Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Ngoma with the Ancestors By: Ms. Beauty Turner

A Ngoma with the ancestors ( Message to President Elect Barack Obama)
By Beauty TurnerAward-winning journalist, advocate, researcher and former resident of the Robert Taylor Homes

It was a golden bronze and sunny 70-degree-day-in-mid-Autumn in November, right here in Chicago, a day God had ordained and blessed. Normally, the climate in Chicago at this time of year is frigid enough to make polar bears wear fur coats and retreat inside to hibernate from the cold. But something about this day, Nov. 4, seemed strange, historic and spiritual. A black man with a funny name, Barack Obama, had endured a whirlwind run for president of the United States of America against the political elite—and won.
He did it with a slogan that echoed across the heavens: "Yes, we can!" Now it's: "Yes, we did!!!"
An estimated 250,000 people—black, Asian, Latino and whites alike—covered the emerald green grounds of Grant Park in the heart of downtown Chicago. Most just wanted to be a part of history, others just wanted to get a glimpse of the first African-American president and first family that just happened to be from Hyde Park right here in Chicago.
President-elect Obama has family, like his father, from Kenya in Africa as well as family, like his mother, who just happened to be white from Kansas.
African drums and dance delivered the messages of our ancestors. A Ngoma took place in the streets of Kenya. Chants of Obama poured like sweet wine from the lips of the men, women and children who wore colorful ancestral tribal garments as "Yes we can" leaped from their lips with a joyful tone of the colorful rainbow of American people all over the globe.
The ancestors shed tears in the form of rain three days later as told to me in a dream more than a year ago.
I dreamed that I was back in the days of slavery. I was in an old red barn at night. In the barn with me were prominent African-American leaders such as Frederick Douglass, Ida B Wells, Sojourner Truth, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and others.
They told me that it was time. The red blood of our ancestors was crying out from the ground for justice. They talked about the rites of passage in slavery days. They showed me naked brown bodies of our young men and women and children drowning in an angry green sea. They showed me black men hanging with a loop from a weeping willow tree. They showed me bloody bruises on an old white-haired Negro man, and we were crying.
In his hand, Douglass held a long grain of wheat. Wells held a sack of cotton, and they handed me a kernel of corn. We danced around flickering candles to the beat of a drum—a Ngoma with the ancestors.
They told me to look out of the barn door, which I did. A white mist filled the air with a subtle fog, and a clear window appeared. I saw the 21st century where a young black man with golden skin, the color of a setting sun, standing on a stage amidst the people with his arms outstretched. A loud joyful cheer echoed from the mouths of the people. His name was Barack Obama. He had become president of the United States—black man!
In the dream, the ancestors told me that after he is elected it will rain for three days. They told me to put my hand in the rainwater and feel the tears of our ancestors, for this is the very place that once owned slaves. Now a child who is the descendant of the people who were enslaved will occupy the White House.
The ancestors told me to keep him focused concerning the plight of the poor and to tell him "Forget not from which you came!"
Mr. Obama, all eyes of the nations are focused on you; so stay focused on the mission that was ordained by God, which he has laid upon you to do!
Be a president not just for some of the people but for all.

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