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Kem Graduation

A Tree and Its Roots

“A tree cannot stand without its roots.”

This proverbial wisdom is absolutely true, no matter what kind of tree we are talking about. And so with the world of humans, a family can be considered as a tree. The visible part of the tree is what we tend to notice. This can be considered to be the living relatives. The the roots of the tree are hidden. These can be considered to be the dead relatives or Ancestors of the family tree. A family is strong when it functions together. There must be communication between each part. Considering the wisdom of the proverb, if a family ignores the roots of its family tree, that tree is doomed to fall.

A family stands on the accomplishments of its Ancestors. The living must learn from the successes and failures of those who came before. Any heritage or inheritance of the family must be to the credit of those who have passed on before. Without a common heritage, there is nothing to bring a group of relatives together to even call them a family. What will unite them? What will they do together? How will they know how to treat each other? What goal will they collectively have to achieve something for their descendants?

In recent times, this larger perspective of a family has been degraded. So it is in Meritah (Africa), many families and entire tribes have abandoned the heritage of their Ancestors. As a result, the ancient African civilizations have been greatly weakened and once mighty families have fallen to become firewood or lumber for European, American, Asian and Arab interests. It is in this desperate context that The Earth Center of Meritah was established.

The Earth Center was established by Master Naba Lamoussa Morodenibig, a high priest and master healer from Western Meritah. He provided a link for people all over the world to connect with Kemetic (Traditional African) Culture. He realized that this link would also be needed in Africa itself, as the Kemetic traditions are becoming inaccessible even to many descendants of Kemet on the continent. Foreign religions and political ideologies have created a hostile environment for anyone promoting Kemetic Culture, leaving the children of Kemet disconnected from their roots.

Thenuziri Grad Gen 1Two such children were fortunate enough to discover The Earth Center and enroll in the M’TAM School of Kemetic Philosophy and Spirituality. This is the original education system of Kemet and the heritage of all of its descendants, meaning all humanity. Kemetic education takes the form of initiation. It is not simply a classroom experience. Initiation shapes every aspect of the initiate’s life, how he sees himself and his surroundings, his goals, his do’s and don’ts etc. Initiation brings the   initiate into the way of life of his Ancestors, in other words, his roots.

The M’TAM initiation provides a comprehensive cultural foundation for the human being. The cornerstone of Kemetic initiation is the Kemetic language, Ré N Kemet or Medu Myeet. Language is at the foundation of human culture. Without language, there is no way for a group of people to communicate even a single idea. The language carries the ideas and principles of the culture. For an idea to exist in a human mind, there will have to be a word for it. Without a word for it, how will we make sense of it and communicate it to others. Medu is a highly refined language that has words for many concepts that don’t exist in English, including words to describe the spiritual (non-physical) existence. This is why the Medu Myeet class is the cornerstone of the initiation.

Thenuziri Kaqemna headshotKa’at Ibi is of the second M’TAM class. Ka’at Ibi loosely translates to meditation. Students in this class will learn the exercises and techniques to strengthen and harmonize the mind, body and spirit. Ka’at Ibi is the predecessor to all forms of meditation known to today, such as Yoga and Qigong. Fundamentals of spirituality are also taught as the initiate is forced to reconsider everything about himself and who he thinks he is. The origin and goal of a human life is explained in a way that puts the mind at ease by clearing up the confusion brought by the modern religions and ideologies.

The Sounnt (healing) class teaches the inner workings of the human body. The basic philosophies of healing set the foundation for how we understand the goal of healing and how to achieve it. Initiates also learn how to diagnose disease and identify causes of disease. Healing apprenticeships are also available for Sounnt graduates who can eventually take on healing as a profession.

The new graduates have succeeded in completing the long and difficult journey of their first level of initiation. Upon graduation, they received names that were chosen by reading their Earth Energies. Therefore, these are the names that the Earth itself has given. The graduates each received an individual name to express their personal destiny. Ogunleye Idriss Oyewumi will now be known as Ouzerba, meaning strong soul. Naba Lamoussa Kader will now be known as Kaqemna, meaning seeker’s soul.

