BEN and BERTHA BENJAMIN
(Symbolizing the “New Negro” generation of the 1920s)
Institute of Ancient West African
“Spirituality and Intellectuality”
“Wisdom and Knowledge of the Black Experience”
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THE STORY OF THE BLACK FAMILY
I EXIST BECAUSE MY FAMILY EXIST
MY FAMILY EXIST BECAUSE I EXIST
I COME OUT OF THE BLACK FAMILY
AND THE BLACK COMES OUT OF ME
Work in process to be published in 2012
The Meaning of the AfroSacredStars
The psychology and philosophy of The Game Black People Play
Grandpa, May 31st, Age 20, 1954
A birthday Dream
One day around the last of February or the first of March 1954, when I came from my work detail there was a pink slip of paper on the bed in my prison cell saying that I was coming up for parole. It also said I had an appointment to meet with the parole board the following week. I guess it was some kind of automatic thing. I hadn’t thought about it because all of my plans, when I got out, was based on doing all of my time and get a clean release.
I had no problem making parole, and Monday, May 31st, my birthday, when I returned to my cell from my work detail, I found another pink slip on my bed saying that I was to be released from the Colorado State penitentiary Saturday morning June 12th, 1954—on an out of state parole to Alexandria Louisiana. I was going home in 12 days!
Even though I only had twelve days to go I began feeling real depressed and I couldn’t understand why. However, I had a dream that night that sent my mind into a whirlwind and gave me something real serious to think about; I called it my birthday gift.
When I returned to my cell from supper, I looked at my release date once again to make sure it was real, and laid on my bed and soon fell into a half asleep-half wake state of mind and drifted into a dream like state.
I could see myself floating to the ceiling of my cell, where I laid on my back looking down in my self. I saw myself standing next to my bed like I was waiting for somebody; finally Priest Sowa and Priestess Mabole came into my cell and stood facing me.
They just stood and watched me. I felt like they were comparing me to some standard in their minds. They nodded their approval to each other, and Priestess Mabole put her hand on top of my head and Priest Sowa put his hand on top of hers’. They did not say anything and I did not either.
Finally, Priest Sowa spoke, “As the spirit of your ancestral grandfathers and Priestess Mabole, as the spirit of your ancestral grandmothers, we have been your Guardian Angels, and have been counseling you for the last eight years. We have walked down many paths together as you traveled through the cosmic universe of puberty. Now we have come to the end of that journey. From this day forward, you are on your own, you have become a man and must keep council with yourself."
Priestess Mabole nodded her head, went to the sink, cupping her hands, she filled them with water and washed my face and began reciting a prayer:
"We wash you from all uncleanness of the past; we cleanse you of the errors and mistakes of child hood; from now, you follow a new path called manhood; follow that path to the end."
"We come unto you, our Ancestors who begot us; we come unto you with this present; a new Black man. Receive him as your own; call your companions, ancient and honorable as yourselves to share this gift of ours."
"You, our Ancestress, first in our thoughts, because greatest of all we know, we come to you for blessings; rejoice with your companions, but in your rejoicing, forget not those who bring this gift of a Black man; we give you honor, give us benediction."
Just like sitting in a movie theater, I could see my ancient Ancestors answering by slowly lifting the spirits of seven girls and seven boys (I was one of the boys) above the clouds. The girls found themselves before the Great Mama SEVEN, the African Goddess of African American female sexuality and family survival.
Mama SEVEN: “Why are you here?"
The Spirits of the girls: “We want to choose, give birth too, and nurture a destiny for America’s Black family.”
Mama SEVEN: “What is the nature of the destiny?”
The Spirits of the girls: “For Black women to have a strong desire for, give birth to, and raise their families in a society based on three freedoms.”
Mama SEVEN: “What are the freedoms?”
The Spirits of the girls: “Spiritual freedom, physical freedom, and economic freedom.”
Mama SEVEN: “I proclaim these three freedoms become the wisdom of your wombs and energy for your eggs to grow, raise your children to be creative, and thus your desire for freedoms will become a reality. So be it.”
Then I saw that the seven boys found themselves before the Great Papa SEVEN, the African God of African American male sexuality and family survival.
Papa SEVEN: “Why are you here?”
