We all love our Black heritage, well let’s assume we do. But what exactly is our heritage?
Is it the progressiveness we have as a people as we continue to overcome oppression in a mentally destructive environment?
Is it our talented traits that have changed the course of music, fashion, pop culture, art, technology, politics, sports, education or other aspects we have dominated?
Is it our celebration of Civil Rights we fought for as we struggled to be defined as a man?
Or does it start when we were abducted from our motherland and chained and bound to the land of the free?
I say it begins before any of that, I say it begins before the United States was even established. I say it begins when we were conquerors of the world, founders of civilization, and pioneers in science, math and astronomy.
Honestly, I believe our heritage started before time itself, but that’s a whole different universal and spiritual journey. This Black History Month, I want us to be reminded, if not enlightened on our majestic heritage. Our vision of greatness should exceed hip-hop rap gods, buttocks-inflated supermodels, and flashy dope-slanging trap kings. Yes, we are gifted people in the society today with our degrees, businesses, families and record-breaking talents. But that did not come from picking cotton and singing slave hymns.
Society tried to convince us that diseases are in our blood but forget the fact that Imhotep, the astronomer, physicist and philosopher who designed most of Egypt’s greatest architecture in the year 2200 B.C., the man who created over 90 astronomical terms with 48 healing processes for different injuries, the man who after death was named “Asclepius” (which literally translates to “Medicine God”) is in our blood.
They create the stereotype of us being destructive and violence is in our blood, but fail to realize that Shaka Zulu changed the fighting and tactical methods in 1818 to the point where tribes would flee just from seeing him. This man, who united a whole nation of different ethnicities in South Africa, and is still to this day seen as one the greatest military innovators and leaders in Africa, is in our blood.
They want to convince us that our women are “ratchet” and “ghetto” yet fail to remember that Nefertiti — renowned for her beauty, loyalty and intelligence, the woman who created her own religion and is renowned for her power, the woman whose daughter would soon marry the great King Tut and continue great works — is in our blood.
They try to convince us that being lazy and poor is in our blood, yet Mansa Mussa King of Mali from in the year 1306 A.D. was the richest king in history, the man whose wealth could only be measured by covering the whole world in as much gold as you can imagine, and multiplying that by 2, the man who decreased the value in gold for five years and changed the economy of almost every city he went to, is in our blood.
Not only did we have historical figures who changed the face of America, we have figures who have changed the world and created history.
So when you celebrate your heritage, remember the reason we have and continue to strive in a world that is against our melanin covered souls, is because it’s in our blood. We have strength in our blood, intelligence in our blood, royalty is in our blood, and most of all, greatness is in our blood.
Nobel Michael is a senior mass communication major from Lancaster, California.