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African Cultural Calendar blog

The Year of the Push and Pull


The “Year of the Push and Pull” in the African Cultural Calendar is the first afriyear in the “of the diaspora (otd)” period. The name of that year recognizes that the diaspora started with both a push and a pull. That was the year that we arrived, fighting, at the Gate of No Return. We were fighting to stand on our foundation, to be who are, to preserve the world we had built in our image. The diaspora did not begin because we walked through the Gate of No Return. No, we were pushed into it and pulled through it and that is the moment when our ancestors started re-building our lives.

We have lost much since then but we have not lost ourselves. If we are going to re-build our lives, we will have to be truthful with ourselves. The diaspora could not have started without our family assisting the enemy. It was family who pushed us through the Gate. Our people have some how found themselves at a place where family had less meaning and value than trinkets. Gate of No Return This, we cannot forget but because they were family we have to save all of our forgiveness for them. The enslavement and colonization of all of us should teach us that nothing should be valued above family. It should make us all ready to stand with the ancestors and be who we are.

That is only half of the story of how the diaspora began. The other half is that the enemy pulled us through the Gate of No Return. Then, they tried to make us believe that we would never again see home. Never again would we know our land, never again would we speak the languages of our mothers, never again would we be able to call on the ancestors. The enemy pulled hard and dragged us everywhere but we have not forgotten who we are. We have never forgotten home and wherever we could, in the slave communities and in the quilombos, we called on the ancestors. We fought in any way we could not only to preserve ourselves but also to destroy the enemies.

The Year of the Push and Pull was the year that the struggle began. That was the year when we began again; when we were pushed by family and pulled by the enemy. We must forgive family but we must never speak the name of the enemy. The enemy is everyone who is not us. Re-building our lives is about us not the enemy. It is about what we can do for ourselves; we should not speak the enemy’s name because we are not to lift him up. We are to left him behind and stand on our own foundation. It has been 503 afriyears since the Year of the Push and Pull, we have fought and paid the price so that today we can have the greatest opportunity to re-build our lives and to re-make our culture.

If you are one of us, you are living in a special time. This is the rainbow we have been hoping for. We are free we can re-build our lives. All we need is the strength to leave the enemy behind.

Afriblog: Kemet 6, 503 otd.