by Mikel Kwaku Osei Holt
My three-year-old grandson stayed the weekend with my wife and, as expected, I spent most of my time playing catch or education board games, and hide and go seek.
When Malik (he was named after my late son) ran out of juice, I would read to him, embellishing whatever the topic was with Black History trivia. Obviously, he didn’t understand everything I told him, but I’m from the old school where you impart cultural seeds at a young age, and hope that some day you see those seeds blossom into a tree of Knowledge and Black Pride.
Some of the information I introduced him to (between his questions about why birds don’t have fur to why he had to lift the toilet seat up if only the two of us use the bathroom in my man cave) probably sounded bizarre. But who knows. Malik will no doubt remember my repetitious pronouncements that we (Africans) were the original people, God’s chosen. And the Garden of Eden was in Africa, so obviously, the central characters in the Old Testament were Black.
Those points were reinforced on Sunday when I was the guest lecturer at my new church, House of Grace Ministries.
(Incidentally, we meet at the Radisson Hotel on Main Street and Highway 45 from 9:45 a.m. to 11 a.m.)
I’ll be providing my fourth consecutive lecture this Sunday and you are invited.
But don’t come if you’re unsure of who and what you are because I unveil the biblical truth from an Africancentric perspective, backed fully by scripture, and anthropological science.
Some of us aren’t ready for that. We still believe Jesus looked like Jeffrey Hunter with blond hair and blue eyes. Similarly, some of us will fight you tooth and nail if you tell them Tarzan wasn’t the king of the jungle.
I also use the lectures to educate us on the not so obvious truths about how misguided biblical interpretation allowed for the importation of 10 million Africans (less than half that number arrived alive), and integration of our ancestors into what historians called the most vicious and inhumane form of slavery known to mankind. But just as those bigoted scum used the Bible to introduce the concept of White Supremacy, I speak on how we conversely, used it to overcome that injustice.
At other lectures I’ve been asked to speak at, I’ll provide antidotal Black history trivia to awaken the fogged minds of Black people to the truth.
For example, after one lecture, a 30-year-old middle school teacher denounced my statement that George Washington was the father of this country in many ways, including his impregnation of several of his ‘slaves.’ The teacher also had a problem with my statement that he didn’t really cut down a cherry tree, but if he did that might explain the story about his having wooden teeth. Actually that was a myth. Washington didn’t have wooden teeth, but instead had his ‘overseers’ force his slaves into a long line as he choose which of their teeth would be extracted to make a dental plate for the ‘founding father.’
Many of the so-called founding fathers (including Washington and Jefferson) were in fact deists, which explains how they could advance their hypocrisy about freedom and equality, but maintain the slave system with a straight face. In fact, I think Lincoln was one as well.
Lincoln was a conflicted man who understood slavery was wrong, but like Jefferson and other predecessors, he was also conflicted over whether we were intellectually capable of running our own lives.
My history notes that abolitionist Frederick Douglass challenged him on that point. But Lincoln was also a political pragmatist, which is why he entertained a proposal in 1863 to continue slavery for 40 years if the south would end the war.
Lincoln was a student of the Bible and thus knew there were no denouncements of slavery in the Old or New Testaments. In fact, there are numerous scriptures supporting it. Yeah, you heard that right. Nowhere in the Bible does anybody denounce slavery, although as I said Sunday, the so-called “Curse of Ham” was a farce, a lie perpetuated and exploited to justify American slavery for two centuries.
Speaking of ‘Jesus,’ he not only didn’t look like Jeffrey Hunter, he didn’t look like Barack Obama either. Some biblical scriptures suggest he was about, 5’1”, hunchback, with nappy hair, dark skinned and ‘uncomely.’
That latter point, I suggest, was by design. People are at first taken aback by Barack or Denzel’s looks and coolness. And then they hear him. In the case of Jesus, it was the word that mesmerized the crowds. There was no pretense, no confusion. Think about that.
Also try to figure out why Europeans, and Americans in particular, tried to repackage Jesus as blond and blue eyed. The answer is so obvious I won’t waste space on it.
But back to my grandson, who heard, but probably didn’t understand what I was saying on Sunday, On Saturday I fueled his head with Black History trivia. I told him our ancestors invented math, science and studied the stars when Europeans were trying to find a Bic lighter to warm their cold caves, For the most part I kept it simple for my grandson. But I told him the real truth, not what was dramatized on television, or would be told to him by teachers with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo or who themselves are ignorant of true history.
The Indians were the good guys, and the cowboys were the evil ones, I told Malik as he mounted my stuffed animal with a straw hat upon his head. “Remember where to point that gun. Not in front of you, but over your shoulder,” I told him.
If nothing else, I’m sure he’ll remember my explaining to him that the Indians were the good guys. Malik was particularly enticed when I told him about the battle of Fort Negro, during which plantation owners had appealed to the federal government to stop the Underground Railroad that went ‘south’ in addition to the track that headed north. Hundreds of ‘slaves’ had traveled that southern route, eventually integrating with Native American tribes in Florida. That phenomenon prompted the U.S. to send thousands of troops south to disrupt the Freedom Train. The other part of their mission was to kill or capture the runaway slaves and the Native Americans who gave them sanctuary. The army was led by future President Andrew Jackson.
Malik couldn’t understand the fundamental concept of integration, and I didn’t want to overburden his impressionable mind at this point. By telling him the simple truth. I did explain we haven’t made much progress as many great civil rights leaders had hoped by this time in U.S. history.
In truth, most of what I would tell my grandson was appropriate for his age. I believe it’s never too early to start building a historic cultural foundation for our children. And our efforts should be consistent and repetitious.
Soon enough, there will be those who will tell our children that they are the descendents of savage jungle bunnies who were ‘lucky’ to be recruited for a bold adventure in the new world. They will tell them we contributed nothing to civilization and that we are lazy, illiterate and sex crazy as a result.
It is up to parents to provide our children with the truth so they can refute that racist teaching paradigm, the purpose of which is to instill a sense of inferiority and self-hatred in our children.
Obviously, at this point, I couldn’t get too deep with my three year old grandson. So I intermixed the surface truth with standard Black history trivia about George Washington Carver, W.E.B. Dubois, Sojourner Truth, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Medgar Evers, and James Weldon Johnson.
Those Black trivia facts are important for our children, to provide them with reference points and a sense of racial pride. But there’s a larger history that must be told to our children as soon as they are able to comprehend. The fact that the real American history isn’t being taught speaks volumes about that need.