Technology has disconnected us from the most advanced form of technology and that technology is our brain. The brain is the original super computer. It has the ability to record and keep track of everything that happens to us in our life time. But in today’s world, where the average brain is fried before the person even becomes a teenager and the average attention span is the size of a fruit fly; If you don’t record your story now, the people are going to easily forget about you!
Since we are a people robbed of our true culture we tend to do things that the dominant culture do. We have lost a lot of our original traditions. One of which was our oral tradition. There was a time when we gathered around as a community and listened to the stories that an elder would share. We also had story tellers that were so animated and skilled at what they did, that listening to their story would put watching any movie or television program to shame.
Come to think of it, we still have story tellers. Rappers are story tellers. Their stories just happen to have strayed away from the original intent of what story telling was about. Story tellers weren’t just entertaining the people. They were passing down codes and messages that gave the audience a deeper understanding of life. The allegories and metaphors used in stories made the listeners wiser people. After listening to a story the crowd would leave with a deeper sense of self and an understanding of theirs and the people around them history.
In order for me to be able to pass down the knowledge of my ancestors’ lives I really had to ask myself; Am I addicted to technology? Can I live without it or at least the bare minimum? What am I doing to keep My-story (mystery) alive? A few days ago, I was listening (more like eavesdropping, if I’m to be honest) to some people of other races speak about their families’ history and it was so astounding to me how in-depth they were able to go. They were able to tell when their great, great, great grandparents made the journey to the states from their mother land. They were also able to tell stories about their grandparents lives and interesting things that their forefathers did.
As I sat there and thought on how much I really don’t know about my family’s history, it made me realize how much more work I have to put in to completely heal myself. And by heal thyself I mean to know thyself. A person can not know thyself if they do not know their own history. A person who has healed him or herself will be more adept at healing others. World history is great to know but if you can’t speak on your own history then you are kind of lost. I only say that because though I can speak on world history, I am still lost when it comes to my own family tree. I have some serious homework to do. In the meantime so do most “black” people.
We need for our elders to start sharing their stories with us again. We need to know all of their trials and tribulations. One of my elders a few days back was telling me some of the things that he witnessed and I pleaded with him to start writing his story. He contemplated what I said I pray that he seriously takes heed to it. His and elders’ stories just like his must be heard. But I realize that some elders may not have the ability to write. If you are interested in learning your family and people’s history, next time you speak to an elder ask him or her if they wouldn’t mind if you recorded the conversation. Record it then write it for them. We must make sure that future generations know their history and that they are wise enough to never repeat it.
Never let them forget who you are!