There is so much to learn from our enslaved ancestors. If we would shift our focus from the present and simply take a moment to look back, we would find solutions to problems that cause us anxiety, worry and fear. We have become so preoccupied with further integrating with white society and pleading with a people with no moral compass, we have denigrated the power of our melanin. We believe that white is right, and the further we remove ourselves from the painful history of our enslavement, the better off we’ll be. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Most of us came here in chains and most of you came here to escape your chains. Your freedom was our slavery, and therein lies the bitter difference in the way we look at life”John Oliver Killens
One important lesson our enslaved ancestors have taught us is that when Massa and the other white folks is distracted, that’s when you run for freedom! During the Holidays, wedding celebrations, big parties, and even catastrophes (fires, storms, etc.) proved to be the best time to run. During those times, white society’s focus was not on the slave quarters or the enslaved. And that was the best chance of escaping unnoticed. And by the time they figured out you were gone; you were well on your way and your chances of being caught were greatly diminished. Our ancestors knew that and planned their escapes during these times of golden opportunity. In fact, after making her own escape, Harriet Tubman went to get her parents at Christmas.
“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going”Harriet Tubman
Why is this relevant today? We’re in a freaking global pandemic! While also being in the midst of one of this country’s most contentious presidential elections ever. White Society is completely distracted! They are even fighting amongst one another now and not just us. White society is more anxious, more on edge, and more worried than ever before. White society is in a state of instability. And this is our chance to escape! This is not the time to get caught up. Don’t follow suit and become just as panicked, anxious and unstable. Don’t be that house nigga that looks at Massa’s trouble and takes it on as your own. See the turmoil as the blessing it is and run with it. For our ancestors, this meant run literally.
“I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs”Fredrick Douglass
Start your business, get that certification, create, go back to school, or apply for that position. Now is the time to fortify your energy, get grounded and centered. Now is the time to focus on your health and wellness; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Run! Escape! While they are distracted, use this time to build yourself, your family, and your community. By the time the dust settles, you’ll be so far ahead, they won’t be able to stop you. Take full advantage of your enemy’s weakness and use it to your advantage.
“The most powerful work is done in response to an opportunity, not in response to a problem”