March 19, 2022
The Breath Of My Ancestors/Cream Shall Rise blog/podcast is dedicated to restoring the heritage and raising the self esteem of African Americans and the African Diaspora at-large. It is written and broadcast to remind the offspring of formerly enslaved Africans of how they triumphed over chattel slavery, apartheid, racism, the Jim Crow South and the New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration efforts of those who would see them re-enslaved. To remind them to re-member and re-gain their prominent positions as leaders of the free world. Also to re-mind them that racism/white supremacy is still very much alive in the yet-to-be United States.
It is dedicated to showcasing the trials and tribulations of those who were formerly enslaved and highlight the intestinal fortitude and the indomitable strength of character it took to overcome a 400 year holocaust. It is produced to remind the world that We Must Never Forget that America was built on the backs of enslaved Africans and to demonstrate that Black Lives do Matter in spite of the efforts of racist in leadership positions who insist that they don’t. And finally it is written and streamed to the world as a harbinger of restoration, reconciliation and inspiration. A tribute to the indomitable immortality in the Breath Of My Ancestors.
There’s an African Proverb which reads…
“Until the lion is able to tell his story, the hunter will always get the glory.”
We welcome you to The Breath Of My Ancestors/Cream Shall Rise Show. We present Spoken Word Poetry and Storytelling to dispel myths and dispute lies that have plagued formerly enslaved Africans in America. We bring remembrance to our aid by calling to mind the various and many storied accomplishments of our ancestors, upon who’s shoulders we stand today.
We present these stories in the vernacular of those eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century African American pioneers who provided most of the ingenuity and labor that not only established but empowered these United States. A labor force, for which there is no compensation, will empower any nation.
The dialects and expressions used in the storytelling segments of our show, combined with factual data, although brought to you through a fictitious character (Lightnin Gray) are designed to keep the listener engaged while at the same time educating, uplifting and inspiring.
The world knows there’s an international need for more positive images of African Americans, especially historically. Revisionist have painted formerly enslaved Africans in a dim light that has never been favorable. These unfavorable depictions of Blacks in America need to be addressed. We are not the worst people, we are the first people. But because some of us have been trained into believing we are the worst rather than first, we find ourselves failing our youth and failing ourselves, especially in America’s inner cities.
Low test scores, high dropout rates, escalating substance abuse, mounting reports of irresponsible sexual behavior, soaring incidents of crime and violence, and disproportionately high incarceration rates have become almost common place in the African American community. More than 100 major cities across America bear this shame. These self-destructive behaviors can be directly associated with low self-esteem and little-to-no interest in America’s present forms of education, or dare I say, present forms of miseducation.
Dr. Joy DeGruy, has conducted some of America’s most thorough investigations of these behaviors. She has clinically proven that black people in the United States suffer from Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. She states, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (P.T.S.S.) is a condition that exists as a consequence of multigenerational oppression of Africans - and their descendants - resulting from centuries of chattel slavery; a form of slavery which was predicated on the belief that African Americans were inherently / genetically inferior to whites. This was then followed by institutionalized racism which continues to perpetuate injury.”
She reminds us that this low self-esteem or as Dr. DeGruy puts it, ‘Vacant Esteem’ fosters feelings of hopelessness, depression, and an overall self-destructive outlook. If “Riot is the language of the unheard” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, then our people are shouting all across this nation.
The Breath Of My Ancestors/Cream Shall Rise blog/podcast offers the black community hope and inspiration by providing them with history lessons that dispel the myths and the lies that caused the ‘vacant esteem’ in the first place. Through the artistic use of poetry and theatrical storytelling, along with opportunities to address the trauma through discussion, the program reminds African Americans of their historical greatness and that Black Lives Do Matter in spite of being told the contrary. The series entertains, educates, enriches and empowers by:
Stimulating a genuine interest in African American history, revealing little-known, often neglected or misunderstood facts.
Showcasing great black leaders, known and unknown, as clear indicators of past achievement.
Improving race relations by dispelling myths of racial inferiority.
Supporting community and government organizations seeking to improve the social and economic status of African Americans.
Reinforcing the importance of Art as an integral and essential part of a quality education.
