Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Olaudah Equiano (1745-97)

“Go Moses; take my hand”

I was reading a special issue of a French magazine on slavery and black literature and was taken aback by this inevitable tendency of black intellectuals and black soul songs paying particular attention to the myth of Moses leading “his people” from Egypt to freedom.  This myth appears to form the cornerstone for what slaves in America wished to be a replica process to their emancipation.

Without any exception, all black authors, intellectuals, orators, preachers, political and social leaders, from Olaudah Equiano (1745-97), to Frederick Douglas, to Du Bois, to Loughton Hughes, to Frantz Fanon, to Martin Luther King, to Stokeley Carmichael, and even Malcolm X could not help but regurgitate the Moses’ myth to express their yearning for emancipation and human dignity:  They were all raised by Negro gospel songs and Negro spirituals that shaped their imaginaries and rhetoric.

I don’t mind that a culture resurrects a myth to build upon their set of values.  Actually, the basic characteristic of a myth is that it is beautiful, especially the awesome imaginative creations, expressions on life, and the good finally vanquishing evil.

I have problem when people fail to recognize a myth and take it at face value as real story in history.  I have problem when black Protestants and Baptists go beyond the myth into coinciding it with Zionist movement ideology.

This is very odd since Zionism chased out people from their land and ended up establishing an apartheid “homeland

It is important to recognize that the story of Moses is a myth, a fantastic and emotionally encompassing myth, where slaves flee to freedom and survive hardship of desert climate and the multitude of tribal revolts under the guise of worshiping other Gods and a variety of multiple semi-Gods.  It is a myth even though we may fabricate reasonable conjectures to constructing feasible occurrence.

One of the conjectures is that not all the fleeing people were slaves and not all were non Egyptians.  People fled when the ancient class of priesthood who adored God Amon overturned the only God Aton (the Sun) that King Akhenaton instituted.

The story of Moses is a myth since there are no tangible proofs either in writing (in any language) or existing artifacts that may shed any bit of reality. If we know that the Old Testament was written in around 200 BC in Alexandria, then what has been transferred as oral stories should not constitute factual happenings but smart stories reflecting customs, traditions, and set of values of people.

Faith in one God, creator of man and the universe, has nothing to do with considering stories and the sayings of assigned “prophets” to be adopted as act of faith.  You may like or dislike a few stories; you may adopt in actions and behavior what a few “prophets” said, but there are no harms admitting that these myths describe reasonable ways of living, attitudes, and behaviors.

I can understand why Malcolm X had to talk about Moses: he was a black Moslem and Islam combined the Jewish and Christian Books as intrinsic part of Islam faith.

I got into thinking. If it was not for Islam that sheltered and protected Jews from persecution of the Byzantium Empires, then the Jewish religion would have disappeared.  The Zionist movement is a scorpion that could not help but sting its benefactor and protector from extinction.

The Zionist movement through its racist and apartheid system has driven many Moslems into extreme tendencies to be freed from occupation and apartheid domination in Palestine.

I got into thinking that the limited and racist Neo-Conservative “Christians” in south USA got impressed by the beautiful and soul searching Negro soul songs and music referring to Old Testament stories. Those tight-assed conservatives revised the fantastic lyrics and rhythms into petrified ideology.

It is unfortunate that diamonds of Negro spirituals, more often than not, fall on pork’s ears.

Myths feeding on myths.

Myth feeding on myths; (Feb. 19, 2010)

            I was reading a special issue of a French magazine on slavery and black literature and was taken aback by this strong and inevitable tendency of black intellectuals and black soul songs paying particular attention to the myth of Moses leading “his people” from Egypt to freedom.  This myth appears to form the cornerstone for what slaves in America wished to be a replica process to their emancipation.

            Without any exception, all black authors, intellectuals, orators, preachers, political and social leaders, from Olaudah Equiano (1745-97), to Frederick Douglas, to Du Bois, to Langston Hughes, to Frantz Fanon, to Martin Luther King, to Stokeley Carmichael, and even Malcolm X could not help but regurgitate the Moses myth to expressing their yearning for emancipation and human dignity.

