Sunday, January 20, 2008


The mind is fragile. I work with it all the time. As a standard practice I try to check my thoughts as much as I can and I surround myself with people who will check my actions and words as well. My Momma told me when I was young that if ever I get in trouble, it would be because of my mouth. It was funny back in the day when my mouth would say something before my brain realized but as an ADULT, I now have the power to bring down PRESIDENTS or start WARS so its not so cute anymore. So not only as an adult but in this new-age a FEAR, there is a fine line between "keeping it REAL and keeping ALIVE. So it's not unusual that I’d be out and about and go off on a rant with no common sense and I hear, “HEY, you going there” by friends which would snap back into reality. I think as Black people we need a little checking because we do know we can all GO THERE. The problem is that when we do, and there is no CHECKER or LIFELINE to bring us back, we go all the way into a place where there is often, no return. This characterizes and stunts our SPIRITUAL FEAR because that "THERE" is also our ownership of our reality, the midpoint of one’s responsibility and possibly the one thing that defines your existence. Is being checked always a bad thing? That’s hard to say since we do not have the ability to foresee the future, but we can see into the past.

We fantasize about going back through time, the power of knowing what you know and going back in time to re-do or even drop knowledge to those close to you. A question like this you can find popping up at dinner conversations or job interviews. They look like fun games to play but it’s really a very dangerous thing to do. The mythos of time travel being dangerous is true because it cannot only open up the good in MAN but it can open up a DARKNESS as well. I’m not talking about Armageddon-type stuff, what I am talking about are the emotions that spill out of looking backwards into places sacred.

I like history. I've loved it since I was a child, throughout high-school (yes I was a nerd), college and I use to teach it during my post-graduate commitment to Urban schools. World Cultures, Western Civilization, Northern Africa and Middle-Eastern Studies, Russian History, US History and African-America History all were part of my teaching regiment and vocation for my students. The more I got into it on the teaching side, the more my Worldview changed and expanded and it wasn’t from appreciation. Once you look into what mankind has done to itself, the way Man’s very nature towards itself and others, you begin to have an underlining anger at the ignorance, fear, horror, exploitation, destruction, waste and manipulation we harbor. Then there is the trust factor. Since history is the rule of patterns and circular events, for the most part, the POWERS THAT BE come calling with the same “banter and bane” and as a historian you can smell them coming.

On the day we appreciate Martin Luther King Jr. I took a trip back through time. Looking back at a lifetime of King streets and boulevards, centers and squares, elementary and high-schools, the speeches and documentaries, books and theories, the audacity of past employers explaining to me why I have to take a PERSONAL DAY to celebrate the KING'S NATIONAL HOLIDAY and then I looked outside of my window watching some man yelling at a woman about her use of twenty dollars to buy groceries (they had to be on drugs or something because no one normal argues about buying food for the house). I think back at King’s beginnings, his original ambition and how it evolved into a reluctant Civil Rights Leader, how he was the center of the Sun, the hottest part and out from that energy he lit all others within his shine. I looked at how once that sun implored, many of those dreams and shared ambitions fell in upon itself into something less radiant yet just bright enought to still see the road to be traveled. Still there is the Hope but not as HOT or as BRIGHT.

We know who those people are today, we know those that continued the movement and still we continue to look back at the glory days as a reminder of what use to be, what can be, should be, and if we have the ability, to ask WHAT IS?

If you are a time traveler, your answer is No. If you were there at the point of origin you should either me MAD AS HELL or just MAD CRAZY. My friends and associates can never watch historical shows highlighting Black struggles. They often reply, “It makes me mad and makes me want to hurt some White people.” And so they avoid those feeling by avoiding their history. So who is really safe? Who benefits?

That’s the power and the flaw with TIME TRAVEL; you have to be careful where you go and what you really want to see and know. In all the Sci-fi stories on Time Travel, there is always that fear that to do it, and possibly "change" something, it would cause "catastrophic" events to mankind and possibly the UNIVERSE. The theory is the “Butterfly Effect”. But I think it goes deeper than that. I mean, if you physically had the ability to go back, would you just want to see or would you become an active participant? Now take that same theory but place it on a mental level, if you can mentally go back in time (history), would you just want to observe or would you want to be an active participant and "change" it? Fix it? Make it right?

Regardless of the effects, the change would in essence remove POWER for those that covet it and redistribute it to others (sounds like a REVOLUTION to me). The end result might destroy Man, Country or even the way we praise our Higher Power but the arrogance that it will destroy the universe or even GOD? ... HELLO PUT ME IN THE TIME BUBBLE, I'm going back to Carthage and chillin' with Hannibal.

Carl Sagan, the famous Astrophysicist and Astronomer once said. " I have mixed feelings. The explorer and experimentalist in me would very much like it to be possible. But the idea that going into the past could wipe ME out so that I would have never lived is somewhat disquieting."

OK so you know, I am talking about Knowledge and Memory and not wiping out the Human Race but it's all the same and relevant. Are we really just here acknowledging just the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. or do we Time Travel back and relive his existence. I was not born when King was alive but his intense ambition lives within me, my only frustration is, there are few that can brave enough to Time Travel with me to take on the fire hoes, the marching, the boycotts, the sit-ins, the real closed dialogue and the demands of being a Martin Luther King Jr.

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