Year Two: Who Am I?

‘Sometimes, in order to go forward, we have to go back’.

In Year Two of ‘Journey of a Sister’, the main character Suzanne learns all about her African ancestry, and the his-story of the religion she had been indoctrinated into.  Learning about her rich history before slavery helps her develop positive Self and racial esteem.  She begins to undo the indoctrination she had received around sex and money.  Despite her current circumstances, Suzanne is happily moving towards her goals.  She inspires Charles to awaken his inner child and start his art again!

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Year Two is based on my own ‘her story’ of discovering that I was the descendant of an enslaved African, and that I had been totally disconnected from my roots.  I had been brought up in a Christian household with the belief that the only way for me to have a relationship with my Creator was through a white Jesus.  I had no culture, no Mother Tongue, no wealth from the resources of my Motherland, and no inheritance.  I didn’t even have my original African name.  Everything my ancestors owned had been stripped from them, and as a result, I was displaced, impoverished, lost and confused.  Raised in a country whose economy had been built on the backs of my ancestors, yet not benefiting financially myself; the only people benefiting were the descendants of enslavers who had left an inheritance to their children. Yet I also discovered that I had a rich history before slavery!  Year Two features two of my poems, here’s an extract with one of them:

Extract from Year Two: Who Am I?

Suzanne realized that she didn’t really have a sense of identity; was she African, Jamaican or British?  Just because she was born in England didn’t make her English; she had never felt ‘at home’ there, and could never get used to the cold weather. Even if she wanted to claim Africa as her roots, which part was she from?  It was such a large Continent, and she had learned that Africans were captured from all parts and taken to the West Coast of Ghana before being carried away on the slave ships.  How was she going to find where she originated from?

Up to this point, her strongest identity claim was being ‘the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus’.  She had no righteousness of her own – according to the bible, even her own righteousness was like ‘filthy rags’.

She had no name with which to trace her roots; she had inherited a slave master’s name.  Africans put a great deal of effort into naming their children, even holding elaborate Naming Ceremonies, as they knew the spiritual effect it would have on the child in shaping the child’s destiny. Europeans knew the devastating effect stripping them of their name and replacing it with their own name would have on them.

She pledged that when she found out where she originated from, she would change her surname to a name from that place, in honour of her ancestors.

Greatly impacted by everything she was learning, Suzanne was moved to write a poem:

Who am I?

I am a remnant of my ancestors,

Torn from my Motherland

By the rape of slave traders.

 

Who am I?

I am a watered-down version of an African Queen;

My blood is diluted, so mixed, that it’s now in-between!

My skin is no longer its original color;

Rich, dark, like black gold;

The colour of…tar.

 

Yet still,

I have Royal Blood flowing through my veins,

For my ancestors were kings, queens, rulers,

Inventors, scientists, leaders…

(Track 5 on the ‘Seeds of Love’ CD)

She made a commitment that day to use her gift of writing poetry to help free her people from mental slavery.

Download Year Two, only 99p/$0.99:

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If you haven’t read Year One yet, start the journey by reading an extract from Year One FREE ← just click on the link!  If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow Years One and Two from Amazon’s lending library!

Start YOUR journey of Self-discovery – read what others thought about the First Edition on the Books page (and I’ve made it even better!)

Over the next six weeks, each ‘Year’ from Three to Eleven will be available to download FREE every Wednesday between 1-2pm!

I would really appreciate your feedback, comments or suggestions, so feel free to use the Contact Form below!

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Cezanne Taharqa (Author|Poet/Artist|Events Host|Workshop Facilitator|Mentor)

 Promoting LOVE through Creativity!


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