The Spirits of the boys: "We have just entered the age of fatherhood. But we are in a very difficult position here in slavery; we want to chose a destiny to turn our world right side up since slavery have turned it up-side down, to create a society based on spiritual, physical, and economic freedom?”
Papa SEVEN: (Reaching into his bag of tricks), He handed each one of the boys a red, black, and green star, with a chain of the length that would allow it to be worn around the neck and hang over his heart. In the center of the star was the spirit of a Game, a miniature Black Panther playing tricks to amuse him by doing seven things at one time.
He spoke thus, “Take this Game and play it to the maximum. Teach it to your children; remember that you have to have a big heart to play the Game. And if you are true to the Game, then the Black family will be protected, and you will reach your destiny to turn your world right-side-up. To, it is sealed!”
With those words, I saw the Ancient Ancestors and the boys and girls slowly descended to the earth.
Then I saw the girls and boys get married. The Ancient Ancestors took the seven girls and seven boys to the center of the village where they had a group marriage. Their whole marriage ceremony was preformed in dance movements, led by the Black Panther and Red Hawk, Papa and Mama Seven’s chief messengers.
It was a sight to see by the music of seven drummers, a Black Panther standing on his hind legs dancing to a boogie woogie beat, and just above him the Red Hawk dancing in the wind, in hover flight, with her long feathers vibrating to the rhythm of the music. Then there were the boys and girls, paired-up, using only dance moves to consummate a man-woman relationship to raise a family.
Then I saw myself turn to Priestess Mabole and ask, “What does all of this mean?”
“That means that the seven men and seven women are the original Ancestors that grew unto the original Black families. And it was those seven families that grew in to the original Black tribal and national Society of a new people called African Americans.
“What do you mean a new people?”
Priestess Mabole gave me a grandmotherly smile and replied “Let me give you an example, if seven women and seven men were stranded on an isolated Island in the middle of the ocean, and they would teach their generations of children a strong desire to live in a society based on those three freedoms. Now move up in time some 20 generations, when those seven families has grown into a society consisting of millions of people, these freedoms will be their ultimate desires, and they will get them by any means necessary. And that will never change no matter how many generations pass or how big they grow. It becomes their very Soul as a people, this is something very hard to change, if it is possible at all.
This means that the Black families and society are doing things. They are fulfilling a destiny for Black people to live in a society based on the three freedoms. Another way of saying the same thing is that, it was what the Black slaves prayed, cried, fought, and died for the destiny of three freedoms the Black family is destined to fulfill.
On the other hand, when these original seven families are born and grow up, they will automatically fill the needs for the family/society to reach its destiny without knowing what they are doing. It will become the nature of their soul to produce all of the things the family needs to survive and reproduce the next generation, and in the process, everything that they think, feel, become, and do, is working toward fulfilling their family’s destiny from as many directions as their are family members."
“Now we will turn our attention to the Black family and society you are about to join out in the free world, with whom you have to get in tune with. To understand the world of the Black family, I will have to tell you about the psychology of the Black family.
The original 14 that got married were, a male and female Yoruba, male and female Igbo, male and female Akan, male and female Secree, male and female Wolof-Serer, male and female Nzere-Bantu, and a male and female Aja.
However, they decided that the best way to bring unity to the community, was to marry cross nationalities; meaning that the men and women could not marry the women and men from their nation. For example, an Akan man married an Igbo woman; a Yoruba man married a Wolof woman etc, etc.
This meant, after a few generations, the children in the family were one seventh Igbo, Akan, Aja, Nzere-Bantu, Yoruba, Secree, and Wolof-Serer. And it was these perfect Sevens, which grew into a brand new people, called African Americans, and with that, a brand new spiritual constitution of their family, hint, the new Black family." "Are you paying attention to what I am saying to you boy?”
Me: “Yes ma’am, you said that seven nations of people were put in a pot, mixed together real good, and transformed into African Americans, and that is where the Black family fits into the picture; the Black family is the pot where the mixing took place."
Priestess Mabole: “That is the worry of grandmothers dealing with thier grandsons, getting their attention. Oh well! Yes, that is part of it, but she also taught them that the Black family also mixed the personality types of the seven nations, and each family uses those personalities to create and play their Game for its survival, in the form of a family culture. This also means that each Black family member has a personality and a mind of its own.