Thenuziri Ouzerba headshotAs a group, these two are now bonded as brothers by the same family name. That name is Thenuziri, meaning “Tree of the God WSR or UZIRI”. WSR, as the Ancestral God of humanity, was the one to bring humanity the civilization that separates us from animals. According to the Kemetic Holy Drama, WSR was killed and his coffin ended up next to a tree. That tree grew rapidly to at least 5 times its normal height. This can also be seen as a metaphor to show how much an individual will grow if he keeps the principles and energy of WSR within himself. May they both be strengthened and inspired by this name to grow as that tall tree, fed by humanity’s deepest roots; to grow beyond the normal human limitations, keeping the principles of their Ancestors and Ancestral Gods.

Survivor's Notebook

Spiritual Revolution

Bois Caiman Ceremony

A depiction of the Bois Caiman Ceremony

On the island now called Hispaniola, where Columbus first landed over 500 years ago, was the French colony called Saint Dominique. In the chaos of the French Revolution, which began in 1789, an extensive network of Maroons, enslaved Blacks and “freed” Blacks launched a rebellion in 1791. In a ceremony known as Bois-Caiman, the leaders of the rebellion made a spiritual pact to support their cause. Days later, on the 25th of August, 50,000 captives rose up and destroyed the plantations. Around 1500 plantations, about 25% of all plantations on the island, went up in flames in one night. The smoke from the inferno could be seen from as far away as the Bahamas. Smoke and ash obscured the sun while saturating the air and sea. The Haitian Revolution had begun.

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Feature Story

No Island of Peace

 

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“There can be no island of peace in an ocean of blood and tears.” This is a wise saying that is certainly relevant, even in the literal sense, when exploring the role of the Caribbean islands in the transatlantic enslavement trade. Early in the colonial period of “discovery”, these islands were actually some of the first to meet the imperial hand of the European colonial empire, as it stretched across the vast blue waters of the Atlantic. The white sands covering many of the beaches that are now tourist attractions once bore the bloodstained footprints of humanity’s greatest genocide. During the period of the slave trade, spanning from the 1500s to 1800s, these beautiful islands were often the first stop along the infamous “Middle Passage”. They would become colonies and homes to large slave plantations and with that, would also become a new home to many descendants of enslaved Africans, once chattel slavery was finally abolished.

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Talking Drum

Is it our time?

Sunrise over lake

The Sun rises, beginning a new day.

We don’t question so many ideas that we are told are facts. We take for fact that north is up and that gravity pulls us down. We assume that if today is Monday, tomorrow can only be Tuesday. New generations may never know life without cell phones, internet and video games. This world that has been artfully built for our amusement and convenience is distracting us from the reality of things.
Let’s notice that the calendar we are using has names for months and days of the week that are never explained to us in our formal education and never discussed in society. Do these names have no meaning or are the names insignificant? Where do these names come from and who decided that this is the way we should tell time? These are questions worth asking.
Upon investigation, we discover that the names in our calendar are mostly taken from Roman mythology, while the names of some months come from Roman emperors and Latin numbers. When we say today is Saturday, we are saying the day belongs to the Roman “God”, Saturn. In other words, we are worshipping Roman culture and mythology when we use this calendar.

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Cover Story

African Festival of the Arts – Chicago – 2016

Dayo-Egungun-Ancestor

“Egungun Ancestor”, by Adedayo Laoye Oil on Canvas, 1998 From the Dixon School Art Collection, Chicago, IL

The African Festival of the Arts announces Rose Royce and Howard Hewett to headline ‘togetherness’ celebration

Monday headliners join stellar entertainers from across the African Diaspora

(CHICAGO) – The African Festival of the Arts (AFA) has announced a stellar lineup of entertainment led by its Labor Day headliners Howard Hewett and Rose Royce.

Hewett and Rose Royce will take the stage Monday evening, Sept. 5th. Held each Labor Day weekend in Chicago, the Festival offers the best in entertainment from around the world, and this year is no exception.  From Sept. 2-5 in historic Washington Park, these headliners are just one element of the renowned festival that offers a glimpse into the many unique treasures of the African Continent including African-centered offerings from across the globe.

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