the City of Oakland with “Paradise Day,” on Oct. 6, 2007. Visit www.2012worldsfair.wordpress.com and email him at oaklandworldsfair@yahoo.com. Paradise also facilitates the Buy Black Wednesdays Facebook page and group, hosts the Black Wednesday Show every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on www.harambeeradio.com and blogs at www.blackwednesdays.blogspot.com.

 

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