mah ancestors knew things. they created science through a harmony with nature and, told tales to the youth for remembrance and empowerment.
mah ancestors had a knowledge.
the gaze of the colonizer tells us what the white man’s standards are and what ha considers “civilized”.
Part of the colonizing process was the creation and enforcing of a hierarchy of knowledge.
Our tongues were invalidated in this process. That African spirit that posited that value was to be found in oral histories, performance and story telling was cast aside.
we are a people who shared parables, lessons and culture through our spoken word as well as documenting things with ink and image. the colonizer said that all history was what was written and through this he brought his domination- his histories, his mythologies, his values were put in place. the imperialist of Europe spread out- destroying lives, erasing histories and establishing his text.
when folk who consider they-selves political speakers ask me “why don’t you write any theory anymore?”
I respond “i do. i am always in the process of theory writing, saying, and creatin’ ”
mah theoretical understanding comes from books-true nuff. But it also comes from breathing, toughing dirt roads in South Carolina (where mah family was enslaved), laughing in the ghetto, protesting in the streets and loving those who is close.
mah theoretical output comes in the form of loose sentences, songs sang aloud, prose, stories about love/ loss, poems and pictures. mah truth can be found there- more than in any essay or structure paragraph i could scheme up.
truth and theory is where-ever we dream them. Dere is no one kind of understanding to be had and not everything to be learned can be learned in that western academic structure. mah prose is mah theory and these scattered writings is a unfinished manifesto of thoughts waiting on wings and a rainbow shawl.
i pull them to me. in close, where i can see and im happy because i write for me
and mah ancestors.
and they understand.