“We must dare to invent the future.” –Pres. Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso
In this second installment we will look at three more things that those of us serious about modern Maroonage and advancing the Sankofa Evolution (nee Movement) must do to further the Evolution. In order to Invent the future we must build Afrakans, families and communities that are capable of meeting the needs of our kind of people in the areas of sovereignty. This continuing essay examines some factors that can help us to accomplish this task. We continue with point Number 4.
4. We must build bonds among OKP at the grassroots level, bringing together Ìsèse singles, families and groups for local events such as coffee shop gatherings, sports bar meet ups, study groups, workshops, pot-luck dinners, ceremonies and other welcoming, community-building activities
Our pre-colonial/pre-conversion ancestors were family- and community-centered. Bringing together Ìsèse singles, families and OKP at the local level, provides the opportunity for interpersonal Ìsèse in our daily lives. This lessens our dependence on modern technology (i.e. social media) for interaction with others that share our beliefs and paradigm of Ìsèse Olúwa. Creating local communities based on friendship, respect and loyalty brings into existence a network of community-wide local support where none existed before.
These local communities give us other Ìsèse people of worth who we can communicate, study and honor our Òrìsà. We can also exchange ides interact socially, and help each other when needed. Many of the concepts and values within the Ìsèse Olúwa Paradigm we are reconstituting involve how to interact with other Ìsèse people and the world in a way that is consistent with Ma’at. Interacting with local Ìsèse offers us the chance to be around people that share an understanding of these concepts and values, and who live by them as well. This can be a very rewarding experience for adults, but it also allows our children to observe learn from these interactions.
Just as Ìsèse families can often accomplish more than someone who is single, Ìsèse communities working together can often accomplish more than a single family can.If these local communities bring together a number of local OKP to pool their knowledge, experience and manpower, there is almost no limit to what they can accomplish both locally and regionally. These local communities also provide an excellent environment for new Ìsèse singles and families to become more fully involved in our culture.
5. We must share and exchange practical information between singles, families and local Ìsèse communities, and OKP regarding personal practices, group practices and traditions, and organizational methods, with an understanding that we can benefit from each others’ experiences, but that we will likely all do things differently.
Scholarly study and understanding of the Ìsèse Olúwa Paradigm, the Sankofa Evolution (nee Movement) and Odù Ifá are very important. However, there is also a deep need to share the practical how-to information among those practicing Ìsèse. How to build a local community, how to start an ilé Òrìsà, community dynamics within the group, the role of an Oluwo within an ilé Òrìsà, information on how to maintain an ilé Òrìsà and it’s traditions, building relationships with other Ìsèse in your area, or tips regarding marriage and/or family development. The list of subjects is without end.
The motivation for sharing this practical information is to simply aid others in learning from your experiences. It is not about control. It is not about creating divisions within our Movement. Those receiving the information will use what works for them, and they should discard the information that does not work for them.
The sharing of information should be a give and take between Ìsèse and Ìsèse communities, allowing them to learn from successes and failures of those people they know and trust. The reciprocal exchange of information allows singles and groups to build on each other’s knowledge and experience.
Information shared between Ìsèse that actually know each other on a face-to-face basis, is more valuable than information read in a book or from the internet. When you actually know a person or group, then you know if they actually wal the walk, or if the information they share is just talk.
6. We must bring OKP together at regional gatherings and with face-to-face visits, so that Ìsèse kinfolk, families and individuals can build bonds, work together, learn from each other, and come to personal understanding of each other that helps prevent needless and useless conflict.
The only way to really get to know someone is to spend meaningful time together with them. We must encourage Ìsèse families, singles and OKP to convene and get familiar with each other, exchange ideas and information at face-to-face meets. Developing meaningful, person-to-person relationships is the best way to build trust and confidence between Ìsèse. Relationships grounded in trust and developed over time and in frequent close proximity to each other increase security and prevent and/or diffuse potential conflict among OKP.
The more frequently we are able to gather together at rituals, ceremonies and life passages, the deeper friendships and trust grow. The more we convene OKP, the more opportunities there are for them to exchange information, work together, and assist each other. From a practical standpoint, local and regional gatherings must be the focus. We must encourage Ìsèse and OKP to travel to regional events a minimum of 4 to 6 times a year and to attend local gatherings as frequently as possible. Only with this kind of frequency and intimacy do the bonds of friendship and kinship grow strong, National events cannot and do not produce the same opportunities to organically bond and grow deep, meaningful relationships.
Getting to know other Ìsèse practitioners, families and singles at regional gatherings also inspires an increase in travel and personal visits between Ìsèse within the same region. Both the gatherings and personal visits encourage the future generations, namely our children, to play, learn, build and grow friendships and trust amongst their peers. As our children grow into adults, they will already know each other and share bonds that will serve their own families and communities, and the tradition as a whole.
We’d like to know what your thoughts are on these these suggestions for invent our future.
Are there other ways can you suggest and explain to bring positive attention and perspective to Ìsèse, making it easier for Afrakan people to find Ìsèse, learn more about it, and become actively involved in building kilombo/quilombo?
What experiences have you had in guiding others on the path of ReAfrakanization?
How are you and your family and/or community “Daring to Invent the Future?”
Please leave your comments below and well be sure to respond and perhaps start a dialogue.
Towards ReAfrakanization, Family Development, Nationbuilding and Sovereignty,