“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin
We are the children of the African Diaspora. We are the offspring of super humans. We are the progeny of the most resilient people on this Earth. It took an immeasurable amount of strength and mental fortitude to survive the middle passage and life on the plantation. Not every African was able to do so. Many died on the ship and many others chose suicide over slavery. But more than strength and fortitude, it took the unique ability to adapt. It took the ability to assess the current situation and figure out how to make it work for one’s best interest. That was and still is our greatest tool to navigate this racist, white world. Our ancestors had it figured out. Adapt or die. Adaptation manifested into Hoodoo, Negro Spirituals, Gullah Geechee culture, the Blues, soul food, and every facet of slave quarter culture and black life. We created an entirely new way of life that nurtured our bodies and souls. This allowed us to excel and thrive in the midst of bondage, subjugation, and deep oppression. Our ancestors chose adaptation over death.
“My ancestors survived the Middle passage, Chattel Slavery, and Jim Crow. I am the descendant of superhumans”
We are now living in a time that no one has seen or experienced before. The global pandemic and current political climate has wreaked havoc on our world. Everything we once knew is seemingly fading away. The life we once lived is no more. Many people are unable to cope. But It’s sink or swim baby. It’s adapt or die. Lamenting what once was is only going to cause more anxiety. Wishing for days gone by won’t bring them back.
Our ancestors survived because they accepted their new reality and adapted. They kept the remnants of the past they could and created something new. They assessed their new surroundings, tapped into their God given Ashè and lived their life to the fullest. Many of us won’t survive this new world that’s emerging. For some it may be a literal death as many of us have died from Covid-19 due to underlying chronic diseases. For many more, it will be a spiritual/mental/energetic death. We will succumb to anxiety, depression, panic, mania, breakdowns, illness and disease. It doesn’t have to be this way. Our roots run too deep to be carried away by the storms of life. The ability to Adapt is embedded within your DNA. It’s who you are at your core. You are the offspring of the greatest adapters this world has witnessed.
“You are worth every prayer whispered by your ancestors”
Adapt or die
Kathleen is the Owner of Melanin Rich Wellness Inc. The mission of MRW is to optimize the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the Black community using African Holistic Health. Kathleen is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Certified Yin Yoga Instructor, Certified Vaginal Steam Facilitator, Herbalist, Intermittent Fasting Specialist and Hoodoo Practitioner.Kathleen takes the upmost pride in tapping into her melanin rich DNA and following in the footsteps of the warriors, healers and teachers she lovingly calls ancestors.
The heart has become the focus when it comes to our overall health. And while the heart is vitally important, there is one organ that is often forgotten and ignored: the liver. It is believed that the word liver is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word “to live”. And rightfully so because there is no life without the liver. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is believed to house the soul and is the origin of many of our most turbulent emotions like anger, frustration, and bitterness. Once I learned about the liver and its functions, from both a physical and spiritual perspective, I developed a deep appreciation for the liver and have made a commitment to always take good care of my liver. It became a priority.
Functions of the liver
The liver is a very large organ with more than a thousand functions! And while I won’t go through them all, I want to focus on one particularly important function of the liver. The liver is the master detoxifier. Everything that we eat and drink (including medications) is first metabolized and processed by the liver before being distributed throughout the body. The liver is responsible for removing toxic substances and metabolic wastes from our bloodstream. The health of the entire body is dependent on the health of the liver.
If the liver becomes overburdened with toxins and wastes from the food that we eat, the beverages we drink and the medications we consume, the liver will be unable to remove toxins from our system. These toxins and waste will re-circulate in our bodies and wreak havoc on our other systems, particularly the woman’s reproductive system. Dr. Catherine Kousimine has found that when the liver isn’t able to detoxify the system the body will develop cysts and fibroids to serve as a “second” liver to store toxins.