            I don’t mind that a culture resurrects a myth to be upon their set of values.  Actually, the basic characteristic of a myth is that it is beautiful, especially the awesome imaginative creations, expressions on life, and good finally vanquishing evil. I have problem when people fail to recognize a myth and take it at face value as real story in history.  I have problem when black Protestants and Baptists go beyond the myth into coinciding it with Zionist movement ideology.  This is very odd since Zionism chased out people from their land and ended up establishing an apartheid “homeland”

            It is important to recognize that the story of Moses is a myth, a fantastic and emotionally encompassing myth, where slaves flee to freedom and survive hardship of desert climate and the multitude of tribal revolts under the guise of worshiping other Gods and a variety of multiple semi-Gods.  It is a myth even though we may fabricate reasonable conjectures to constructing feasible occurrence. One of the conjectures is that not all the fleeing people were slaves and not all were non Egyptians.  People fled when the ancient class of priesthood who adored God Amon overturned the only God Aton (the Sun) that King Akhenaton instituted.

            The story of Moses is a myth since there are no tangible proofs either in writing (in any language) or existing artifacts that may shed any bit of reality. If we know that the Old Testament was written in around 200 BC in Alexandria then what has been transferred as oral stories should not constitute factual happenings but smart stories reflecting customs, traditions, and set of values of people.

            Faith in one God, creator of man and the universe, has nothing to do with considering stories and sayings of assigned “prophets” to be adopted as act of faith.  You may like or dislike a few stories; you may adopt in actions and behavior what a few “prophets” said but there are no harms admitting that these myths describe reasonable ways of living, attitudes, and behaviors.

            I can understand why Malcolm X had to talk about Moses: he was a black Moslem and Islam combined the Jewish and Christian Books as intrinsic part of Islam faith.  I got into thinking. If it was not for Islam that sheltered and protected Jews from persecution of the Byzantium Empires then the Jewish religion would have disappeared.  The Zionist movement is a scorpion that could not help but sting its benefactor and protector from extinction.  The Zionist movement through its racist and apartheid system has driven many Moslems into extreme tendencies to be freed from occupation and apartheid domination in Palestine.

            I got into thinking that the limited and racist Neo-Conservative “Christians” in south USA got impressed by the beautiful and soul searching Negro soul songs and music referring to Old Testament stories; those tight-assed conservatives revised the fantastic lyrics and rhythms into petrified ideology.  It is unfortunate that diamonds, more often than not, fall on pork’s ears.

“The passionate story of my life”: Who is Olaudah Equiano (1745-97). (Feb. 11, 2010)

Olaudah Equiano (1745-97) was a slave; he describes how he was shipped to be sold.  Equiano published his book in 1789 at the age of 44 while a free man and settled in London.  He was kidnapped in Nigeria and sold to the British American colonies; he travelled with his “master” across the American continent, worked as sailor before set free. Equiano became very influential in the abolitionism movement.

“The first sight when I reached the shore was the sea that I was seeing for the first time. A slave ship was shoring up.  A few sailors grabbed me and threw me in the air to check my good health. I quickly felt that I am in the hands of evil spirits.  I had the strong impression that I am to be eaten alive. The sailors had long hair, red faces, and talked in strange languages. Black slaves were in chains and the demeanor expressed anxiety, suffering, and total discouragement.

I lost consciousness and then the black people who brought me in to be sold for salary offered me an alcoholic drink that plunged me in great torpor. I was led beneath the ship deck and the stench made me sick: I could no longer eat or drink and refused what I was offered.  Consequently, sailors tied my legs and they whipped me crazy.  Since I never drank water I could not drink any water extended to me.  My life of slavery in the village was no where as cruel as my current situation.  A few slaves tried to jump overboard and they were punished harshly.”

Negro trades were undertaken in most of Africa. In central Africa, slave trades were done within the African tribes.  In western Africa slaves were first shipped to south USA (the ports of Charleston and New Orleans), to Central America (Havana), Venezuela, and Brazil (Bahia and Rio de Janeiro) and then shipped again to Europe to the ports of Lisbon, Cordoba, Liverpool, La Rochelle, Nantes, Le Havre, and Amsterdam. The main ports of shipments in western Africa were done in Goree (Senegal), Ouidah (Ivory Coast), Sao Tome, Benguela (current Luanda).

Slave trades from eastern Africa were done by Moslem tribes in the ports of Zanzibar, Mogadishu, Cairo, Tripoli (Libya), Alger, and Marrakech on their way to Jedda (Saudi Arabia), Muscat (Oman), and then toward the Middle East and Turkey.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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