It is this family mind that manages the affairs of the family; that mean that the family has a spirit whose chosen destiny is to live in a society based on the three freedoms they were blessed with. And it is a number of these independent families working in harmony that create and manage the affairs of Black Society and its destiny.
From one point of view, the Black family can be seen as a set of seven distinct African personality types, with each member of the family representing one type."
Me: “What do you mean by personality types?”
Priestess Mabole: “I mean the personality types of the people mixed in the family pot you mentioned. This means:
Akan male and female types; Are the thinkers, they love ideas, and deal with the intellectual aspects of the Black family.
Yoruba male and female types; Are the Artist, they create the culture of the family.
Igbo male and female types; Are the economic arm of the family, they are traders by nature.
Bantu male and female types; Are the leaders, they deal with governing the family.
Secree male and female types; Are the rebels of family, they expand the family’s spiritual, physical and economic boundaries.
Wolof male and female types; Are the ambassadors of the family, they deal with bonding families into a national society.
And, Aja male and female types; Are the mental health healers, they are always messing with people’s mind, good or bad.
This means that every African American, male and female child, are born into the world with all of these types, but with three of the seven types dominating their personality; one type is from their mother, and one type is from their father, and one type connected to their personal destiny. It is like their mind is a seven member board meeting, with one type acting as the chairman, and two types acting as assistances, with four at large board members.
Each of the children line-up their types different from each other, and that creates individuality in the family members. The point being is that the Black mind can call upon any of these personality types that best deals with any given situation.
This frees up the mind to be creative, so is the case with the Black family spirit, it frees its mind to be creative in reaching its destiny; it too can call upon any combination of types to survive and move forward."
Me: “What do you mean, line-up their types differently?”
Priestess Mabole: “For example, your dominate type is Yoruba, Akan and Igbo are its assistances, with the Aja, Secree, Bantu, and Wolof as voting members.
However, all of the types are equal in value to each other as far as the cosmic world of your mind is concerned. And if either type is mal-functioning or missing, or if their organization becomes confused for some reason, you become mentally insane.
Since it takes a village to raise a child, you are also influenced by the types of your parents, family, extended family, community, and society. But, most importantly, it means that each child in the family have an individual sense of direction.
This sense of individual direction, which takes place in early childhood by the time the child is four or five years old means that, their learning has developed sufficiently to become a distinct individual, dominated by one of the African personality types mentioned above. At this age the child begins lining up the other six according to their chosen personal destiny. And also the child begins to establish themselves and find ways of fitting into Black family/society’s destiny. They do this on their own in accordance with their dominate personality type and the way the other types are lined-up. Thus is the history of the Sacred Cosmos of the Black family and its Historical Personality.”
I saw myself think about that for a minute and ask, “How could the Black family exist in slavery when families were broken up by its members being sold all of the time?"
“The family exists no matter where its members are located. Let’s take you, for an example, you have been away for six years, while you were gone did your family exist? Did its influence cease to exist? No.”
I thought to myself, “Even though I don’t understand the meaning of every thing Priestess Mabole is trying to tell me, I know it is something that I must give some serious deep down thought.
Not only could I see the truth in everything she said, but I also could see the will to survive, the will to choose a destiny and, that the will to reproduce is the holy trinity that determines everything a person thinks and does before and after birth in the form of human nature. I also saw how it all fit together into Black family’s destiny to promote spiritual, physical, and economic freedom for Black people’s Society.
As Priestess Mabole finished talking, a Black Panther came out of the depth of my heart and entered the secret vault where I keep my highest valued beliefs. He looked around for a minute and seemed to be satisfied with what he saw, and he got busy doing I don’t know what, but I could tell he had settled in for a permanent stay.
After checking this out a while, I saw myself turn to Press Sowa and say, “You have told me a lot of things about a Black Panther, but you never said anything about him taking up resident in my mind,. How is that connected to manhood?”
He replied, “He symbolizes your Ancient Ancestral philosophy of life, and this philosophy of life is your manhood. He has been asleep in your soul every since you were born, and we just woke him up. You inherited him from your father, his father, his father’s father, and the list goes on and on. Moreover, in this respect, he will be your companion for the rest of your life. It is all about the spiritual transformation from childhood to manhood.”