Signs and symptoms of the liver not functioning properly are feeling over fatigued, lethargic, and lacking motivation and mental clarity. Other symptoms include feeling overly anxious, frustrated, or angry. Hyperpigmentation in the skin, feeling nauseous, increasing PMS symptoms, and more aches and pain will also manifest when the liver is overloaded with toxins. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then it is time to detox the liver. Here are three simple yet effective ways to remove toxins from the system and regenerate the liver.
Detoxing the Liver
Increase your water intake and add lemon. Water is nature’s healing elixir. Water clears toxic waste from different parts of the body and takes to the liver and kidneys for disposal. Adding lemon alkalinizes the blood and helps to flush the toxins out further.
Intermittent fasting allows the body to have a much-needed rest from digestion. Instead of digesting, the body then focuses on eliminating toxins from the liver allowing regeneration to occur and the liver will begin to function properly again. 16/8, 18/6 and 20/4 are all great intermittent fasting regimens that will bring healing to the liver.
The Melanin Rich Wellness 2-week Liver Detox Herbal Tea regimen will remove built-up toxins from the liver and cleanse the blood. It will energize the body, clear the skin, and bring stability to the system. To purchase the Liver Detox Tea and begin your journey to liver health, click here.
The liver is the seat of life. It is time for you to come on in and sit a spell.
Kathleen is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Certified Vaginal Steam Practitioner, Certified Yin Yoga Instructor, Herbalist, Intermittent Fasting Specialist and Hoodoo Practitioner.
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”
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”
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”
“And one of life’s gifts is that each of us, no matter how tired and downtrodden, finds reason for thankfulness”
My brother and I now joke about the infamous “Ungrateful” speech we would hear growing up from our mother. She would get on us whenever we demonstrated an attitude of ungratefulness. She would remind us of how blessed we were, how the things we had (material and nonmaterial) some people would never have. Not that we should ever compare what we have to what others don’t to have an attitude of gratitude, but it helps to put things in their right perspective. Those dreaded ungrateful speeches have been etched in my heart. And I’ve learned that there is always something to be grateful for.
“Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy”
One of my favorite gospel songs is “Thank You Lord” by Walter Hawkins. Whenever life begins to weigh on me, and I begin to think of all the hardships, obstacles, pain, and the struggle. When I start to feel sorry for myself and when depression looms near. When I look at all I have lost and the past comes storming in, seemingly from nowhere I hear these lyrics:
“Tragedies are commonplace.
Economy’s down, people can’t get enough pay.
But as for me All I can say is,
Thank you Lord, for all you’ve done for me.
It could have been me, outdoors.
With no food and no clothes
or all alone without a friend
or just another number with a tragic end.
But you didn’t see fit, to let none of these things be
and every day by your power, you keep on keeping me.
Thank you, lord, for all you’ve done for me”
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you’, that would suffice”
I have said many times, if I never receive another blessing for the rest of my life, I’ve already received enough to say thank you over and over for the rest of my life. I’ve learned that there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Always. Breath, life, health, and strength. (I know I sound like a Friday night testimony service). I can walk, talk, see and hear. There are some people who need someone to come and bathe them. I can hop in the shower whenever I want, and I have hot water. I have a roof over my head. I have food to eat. I have a place to rest my head. These things are more valuable than we realize. I am in my right mind. That is a huge blessing. I look at what I’ve been through and I am surprised I haven’t had a nervous breakdown. I survived what should have ended me. For that I am grateful. I don’t have as much money as I like, but my needs are always being met. A way is always made. Always. For that I am grateful.
“Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart”
I am grateful for walks in the park with the sun shining on me. I am grateful for funny memes I see on social media that make me literally laugh out loud. I am grateful for Friday Pizza night. There is so much to be grateful for, both big and small. And I am also grateful for what didn’t happen. The car accident that almost happened, the job I didn’t get because there was a better door that was open. And then I am grateful for the protection from unseen dangers.
