Sunday, August 02, 2009
What is the required spirit for these times?
When Sojourner Truth spoke about working the fields as hard as any man, about ploughing planting and gathering into barns, when you read about her showing her powerful muscles to her audience, you just know that strong (physically) black women had to be the rule not the exception in her days. There were no two ways about it, she was a creation and necessity of her times.
But are we still in the age of the strong black woman? Do people even realize that a different type is required for a different epoch?
These two questions above actually underscore what should be general understanding (an understanding that I dont sense many black folk have) that, you first of all observe that there has been an era change and then the tools, skills and attitudes, even approach needs to change to keep pace.
In bible times, blessings were reserved for those who had the ability to observe the changing times. We see repeated in the scriptures, the theme of seasons, times, watching, observing, etc with some of the most revered of society being the prophets and seers.
It was so important to keep in touch with the times and know what the season was in the broad sense of the word.
Yesterday was 'Emancipation Day' (celerated by certain countries of the world), and I went along to a 'black' function. I was struck by how stuck in a bygone era some factions of the black political movement are. A lot of the stuff being proposed bordered on irrelevant, things that were effective 50 years ago. A kind of turning totally inwards tends to produce this 'out of touch-ness' among many black folks.
Anyway, back to my point;
For those who have been attentive and can observe, we are in new times, times which require a new type of black woman with a new type of spirit girding her, enabling her to do what needs to be done in her situation.
I believe that the spirit required for black women now, is the spirit of courage.
Courage is required to admit hard things, heartbreaking things, things that quake the spirit and knock the knees. Courage to mourn and cry yet get on with the task at hand, the task of forging a new path and indeed starting over.
Yes there are things one would rather ignore or try to wish away, things you would prefer they be different than they are, and courage is required to realize that a reevaluation of principles, a change of plans and surrendering of closely held concepts and idea has to take place, in some cases, until you are 180 right around.
Courage is in its own way strength but it's essence is quite different from that underlying 'strong woman' which is about being able to take anything and put up with anything.
Black women need courage to admit they have been dupped and used by those they trusted and burnt bridges for, they need courage to admit that they can no longer remain in denial or keep pretending or keep holding out and hoping things will sort themselves out on their own, so they can continue along the path that was decided years ago. They need courage to admit that there has to be a change of framework, plans, actions, courage to relearn and retrain themselves in new ways of being and relating to the world, courage to forge new networks, family links and comfort zones. They need courage to take on the spirit of humilty required to re-establish contact with the rest of society and courage to get on with it now, and while they still can!
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Posted by Halima at 10:24 am