The price of forgetting
Where you’ve been shapes where you’re going
What is the definition of history? Is history important? If so, then what is the price of forgetting history? These are some of the questions I sought to answer in this article.
History is defined as follows … a continuous, systematic narrative of past events relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account; chronicle.
From that definition, the word that immediately jumps out is “continuous.” This leads me to believe that when dealing with past events, we are also dealing with the present and the future. So, if these periods of time that make up our lifetime are intertwined, then what would be the consequence of neglecting or completely forgetting one.
I posed this question to local artist and teacher Carlos Spivey. He commented on history being an integral part in the life-span of anything. He likened the larvae stage in the life of a butterfly to the history of people. Although it is a past event in the butterfly’s existence, it is nonetheless important in its significance to the butterfly’s identity.
To lose or forget one’s past, is to totally annihilate the initial identity or essence of that particular thing.
When I look at the “Black” race in America, there seems to be amnesia in the collective minds of the people. Any events involving us, prior to our enslavement, seem to be seriously neglected or forgotten. This amnesiatic state in which we find ourselves, comes with a heavy price. If something so simple as knowing our identity gives us trouble, then how can we seriously expect to solve the problems that plague our communities. With no identity, there can be no community.
Our youth are creative, vibrant, and strong. We must nourish these gifts, and simultaneously instill a sense of self in them. Things and people change and progress, yet some things remain the same. Issues that we face today as a people may have very well been solved centuries ago. What if we could alleviate any one of our problems with a clear understanding of our past? I believe it would be well worth a look. Principles such as love, truth, peace, freedom and justice were the pillars upon which our ancestors built nations. It is my belief that if these standards are upheld in the present society, our future could be very bright.
I asked Mr. Spivey if other communities or nationalities preserve their history/culture, and he commented that indeed they do through their festivals and folklore. Our children need ancient traditions and tales of heroism and bravery on the part of their ancestors. Our youth need to know that they are descendants of great cultures such as the Moors, the Kushites, and many others worldwide. This will serve to give them a sense of esteem for themselves and their culture. Forgetting our history leaves room for another to tell it, and who’s to say that they will have our best interest at heart? Our history is where our essence lives, where our soul lives. Reclaim it or pay the price.
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Angelenos have had enough.
After receiving billions in taxpayer bailouts—money that was intended to free up capital and get banks lending again—the large corporate banks sat on their hands and their wallets.
When I was in high school, an old man told me, “The way out of trouble is never as easy as the way in.”
My kids don’t believe that Tupac Shakur wasn’t always a thug.
They’ve been blindsided by his immortalization on T-shirts, documentaries, handbags and compilations. They see a one-sided Tupac, which mass commercialism has fed them over the past 15 years, but for many of us, we know there was a multifaceted genius beneath the tattoos and head rags.
In many ways, I grew up a child of Tupac.
This is ridiculous. Can it be said any louder? I do not want to see people’s underwear! Especially while they are wearing them.
Yes, I’m talking about young males and their sagging pants. The practice is rude, disrespectful and downright disgusting for me and others who are forcibly subjected to this sight in public. It should be labeled as indecent exposure if it’s not already, and perpetrators should be ticketed.
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