All Ghanaians look one way
I happened upon a video featuring Sangu Delle, proprietor of Heel the World , this weekend. The interview was remarkable in many ways. From the host’s awkward intro where he clears his throat, mutters through an introduction, his stumbling offer to have Sangu take some tea and FINALLY his pronouncement that Sangu Delle “did not look Ghanaian”, there were many takeaways from the segment.
For my part, it was good to hear that a Ghanaian other than myself had suffered the insult of those dreaded words: that you do not look like what you are. I mean, what is a Ghanaian supposed to look like? Do Sangu Delle and I look un-Ghanaian because we are well-fed and properly groomed in public? What the heck, man!?!
Sangu Delle gave a brilliant, inspiring interview about youth and achievement. What I learned from his conversation is that we will all get further if we look at what we have and build on those things, instead of obsessing over what we lack and wallowing in the same.
I had only heard this term in passing in the past, and never really took the time to study it. Somehow, it became a topic of conversation on my job. My co-worker asked me if I’d seen the pictures of Black babies that White Southerners would use as alligator bait.
“Yeah. They used to tie babies up over a swamp and wait for the alligators to jump up and snatch them,” he repeated.
He suggested I look it up. It took me 2 days, but I finally did, and in doing so discovered this video.
How devastated would I be if some man scooped up one of my toddlers and brought their lives to such a violent, horrible end? This is why I believe in Hell.
Salty enough for the slave ship?
I dropped the kids off in Ohio for Spring Break at their grandparents, much to their delight. Spring Break was looking rather bleak prior to that. Now that I’m back at work, it would mean a week at our local daycare…and the kids didn’t fancy that idea at all.
Anyhow, I discovered my mother-in-law is in the throes of planning a Juneteenth Celebration in her town, and is also working on getting the Gammon House on the National Registry of Historic Sites. The Gammon House was part of the Underground Railroad. She talked about some of the fascinating people she’s encountered while working on the project, one of whom is a professor and historian.
“Did you know they used to lick the slaves before putting them on the ship to test how salty their sweat was?”
“Yeah. The reason high blood pressure is prevalent in the African American gene pool today is because of how they selected us back then. The more water you retain, the greater the chance you had of surviving the Middle Passage. They generally chose Africans whose sweat was the saltiest and stuck them on the boat.”
Judging from the results of my ascent up Table Mountain last year, I certainly would have been one of those Africans slated for a 3 month cruise through Hell. However, knowing myself as I do, I would have found a way to end my life upon arrival in the New World. I couldn’t spend 12 Minutes a Slave, let alone live 12 Years a Slave.
Pharrell’s song does actually make you feel Happy
My father-in-law was drafted into Vietnam, which was one of the bloodiest, horrifying, useless and baseless wars of our lifetime. America had no business in that war, and Black men had even less business than that.
One of the most enduring memories that my father-in-law has of that war is the bodies that were piled up in the streets after the Tet Offensive. He said they “sprayed people in the streets like ants” and then brought in bulldozers to scoop up the bodies.
And then he saw ‘Happy’, the Saigon version, and was astounded. He was so pleased that those people had recovered, that they were singing and dancing in the streets – that they had smiles on their faces.
It made him happy.
What did you learn this weekend? Was any of this news to? The licking…the licking was the most eye opening.