“If you have lived, take thankfully the past”
When we choose to focus on what we are grateful for, it lifts the hung down head and shoots a bolt of hope into the hurting heart. It allows us to walk though life with a grace that will cause others to look at us in wonder. How are you still smiling? The ability to stop yourself in the middle of a pity, complaining or negative party to bring the focus back to gratitude demonstrates a mastery of life and of self. It demonstrates that wisdom has sprouted in the heart and the spirit has been fortified. Life loves a grateful heart. And it will reward you for your gratitude with even more to be grateful for.
“What you send out in the world is what you get back”
There is another song by Walter Hawkins that comes to mind, “Be Grateful”. The lyrics say:
God has not promised me sunshine
That’s not the way it’s supposed to be
But a little rain mixed with God’s sunshine
A little pain, makes me appreciate the good times
Your gratitude may be mixed with tears, regret, guilt, or shame. Your gratitude may be on the lips of a “I don’t understand, but I’m still thankful, “I’m hurting but I’m still thankful”, “My life is falling apart, but I’m still thankful”. That is the grace of gratitude. It will carry you through. Because my dear, “every storm runs out of rain”.
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, gratitude”
There are many things we use to measure our level of value and worth in the world. Our physical and sexual attraction, body shape, health status, how we dress and what we wear, our level of education, socioeconomic status, career path, the car we drive or the neighborhood we live in. And lastly, our children. The schools they go to, the talents they possess, etc.
We can use any and all these things to send a message to the world. I am worthy. I have value. I am special. I matter. See me. Respect me. Like me. Love me. Cherish me. Accept me. Approve of me.
But what if you had none of the societal attributes we use to determine worth? Would you still be worthy? Would you still have value? I’ve been doing a lot of shadow work lately. Going within and facing the parts of myself that have been hidden, buried, and neglected. The forgotten, lost “self”. The part of me that has been socialized and parented to feel that I must earn love, acceptance, and approval by attaining and reaching certain heights. I must look a certain way, drive a certain car, have certain accomplishments, live by a certain set of standards and then maybe, just maybe I will be valued and loved.
First, I had to ask myself, “Why do I need anyone’s approval, love or acceptance?” I realized I was searching to belong to a world that was just as messed up as I was, if not more. I was looking for love and approval from loved ones, friends, and a society that didn’t even love and approve of themselves. And more than that, I didn’t need THEIR approval. I was worthy and had great value whether anyone acknowledged it or not. I did not need anyone’s approval or permission to be worthy.
“Forgive yourself for every single time you forgot your worth” Reyna Biddy
I began to see my value by the inherent intangibles that make me proud of who I am. My resilience, intensity, grace, and compassion. My ability to remain hopeful and positive in the midst of despair. My courage to seek my soul essence. My deeply intuitive connection to the spiritual world. My muthafuckin grit! My commitment to present myself to the world as the sacred gift that I am. And my heart that is just brimming with love to pour out.
“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness” Brene Brown
If I never get another degree, make a million dollars, be deemed to be attractive or stylish, I am worthy of love. I have undeniable value. I am important and special. I love and approve of myself.
Don’t overburden yourself, stress yourself out, or devalue who you are based on a set of standards that could never fully define how valuable you truly are. Seek your highest truth. Do so with pure love. You have infinite worth.
“I know my worth. I’ve paid dearly for every ounce of it” Alfa
“We might think that the confusion we experience in our daily life happens in isolation, but in reality, it has something to do with our lack of connection to our ancestors”.
“How can I do it all” were my nagging thoughts all morning. How am I going to work, go to school, help my 4th grade daughter with online school, write, run a business, take care of my man, cook, clean, do laundry AND take care of myself. I could feel the panic and the fear of failure creeping into my energy field, ready to penetrate the force field of positivity and power I had created over the summer. Again, the question, “How”, came rushing into my mind
“You manifest your entire life. Control your thoughts. You have powers”
I thought of my ancestresses, the enslaved women whose blood runs through my veins. The women who left the magical blueprint for me to follow. The women who gifted me both their pain and power. The women who did it all. The women who didn’t have the time to ask How, they just did. I thought of the supernatural strength and resilience they possessed. The inherent feminine power and intelligence they tapped into, to be and do all they needed to be and do. If they could work them rice, cotton and tobacco fields, run Massa’s household and still nurture their husbands and children then I too could be and do what I needed. Because compared to them, I have it so easy.
