Hi everyone!! I’m back!! As you all know, I’ve been spending time preparing and hanging with vacationing family. The break was well needed by all, plus, unrealized at the time, it was my first time having my mom around during Mother’s Day weekend since becoming a mother myself. It was different (not in a bad way) and much needed for our relationship to fully transform into a grown child with a child status. So I thank you all for your patience and for desire to read the content that was already posted until I came back.
Also, shout out to all the Mothers! It is my personal belief that Mothers are to be celebrated everyday for all the things they do, who they are and what they mean to us. One day just doesn’t cut it. Mothers do way more than required all the time yet will treat it as if it is a requirement all because we’re trying to keep everyone we love happy. I salute you, I thank you and I’m honored to stand in the capacity of mother with you! You are appreciated.
On yesterday, in celebration of Mother’s Day, my husband and kid said it was an “anything goes” day for me. So after church, I chose to go to a wonderful seafood restaurant called Jinright’s. So delicious and very keto friendly. Well, while we were in the area, we decided to drive to a local island called St. Simons. It’s a very historic place, especially in the African-American/Igbo community as it was the site of the suicide of Igbo captives bound to America to have a life of slavery which occurred in 1803. While we went to Fort Frederica National Monument, I couldn’t help but to have in my mind the lives of the slaves that inhabited the land about 5 miles away well over two centuries before I could even step there. I wondered about the strength, tenacity, courage and power it took to come to America as a captive, get off the boat and walk into Dunbar Creek which is a tributary of the Frederica River. However, it’s the spirit that lives there today that I want to focus on for this post.
In light of today’s news of Richard B. Spencer leading fellow white nationalists in protest against the removal of a confederate statue, one has to question what does this change when life in the United States, especially on the east coast, is filled with reminders? When those who are against the removal of this statue are mad enough to bring torches out in protest, it makes me question if they have paid attention to anything in American history. Recognizing one side of things does not erase the other. Furthermore, the positive, patriotic or prideful emotions it may evoke in one may stoke the fears and pain of another. Just as recognizing Mothers on yesterday did not erase the fact that there are fathers, recognizing the histories of other cultures will never erase the fingerprint of European history on America. And that’s the spirit that lingers on St. Simons Island.
Regardless of the multi-million dollar homes that have been erected on the island, Gullah and Geechee (descendants of the Igbo) lives are still there. No matter how Fort Frederica has been turned into a national monument while there are no federal markings for Dunbar Creek/Ebo Landing, the story still continues. The spirit of that pride, power, courage, conviction, tenacity within the African-Americans who live there is strong. It won’t change. There will always be someone there (at least in my lifetime) that will tell the story of the Igbo captives. There will always be some variation of it. There will always be a hint towards it (hint: Think Beyoncè’s Love Drought). History neither fades in the absence of the event that makes it a historical event nor does removal of physical, tangible reminders of the event diminish its memory. One can liken it to the memory of someone who has now passed on. The removal of their personal items such as clothes, shoes, glasses, jewelry, etc does not mean their very existence or the history of their time here with us is erased from our memories. We might like those items around to help us find closure but it’s not necessary to keep them out as a constant reminder.
Equally as important is being okay with those who choose to erect the pictures of those who have gone before us as their way of keeping the deceased person’s memory around. However, we all must be mindful of the feelings that can be brought about because of memories. If the feelings of one person evoke such a sense of entitlement that their action creates fear in another person, one must consider this question: what is my goal of having what I want? If the ultimate goal in this country is to bridge the gap and to create true unity, then perhaps we need to create more unifying symbols while learning to appreciate the differences in the way history is viewed among different cultures. Slavery will never be thought of as a “sweet time or a time of blessing” for those of the affected minority communities. The struggle of the civil rights movement will never be thought of as a “beautiful moment in history” for many. Trying to force feelings that will never be there is like trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip. It’s just not going to happen unless you hurt yourself to accomplish that feat. Now who enjoys hurting themselves on purpose for an unnecessary reason?
Perhaps I’m wrong about this. Perhaps I’ve over thought it. However, it may be just the conversation this country needs. What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below.
Until next time, have a marvelous day!