This collection of remembered ancestors is an effort to help heal the wounded psyche inherited by the descendants of formerly enslaved in Africans. It is our belief that the obvious low self-esteem that paralyzes many Blacks in America is the result of miseducation and willful deceit. This miseducation was implemented by storytellers skillfully telling tales that spread throughout black neighborhoods.
These stories almost completely destroyed the African American’s respect for themselves. This Program is just one positive step towards restoring dignity to the minds of those who seem to have lost their nobility adapting to the low expectations of those who capitalize on their underachievement.
So this work is born of a deep need, a burning desire) to dispel those myths, refute those lies and ultimately elevate the souls of black folk. It is here to remind us that we need not be ashamed of that period in our history when we were enslaved. But rather, proud to have survived and overcome the ugliest sustained treatment of human beings in the recorded history of mankind. These stories, these poems, this program is purposed / meant to lift the burden of shame that we have been carrying nearly 500 years. And motivate us to raise our heads with the pride of knowing that the strength of Almighty God, our intestinal fortitude and sheer determination brought us through. It is offered to help us embrace that part of our history which proved that black people are worthy, tested, tried and true.
Ladies & Gentlemen-Brothers & Sisters we Introduce to some and present to others:
Breath Of My Ancestors/The Cream Shall Rise - A Cultural Enrichment Program Uplifting Humanity One Verse At A Time
The Cream Shall Rise
Listen Africans Diaspora
and you shall be told
of your glorious history
in the days of old
When you were Kings and Queens
of commerce and trade
when the tubs you bathed in
were gold in-laid
When your bodies were covered
with the finest silk
and you drank from silver goblets
the sweetest milk
When your bedposts were made of oak
and the finest cedar
and the world sought advice
from the African Leader
Yes, listen dear children
and you shall hear
how you sailed the seven seas
without any fear
How you gave the world medicine
and cured those ill
and constructed awesome Pyramids
with your mighty will
How when some of the world’s people
were living in caves
your cities had street lamps
and the roads were paved
Why, when some were scared of fire
and thought the world was flat
you had smoke coming from chimneys
and globes on floor mats
How you wore the finest rubies
diamonds and pearls
and filled the universities
with your boys and girls
How you introduced writing
so mankind could read
and concerning arts and science
Africans took the lead
Yes, listen my people
and you shall know
how you gave the world
splendor a few decades ago
How you built the Sphinx
how you swam the Nile
then sailed up and down it
to relax for a while
How you marched through storms and war
defending God’s name
then wrote laws of anatomy
to contemplate your frame
How you were the first people
to develop speech
then you created the Griot
so you could learn and teach
Yes, listen good people
check your history, recall
you carried the torch
that lit the way for us all
And try to remember
as you go through life’s maze
that one of these good old glorious days
You’ll be back on top
for the cream shall rise
Just as sure as the sun lights the eastern skies
THE CREAM SHALL RISE!
Below is the response from Dr. Henry Lloyd McCurtis - Psychologist Stanford University
The pipeline from cradle to prison is delineated by this continuum of social pathology. ‘Low test scores, high dropout rates, escalating substance abuse, mounting reports of irresponsible sexual promiscuity, soaring incidents of crime and violence and disproportionately high incarceration rates have become almost common place in the African American community.’ This behavior can be seen in more than 100 major cities across this nation.
The matrix of social, economic, and political dynamics that influence the human service institutions can be deconstructed using critical race theory inspired poetry and storytelling. The program offers a series of poems and stories that map the developmental path from the cradle to the grave, visiting prenatal vicissitudes, mother infant attachment consequences, early interactions with caretakers that crystalizes the self with vigor or enfeeblement, the nurturing of exploration and curiosity, from Pre-K leading to the above pipeline that utilizes the financial systems, healthcare systems, educational systems, housing and justice systems to facilitate flow into the prison pipeline.
Integrating the study of history, sociology, political science, economics, and psychology with this perspective utilizing the spoken word and illustrating the resilience of African people through the Maafa with images and the poetic storytelling as a stimulus for deconstructing the dialectic of oppression and resistance makes sociological and psychological sense. The synthesis will reflect an integration of an Afrocentric perspective into the liberal arts and social sciences that will be a significant advancement in education. Thank you for sharing this with me. ~Dr. H.L. McCurtis