As we celebrate this Black History Month, our Ultimate Transformation Moment takes a look at the concept of Black history.
First, I have to begin by saying that I cannot actually buy-in to the notion of a Black history.
History is history. Let us be clear, Africa is the cradle of civilization, and it is African people who were the originators of this civilization. Hence, all history originated from Africans, who were Black people. This being said, either all history is Black History, or simply, it’s all history.
However, we are faced with the fact that the writers of textbooks have attempted to erase the contributions of Africans and African Americans throughout the ages. It is in this regard that we must reach back and bring forth this knowledge. We must share and disseminate the many and varied contributions of Black people in history.
While information on most of the contributions and achievements are not provided in schools, we must make a very deliberate effort to teach this information to our children and share it with everyone, because the inventions and creativity of our people have benefited all, not just Black people.
So, how does history play a role in our health and wellness? Well, first let’s reach back and look at the construction of the great pyramids of Africa. Our African ancestors had to have been mentally and physically fit to create structures that have withstood decades. Fast forward to the emancipation of our people in the United States. The 13th Amendment was passed in 1865, and if a generation is 30 years, many of us like myself, are only three to four generations away from slavery. The aftermath of slavery remains a very real part of the people we, as African Americans, are today.
There are three primary ramifications of slavery that I believe play a significant role in how we view our health and wellness today.
First, there was genetic engineering. Slave owners kept the strongest Black male slaves procreating with the strongest Black female slaves. They were just seeking to keep future generations of workers strong and productive. Some of the strongest mental and physical people of all time were born.
Secondly, due to the harsh conditions that we had to endure–inhumane slave ship conditions, barely acceptable living quarters on plantations, some of the most horrific crimes against humanity for more than 400 years–two innate abilities arose: those slave who were not broken became tremendously determined people. Our will is stronger than steel, and we know how to overcome.
Finally, the goal was not only to enslave us physically, but also to enslave our minds. Our history and greatness was stripped away, and in its place was the persistent belief that Negros can’t.
However, we know that we can and have been able to overcome mighty odds, but we’ve got to continue to free ourselves and free our minds.
Our health and wellness requires a very thorough look into our mental and spiritual health, because 400 years of brutality takes time to heal. But, we have the mental, spiritual and physical strength as well as stamina hard-wired inside of our being.
That’s our Ultimate Transformations Moment. Peace and be more.
Erich Nall is the owner and founder of Ultimate Transformations Training in Los Angeles. He is the author of “21 Days to Ultimate Health and Wellness.” The certified trainer, nutritionist, motivational speaker, and dedicated life coach is a regular guest and commentator on KJLH 102.3 FM’s the “Front Page” with Dominique DiPrima. As founder of Collegiate Search Youth Organization, Erich has been assisting youth in the community for more than 20 years.