“Roots” is everything that I thought it would be. It is painful, instills pride, has many teaching moments and triggers. I was 3 years old when the original “Roots” aired on ABC in 1977. I have never watched that version but I do remember my daddy talking about it. I’m not sure why I’ve never been able to watch that version. I know that it’s based on Alex Haley’s family. It’s a story that Black Americans’ and other diasporans share. It’s a story that we need to tell. FOREVER.
Apparently, Snoop Dogg thinks that “America just wants to keep showing abuse that we endured hundreds of years ago.” Guess what, Snoop? America doesn’t give nan fuck about our history, us or making sure that we have accurate versions of it. So yeah kneegrow- we need to watch it.
This isn’t easy to watch, y’all. I’m in tears and I’m angry. I feel rage and hatred. It’s real. It’s remarkable. Our history books are erasing this from the lessons. My daughter had a paragraph about slavery on her 8th grade history book but a full fucking chapter on the Holocaust. Slavery is presented like a mere inconvenience to black people. Like we weren’t stripped of practically everything and reprogrammed. Slavery isn’t the ONLY black narrative but it’s a pretty, important narrative that shouldn’t be ignored because we feel uncomfortable.
What bothers me most about his foolishness is that many people think like this. Jews NEVER speak of the Holocaust in this way. Armenians even commemorate the genocide that occurred during the Ottoman Empire. Over 1 million of them exterminated. NOBODY ELSE shits on their history because “it’s in the past” or “fucked up”. It’s important to make folks remember. IT’S IMPERATIVE THAT WE REMEMBER.
Why is it important? Passing our history on to younger generations is a tradition in our culture. We are survivors. Literally. We, also, have a working understanding of what we lost. We weren’t Christian and many tribes had been conquered by Muslims. My family is included by way of Ghana and the Ivory Coast on my dad’s side. We have a lineage. We celebrated our ancestors. There’s an actual part where each new parent does a take on a moyuba (it’s not that exactly but it gives a reference) when their babies were born. It was beautiful. We, also, see the inhumane treatment which we underwent. Rape, lynchings, beatings with whips with nails attached, our babies snatched from our arms, our decapitated heads on spikes… THIS SHIT IS REAL.
We can’t pick and choose how we define our history. We have to take the good with the bad.
We are Akan, Ashanti, Wolof, Mandinka, Yoruba, Fon, Igbo, Maroons, Hausa, etc….
We are still here by standing on our eggun’s shoulders and THAT story has to be told.
Tomorrow is the final installment. Will you be watching?