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 year (1 otd) in the “of the diaspora” 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 at the Gate of No Return. It is the place where the ancestors said that we were “fighting on arrival”. The diaspora did not begin because we walked through the Gate of No Return. No, we were pushed into it and pulled through it. In the African Cultural Calendar, that is the moment when we started to re-build our lives. It is the year that is called the “Year of the Push and Pull”.

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. It was family who pushed us through the gate, which got the diaspora started. Our people have some how found themselves at a place where family had less meaning and value than trinkets. This, we cannot forget but because they were family we have to save all of our forgiveness for them. From what they did, we should learn that nothing should be valued above family.

That is less than half of the story of how the diaspora began. The other part is that the enemy pulled us through the Gate of No Return. Then, they tried to make us believe that once through, 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 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 maroon communities and in the quilombos, we call on the ancestors.

The Year of the Push and Pull is the year the diaspora began. That is the year that we began again; we were pushed by family and pulled by the enemy. We must forgive family but we must never speak the name of the enemy. Re-building our lives is about us. 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.


Kemet 6, 503 otd.