The American government was forced to abolish slavery. Millions of former slaves were left on their own to fend for themselves in a land that was unfriendly to them. It took a civil war to release these human beings from enslavement. The nation was forced to rethink its economy, political attitudes and very social fabric.
Slavery had been for many decades the foundation of America’s economy. Some fool in government saw the potential that well trained black men, skilled in fighting The Confederacy were assets in the genocidal war against America’s Aboriginal Peoples.
The mission to put down the various rebellions fell to the US Calvary and what became known as ‘The Buffalo Soldiers’ of America. The irony is that former oppressed slaves were trained to subjugate and oppress America’s aboriginals.
Well, the ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ became men of legend in America’s south and western regions, fighting for America, in The Spanish, Mexican and Indian wars. These men were rewarded with half the normal wages of a US Soldier and promised acres of land upon the fulfilment of their military rotation. Black Seminoles became the armies’ best trackers and warriors.
Interesting history, but why this letter?
Bob Marley said long ago: “If you’re a black person, you should know your history, and know who you are.”
The cradle of American Blackness can be found in the Caribbean, a place that calls for the enterprising, creative, imaginative and strong leaders of North America. A place that is still open for business, true democracy and own personal touch/influence.
America has shown just how manipulative, misleading and uncaring it can be. Black leaders were murdered, and regular black folks were treated like the enemy. Cops harass simple folks because of the colour of their skin or where they live. Chances to advance in an economy controlled by others are very limiting. Empathy is shown through words, but not continual actions. Promises of social, political and economic change that are not kept.
Marley sang: “If you know your history, then you would know where your coming from, then you would’nt have to ask who the heck do I think I am? Become a Buffalo Soldier in the heart of North America, stolen from Africa, brought to America. Fighting upon arrival, fighting for survival”, leave the war in America.
I believe the Caribbean offers Black North Americans a place of peace, a magnet drawing upon your creative, spiritual ambitions and energy. A place to be shaped socially/politically. America is too big a place, filled with too many people with diverging ideals.
A smaller place is needed, a homeland that welcomes who and what you are. America will not ‘change’ in your lifetime, but remain dangerously divided. Invest your energy, your vitality and genius in a place of acceptance, open to change.
“Then you would know where you come from, then you would’nt have to ask who the heck do I think I am”. Become a ‘Buffalo Soldier’, and shape your world, your peoples’ universe.