“Does every man have a Black Panther in the middle of their mind?”
“Every man has their Ancestral philosophy of life in the middle of their minds to serve as the foundation of their manhood. But it doesn’t take the same form in all men. In some Black men, it takes the form of a Black Panther. He is the Historical Spiritual Self of your manhood.”
“What does a Historical Spiritual Self mean?”
Priest Sowa smiled as he said, “There is a personal self, like when you say, "I did this all by myself", and there is a Black Collective Self to which you belong, like when you say "Black people did this ourselves". Ourselves is historical because it has been around for over four hundred years. Some people get our 'Historical Spiritual Self' mixed up with God, but a Historical Spiritual Self is just a group of people doing what they have to do to survive and build a society based on spiritual, physical, and economic freedom.”
Priest Sowa looked me up and down, and gave a nod of approval, and continued, “A man is a warrior and father. A warrior is a man and a father. And a father is a man and warrior, which is the Holy Trinity of Manhood. 'Be Who You Are Always!. We must leave now", and he turned to go.
I stopped him with a question, “Where are you going?”
He replied, “Priestess Mabole and I will reside in the deep recesses of your mind waiting for you to start a family. Then we will become the Guardian Angels of your sons and daughters as they go through their puberty years, and wait in their minds until your grandchildren are born.
We will continue going down the generations of your family deep into the future; the beat goes on and on. That is what life is all about son.” With these words, Priest Sowa and Priestess Mabole walked out of my consciousness. In “the dream” I thought to myself, so the Black family, and each member, has a psychology and a philosophy of our Game. This dream blew my mind in my personal dream.
I realized how important it was. It had something to do with the meaning of my life. I woke up the next morning feeling great for a while, but it wasn’t long before 'doing hard time' took over my mind; I still had twelve days to go before I got out of prison, and that was not easy.
When in prison, there are two times when you really do hard time, the first six-months after you get to prison, and six-months before your release date. The first six months is spent getting your mind in tune with prison life, and the last six months is spent putting together the details of your master plan to get your mind in tune with the streets. However, that was not my case.
Being as making parole was not in my plans, I still had a few years to do on my sentence, I was in my 'doing my time' state of mind when my parole hearing came up. Plus, after it came up, deep down inside I really didn’t think I would be paroled. Now I had twelve days to go before I went home and my 'master plan' for the streets was not even started.
This threw my mind into overdrive, it was like I had received a big shot of speed, and the last twelve days in prison my mind was in a mad dash to get myself together to get ready for the free world.
When I awoke from 'the dream' and added that with my release date, my mind began bouncing around the hundred of things I thought about doing when I got back in the free world, and impatient came into the picture in a big way. Being impatient and trying to put together a master plan for the streets in a rush does not mix well; it can drive you crazy.
Add that to the hundreds of things I played around with in my mind like the goals I had before I went to prison the first time, and being a flat footed hustler with the hoes as my hustling buddies. I spent most of my time finding out as much as I could about 'the Game' by listening and getting involved in prison-yard talk; that was part of how I did my time. And I had a general un-refined plan for the streets.
Now, I had to take that general plan and add it to the things in 'the dream' and get them all fitted together in my mind, and create a master plan.
From 'the dream', I had to integrate things like a philosophy of life, and what it means to be a father, man, and warrior; The birth of the Black family, and my sudden overwhelming desire to raise a family.
Plus, I had to deal with the overwhelming case of homesickness for wanting to see Mom, Daddy, and my sister and brothers. And at the same time, I had a deep sadness over the fact that I would not have the counseling of Priest Sowa and Priestess Mabole anymore. Also, I especially can’t forget to figure out the Black Panther Game, and the philosophy of manhood, and what it meant to me.
But my mind would jump from one thing to another so fast that I never got a chance to really think about anything in detail. For the first time, I became afraid for myself. I thought my mind was moving so fast it would explode, and I would end up in a crazy ward of the prison or the State’s nut house for the rest of my life.
And to put the icing on the cake, I would have dreams that the Warden had lost my release papers and I could not get out, and I was trapped for life. Meanwhile, the days seemed to drag along ,and I found myself counting the hours, even minutes, until finally my release day came around.