“My ancestors survived the Middle Passage, Chattel Slavery and Jim Crow. I am the descedent of superhumans”
My thoughts began to shift from “How”, to “With God and the ancestors on my side, I’m going to do this. With pure love, grace, and wisdom”. My spirit began to elevate, and I felt the life force began to rise within me. I grabbed the bag of potatoes to start to prepare them for dinner. The bag was sealed with this clasp
The number 211. I went to my book of numbers and looked up the meaning of the number 211. It said the following:
“Now is the time for you to rise above any seeming problems and ensure that every word you speak, write or think is positive. You are manifesting very quickly, so you want to ensure that you focus solely upon your desired outcomes and do not dwell on any fears”.
It was no coincidence. This was a message and reminder from my ancestors. “You got it girl, you got it” (in my Drake voice). I can do this. I will succeed. I can be and do all I need to be and do. And without stress, anxiety, or fear.
“A challenge is not a threat. It simply illuminates an opportunity to improve your overall circumstances and support the expression of your power”
The ancestors are here to assist, guide, and offer the gifts of hope, reassurance and courage. They are here to give reminders, messages and nudges. When we win, they win. When we overcome, they overcome. What we end in this life, ends in all other lives. They have an invested interest in our happiness and healing.
“It is this power of the ancestors that will help us direct our lives and avoid falling into huge ditches. Ancestors can see future, past and present. They can see inside and outside of us” Sobonfu Some
“Our ancestors are not dead and gone. They are buried in every gene, every cell, and in our very own DNA”
Pull on the strength of the ancestors. Gladly and readily accept the gifts they offer. The wisdom they have is unparalleled. You are not alone.
“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell”
March 16, 2020 was my last day in the office. That Friday prior was my daughter’s last day of school. COVID-19 had shut NYS down. We were encouraged to only leave the house for necessities. While it was devastating for so many, it became a blessing in disguise for me.
For the first time in 10 years, I did not have to deal with white society in any significant way. I didn’t have to put up with white people’s shit at work or at my daughter’s school. I didn’t have to rush to be somewhere in the morning, or go to bed at night with the dread that I had to do it all again in just a few short hours.
“The most powerful work is done in response to an opportunity, not in response to a problem”
Everyone was in panic mode, and full of fear, uncertainty, and dread. No one knew what to do about this new world we lived in. It was all over the news and it was all anyone could talk about. Above their masks, you could see the terror in everyone’s eyes. And yet I saw a way out.
“The way we see reality generates our experience of reality”
Our enslaved ancestors usually panned their escape from the plantation when the slave masters would be distracted. Either at a significant event (wedding, funeral, or party), around the holidays or when there was something sudden and unexpected that caused panic or chaos (unexpected storms, fires). That was their best chance of leaving without being noticed. And when they did finally notice, it was too late and they were far gone. This was my chance to escape. This was my opportunity to be free. The white world was completely distracted with the coronavirus and it being an election year. The time was now.
No, we are no longer in physical bondage, but I can hear the click clank of the mental and spiritual chains of white supremacy. I decided that I would never again fall victim to the bullshit expectations of white society. I decided that I was not going to be pulled into the fear-based mentality and way of living that dictates so much of how people live their lives. White people complicate everything. They over think, over analyze and they get bogged down with details. They live their lives from a place of deep fear and inadequacy. Do more, have more, work more, spend more. It never ends…
That is not an African centered way of being. We are designed to thrive in the simplicity of life. We are driven by self-love, family, and community. Our connection to the Creator, the ancestors, and Mother Earth is the foundation of our existence. We understand that for every problem, there is a viable solution. There is no real need to worry or fear. Our soul is our truest oracle and we are surrounded by forces that seek to help us solve our problems. I was mastering these concepts. I felt peace and joy. I felt so light and free…
And then the world started opening back up. My daughter is back in school. I am back at work in the office and out in the field. That dread started creeping back in at night. My energy was heavy. I felt the anxiety creeping back into my thoughts. I had to brace myself to pick up the burden of being black in a white world yet again.
