Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What Nelson Mandela means to this Panamanian, Black Zonian child

What Nelson Mandela means to this Panamanian, Black Zonian child

Since Nelson Mandela became ill, I began reflecting on when I first learned about him and his journey to Freedom.
I then remembered the very moment. It was in the 8th grade when I wrote a Social Studies paper on Apartheid.

My reflecting led me to think of why his fight was more than just for South Africa then and now. His fight/journey was for all people of African descent and for those who believe in peace and justice. His journey was definitely for this child from Panama who understood the depth of his act.

I grew up in Jim Crow imposed laws. My community was segregated and we were the Majority, that is what Apartheid looks like.

I understood him because he gave me another name to define my story.
Many Blacks died in Panama fighting this reality. Many Panamanians fought and died fighting the concept and construct that they could not walk in streets of the American territory that was smaller than an entire country.

To celebrate Mandela's life is to celebrate what Freedom should be yet it has not been attained by the Majority around the world.

The pain is felt all over the world and deeply by this Panamanian, Black Zonian child who still walks around with the thought, how did we not go to the Skating Rink until the communities where intergrated, it was right around the corner from Rainbow City.

As I reflect more on what this has meant to me, I think that segregation helped me in many ways to see what Black sacrifice , Black Unity and Black Love looks and feels like.

As an activist who stands for many of the same issues, he means more to me today. His lessons are many and in sharing these thoughts, his greatest in this moment is Forgiveness.

Speaking truth is to be Free. To be free in mind and heart is to be willing and able to forgive. I forgive and love, as I cherish that segregated and integrated community.

Madiba is our loss. A loss to all who can see right from wrong within their own complicated story. Because of him, I know I chose the right side.

He is a physical loss. He is what sacrifice for your people, sacrifice for truth, is.

I know he will be received by the ancestors in a joyous loving way because it is his time to rest.

Rest in Peace Madiba. Thank you for opening the eyes of this Panamanian, Black Zonian child. Thank you for loving me.

Fist up!


In truth and peace,


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