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We Are the Dream

The freedom to express minority viewpoints without fear of retribution would be considered a dream by our ancestors. — both black and white -the

people others call slaves—are our country’s founding fathers.

They built this land, toiled our crops, fought our wars and died for our causes. Our American

Dream was built on their backs and became their most lucid nightmare. Financial nest eggs

flourished through the sale of plantation crops. Slave labor

funded some of the most lucrative financial institutions

throughout America. Wall Street, Leherman

Brothers and Goldman Sachs (just to name a few) were

purchased from slave’s blood, sweat and tears. Slave dreams

were sacrificed and overridden to promote slave owner dreams.

Yet today, we are fulfilling part of the slave’s dream. The dream is that

one of his or her ancestors would gain the right, ability,

and respect necessary to candidly express ideas and thoughts

on paper that can be freely read and digested. My enslaved forefathers

were wrongly called slaves. It doesn’t seem right to indelibly

etch this inferior title upon them. Even in death, these beloved

could not have what they sought so dearly in life, a name.

We fulfill our ancestor’s dream that one day their children

would be set free. We are the dream that one day someone

would speak out for those whose voices were silenced.



Reminiscing on a day in the life of a slave began one Sunday morning.

Master allowed us to go to church. He wore his Sunday

best and I wore the tattered clothing that he once owned.

I listened from the back house as the minister preached

about the love of God and our fellow man.

I almost cried … I felt almost an inkling of hope

when I heard the choirs sing my favorite hymn, “Amazing

Grace.” “How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.”

Afterwards, my master and his family went back home

for Sunday dinner and fed me with the scraps from the table.

The next day master rose early and came out to the place

where I stayed and master beat me. Master beat me hard.

While weathering the stinging pain from his whipping, I

tried to fathom why he was whipping me? What had I done wrong to deserve such a fate?

After he

was done, I felt so numb. My mind wandered past the

pain of my mortal wounds he inflicted. I wondered how one

man could treat another man so inhumanely? How could he

walk proudly in the Lord's house just one day earlier and then

wake up the next morning and beat me damn nearly to death?



We Are the Dream

7

I still worked hard that day. The burning sun roasted my

wounds to scabs, while the sting of the sweat dripping into

my flesh reminded me

not to forget the

whipping I got that

morning. I was so tired

that night as I

collapsed on the dirt

floor. I dreamed a

dream that night, an impossible

dream of freedom. I dared not imagine

that one day I might be

free, for that dream

had been long ago been beaten out of

me. Yet, I dared to

dream someday my children would be

free to tell my story. My capable children would learn to read

and write to tell the next generation. My children’s

freedom was my dream. I wanted my children to remember that

my dreams for them and their unlimited possibilities fueled my

existence. Let my children tell humanity the truth. The same God

revered Sunday in church was the same

God who created us both. Tell the world the tint of my skin was

simply one shade of skin in a spectacular spectrum of colors.

I begged you to tell them I was a man, just like them.

The reason I looked different was because God wanted

it that way. Finally, I wanted to tell my children that if

those in power continue to mistreat you or any other man after I have

fallen asleep in death, please promise me to do everything in your power

to right the wrongs and potentate and pass along my dream to your children.



The Web of Violence the Spider Has Woven



How did we succumb from a web of mutual collaboration to a web of uncooperative violence? On Nov 21, 1621 the first settlers from Europe reached the new world and were called Pilgrims. They came here to escape religious persecution and to enjoy a better life. Their biggest concern upon arrival was fending off attack by Native American Indians. But to the Europeans surprise, North America’s original tenants, the Pawtuxet Indians, were a peaceful group. So, the Pilgrims were frightened until the Indians smiled and called out "Welcome." Why did they welcome these strangers from another world? It was fundamental to their beliefs in the oneness of spirit between all members of the human family.



The same peacefulness was found in Africa. This explains why the African villagers did not wage wars against the European slave traders who came to sell them into servitude; such was not their way of life.

The West African Mandingo tribe lived by a sacred creed

and reigning ancient proverb, “We are you and you are us.” Oneness is a universal law of all

indigenous cultures ranging from the Mandingo to the Kogi (one of the oldest

indigenous tribes in Northern Columbia). And a sacred teaching which mirrored the very essence of their existence was that the human family was one unbroken stream of consciousness. We are all connected as a single divine entity and expression of the Great Spirit. Indigenous tribes throughout the world confirm this experience through celestial dance, folk law and daily life. Like the whirling dance of the planets and galaxies, the ancient civilizations saw themselves as part of a whole universe. Somehow the indigenous culture knew well before modern science knew, about the interrelated structure of reality called the great web of life.

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