“A negative and a positive emotion cannot simultaneously occupy the same space. You either feel fear or you feel love”
But then I remembered. Yes, I am in this world, but I am not of this world. I have the power to determine my experience and my reality. I will not be consumed with fear or dread. I will not get on that proverbial hamster wheel of white society ever again. The first day of online school was a disaster for my daughter. We had the wrong homeroom, her iPad wasn’t working, the instructions were in three different apps. I texted a friend and I said, “I ain’t bout to let these white folks stress me out” and I meant it. They are not about to stress me out. Coronavirus, Trump, or Biden. I will focus on my health, attaining wealth, my personal growth and loving the people I hold close to my heart. The rest will work itself out. Because it always does.
I am black, my energy is light, and I am free. I am centered and grounded in an African based reality and I will live my life on my terms. I’m in this world, but my soul has no parts of it.
“Your past lives may hold many clues to help you navigate your future”
As a child I felt like I’d been here before. I stand in front of the mirror and stare at myself. I’d say, “this is me; I am me”. I’d repeat this over and over until I felt almost dizzy and had to stop. I couldn’t believe that I was here, again. But in church I was taught that you live once and then you die. And you either go to heaven or hell for eternity. That always seemed so…boring
“Occasionally, I think of death. I can easily believe in the disintegration of the body, but cannot believe that all I have learned, experienced, accumulated can disappear and be wasted. Like a river, it must flow somewhere”
I stopped doing that weird little exercise in the mirror and put the idea of past lives out of my head. I hadn’t given up on the idea. But life started coming at me fast and when life comes at you fast, you must brace yourself to live it, struggle through it and survive it.
And then my baby was born. When she was 4, she started saying things to me like, “You’re the best mom I’ve ever had”. “I’m so happy we are together again” (and here’s the kicker), “When they took me from you and put me on the wagon, I was so sad”. I was speechless.
“What cannot be said, will be wept”
Was my baby telling me about her past lives? And the ones she had with me? This led me to researching everything I could on past lives, reincarnation and past life regression. I learned about soul contracts, past life lovers, ancestral assignments, the Akashic Records and how birth marks can be an indication of how one died in a past life. My mind was both blown and soothed at the same time.
I wasn’t as weird or crazy as I thought. In 2017, I connected with someone who could tell you about your past life/lives. When I tell you that past life reading was life changing, it’s an understatement. Oh, how this life made so much more sense to me after that reading. Turns out, I was a slave. Twice! In my second life as a slave, I tried to escape. I was betrayed. My children had been sold from me (hence my daughter’s memory of us being separated) and I lost the man I loved. I was an herbalist and healer. I died alone…broken…
“I see it all. I feel it all. My eyes fill with tears”
This led me to learning about past life regression. This is a way in which your higher self can visit past lives. You can unlock people, places, events, and emotions of other lifetimes. It allows you to work through that karma, heal old wounds that you carry from life to life, and make some things right that went terribly wrong.
Oh, my heart swells at learning about my past lives. It’s given me so much insight into why I am the way I am. Lawd, I couldn’t understand why I hated white folks so much. It makes perfect sense now. Why I am an herbalist in this life, why my daughter was so clingy and why I have that oddly shaped birth mark on the left side of my forehead. I used to get teased about it as a child. They said it looked like a midget had slapped me lol (it’s shaped like a small hand). It all makes so much sense. Why I’ve searched for one particular man my whole life, looking for him in every man that came my way…pieces of a puzzle finally put together.
When I was a teenager I used to listen to the Quiet Storm every night on the radio. When I first heard Teena Marie’s song, Deja Vu I fell in love. That too now makes perfect sense. She sang, “I’m young and I’m old. I’m rich and I’m poor. Feels like I’ve been on this earth many times before…I can feel this for sure, for sure. I’ve been here before” …
My latest book, The Black Girl’s Guide to Healing: 10 Ways to Achieve a Healthy, Pain Free Period will be available for download on 8/14/2020.
