Your name as your destiny.



I was thinking about names and how many of our folks in Babylon don't got the institution of naming setup in their/our communities... and about a convo we had in my study group recently relating to Malidoma's "Of Water And The Spirit" and how naming is so important to helping a newly arrived Earthling overcome the struggle of finding their destiny, as soon as possible... and I know one of the big hinderances from folks I'm close to, about taking on a new name is the idea that they don't know the folks giving them a name, especially our generation.

Like ain't none of my homies gonna take the name Muhammad from the Nation Of Islam cause they don't feel they know them, even tho they might respect them.

And I thought about folks taking Egyptian or "African" names in the same way... folks look at it and suck their teeth cause even tho "we come from Africa" it's just not real familiar...

But what is familiar? What realistic connections do we have? I think if we look close we can find it in eachother...

Off the top of the head... my friend who is from Haiti and her elders... I think of my own mother from Africa and her elders... and immediately we realize we have more direct connections available to us than we thought, if only we look to eachother instead of only looking to our individual ancestry...

Cause part of my hesitation with Kwanzaa is that I have trouble seeing the direct or real connection to MY personal past in it... it comes off as an intellectualized connection to "our" past but not "my past"... and that intellectualized connection IS IMPORTANT, don't trip... but... when it comes to something like taking a name, I honestly wouldn't go that route... cause I just wouldn't feel it to be an authentic connection to my unique past...

But when we talk about nation building... friends often become family in history... right?

What if we started greater utilizing folks who actually have direct connections and initiating (so-to-speak) ourselves not into some intellectualized version of our traditions, but into the ones we actually connect to through our friends-turned-family and the connections they can share with us. Especially since I know so many folks who have at least one parent from a diaspora island or from the continent itself.

Like, what if I allowed my homie from Haiti's mom or grandma, to give me a name? That'd be something I (and our folks here) might be more willing to roll with...

Encouraging folks to share their connections with the larger community... almost like, instead of collective economics, a form of collective heritage sharing... thus our past comes to us thru these direct connections... those of us who can't get our names from our own grandma... might get our new names from our friend's grandma...

It would take humility to take ownership over someone else's grandma like that, but I can see it being a unique and different tactic... for those of us who aren't receptive to the tactics utilized thus far by cultural nationalists like Dr. Karenga (founder of Kwanzaa) or the Nation Of Islam...

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