Here is the introduction! I will be sharing excerpts from the book over the next week. Thank you for reading!
“We don’t want our wombs to hurt us any longer…we don’t have to have PMS. We don’t have to let our menses be a painful experience…That’s not who you truly are-the pain, the tightening, the fear”.
The purpose of this book is to provide 10 tried and true ways to have a healthy and pain free period. This book offers guidance on how to address the four most problematic issues of menstruation. When it comes to menstruation, most women struggle with the following:
Periods lasting longer than 4 days
Heavy, excessive bleeding
Long, heavy periods, lasting days or even weeks at a time, accompanied by painful and disruptive PMS symptoms have become a normal part of being a woman. I am here to tell you three things. Number one, this is NOT normal. Number 2, you have the power to heal yourself. And Number 3, you can have normal, healthy periods. Throughout the course of this book I will discuss my personal menstruation experience and how I was able to heal myself. I will discuss our painful history as black women in this country and delve into the inherent racism in gynecology. I will define what a normal period looks like and explain why we experience unhealthy periods. Lastly, I will provide the ten steps or rather ways of living, being and thinking (it’s a lifestyle) that will lead to a healthy and pain free period. The foundation to the Black Girl’s Guide to healing is to understand that you were destined to be your own healer.
How Long Will It Take?
Healing looks different for every woman, as no two women are the same. We have varying degrees of womb trauma and there will be varying degrees of commitment to the process. Once you start implementing the lifestyle changes outlined in the book, you may notice changes immediately. For most women, it will take 3 to 6 menstrual cycles (3-6 months) to see an improvement. For other women, it may take longer. The important thing to focus on is that it will work. As a melanated woman, you have the inherent power to heal yourself! Welcome to the Black Girl’s Guide to Healing.
“No religion will ever make me forget the condition of our people in this country…No God, no religion, no nothing will make me forget it until it stops, until its eliminated. I want to make that point clear”
I rarely make social media status updates about trending topics and I never feel compelled or inspired to blog about them. But, I was so moved by the Jonathan Isaac story I had to share my thoughts. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Jonathan Isaac, an ordained Minister and NBA player chose not to wear the Black Lives Matter T-shirt or kneel with the rest of his Black (and white) teammates during the singing of the National Anthem. In fact, he was the 1st in the NBA bubble to stand during the anthem. When asked why he made that decision he said the following:
“Kneeling or wearing a black lives matter t-shirt don’t go hand in hand with supporting black lives…my life has been supported through the gospel of Jesus Christ and that everyone is made in the image of God and that we all fall short of his glory….sometimes we point fingers about whose evil is worse, and sometimes it comes out as whose evil is most visible…I felt like I just wanted to take a stand on, I felt like we all make mistakes, but I think the gospel of Jesus Christ is that there is grace for us and that Jesus came and died for our sins, and that if we all would come to an understanding of that and understand that God wants to have a relationship with us, that we can get past skin color and we could get past all the things in our world that are messed up and jacked up. I think when you look around, racism isn’t the only thing that plagues our society…I feel like the answer to it is the gospel.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”
Then boom. He tears his ACL. Coincidence? Bad Luck? A bad play? An Injury prone player? The Magic’s president believes, “Absolutely, unequivocally that the ACL tear is not related to Isaac’s previous injury and was not brought back too soon”. Then someone on Instagram had the following explanation for this coincidental injury, “Since you don’t want to Take a knee, our ancestors will take it for you”. And I wholeheartedly agree!
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
That was Isaac’s karma, the repercussion and consequence for such an ignorantly horrifying decision. He serves as a prime example of what could happen when one chooses a religion rooted in white supremacy over your people. To reiterate what Malcom X said, “No religion will ever make me forget the condition of our people in this country…”.
We all can’t be a Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Denmark Vesey, Gabriel Prosser, Huey P. Newton, Assata Shakur, or Queen Nanny of the Maroons. Nor are we expected to be. We are not expected or obligated to make the sacrifice these courageous Blacks did. We are not expected to sacrifice our jobs, our families, or our lives to advance the cause of Black Empowerment. But as Dr. John Henrik Clark said, “Take what you do best and do it for your people”. For some of us, all that would entail is wearing a t-shirt and taking a knee. And Isaac couldn’t even do that. His action, or lack thereof was the ultimate betrayal to the ancestors and he used his religion to justify it. Again, he should serve as an example of what happens when you put anything and anyone over the ancestors.
We OWE our ancestors everything! We OWE them our undying and relentless loyalty, veneration, honor and respect. The reason we are here is because they chose to NEVER give up. The least we can do is use whatever platform we have been given to declare that their lives mattered! On the slave ship. Their black lives mattered. On the plantation. Their black lives mattered. As they were whipped and raped. Their black lives mattered. As mothers and fathers watched their children be sold to pay for wedding dresses and settle debts. Their black lives mattered. As they hung from trees. Their black lives mattered…Jonathan Isaac! Their black lives mattered.
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The greatest atrocity in human history is MAAFA or the African/Black Holocaust. Alik Shahadah explains MAAFA as the, “500 years of suffering of people of African heritage through Slavery, imperialism, colonialism, apartheid, rape, xenophobia, oppression, invasions, and exploitation”. In America that includes the dehumanization, subjugation and oppression of chattel slavery, Jim Crow, and the nihilism found in the American ghetto, which Cornel West describes as meaninglessness, lovelessness and hopelessness. I am personally distraught and angered by the distinctly American White Supremacist act of lynching. Don’t forget these heinous murders were acted out by good Ole White Christian folk.
The body of 32-year-old Rubin Stacy hangs from a tree in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as neighbors visit the site July 19, 1935. Stacy was lynched by a mob of masked men who seized him from the custody of sheriff’s deputies for allegedly attacking a white woman. (AP Photo)
Let’s face it, Evangelical White Christianity is the white man’s religion. It doesn’t matter how much one states, “Jesus was a black man”, the Christian doctrine undergirds and upholds white supremacy and black oppression. If your God looks like your oppressor, you are in big trouble. If the symbol of your savior is associated with the brutal murder of your ancestors, you are in big trouble. If you pray to the same God as the white man who calls you nigger, you are in trouble. If you aspire to go to a heaven where you’ll walk streets of gold with white supremacists who spilled blood on the streets on earth, you are in big trouble. If your religion teaches you to turn the other cheek and “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you”, and you choose to follow that flawed teaching over declaring Black Lives Matter, you are lost.
“I believe in a religion that believes in freedom. Any time I have to accept a religion that won’t let me fight a battle for my people, I say to hell with that religion”
The groanings of our ancestors has yet to be heard. Their suffering has yet to be avenged. Their souls are not at rest and they are not at peace. We are obligated to stand for them (or kneel for them), the same way they have laid down their lives and at times their dignity for us. And when we don’t, we are going to be held accountable. There is a price to pay when you choose a white man, whether he is God or not, over your own flesh and blood. Jonathan Isaac didn’t take a knee and the ancestors took his.
Isaac has made a statment saying, “I still stand in Jesus name”. I don’t know about you, but I stand in the names of my ancestors; known and unknown…the nameless, the faceless, and the forgotten.
Kathleen Richardson is the Owner of Melanin Rich Wellness, whose mission is to optimize the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the black community. The pillars of Melanin Rich Wellness are African Holistic Health and Black Radicalism. She is a Published Author, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Vaginal Steam Facilitator and Yin Yoga Instructor. She is inspired by the healers, teachers, and warriors she lovingly calls her ancestors.
The E-book, "The Black Girl's Guide to Healing: 10 Ways to Achieve a Healthy, Pain Free Period" is now available for purchase in the Melanin Rich Wellness Shop Dismiss