Short Story: “The Starting Point in the Making of a Race is the Home”

Listen Siblings, I come in peace,

“Mother, I do not understand; to be part of a Nation you must fulfill a role. Was there really a time when people considered themselves to be part of a Race but did not do anything to further it?” — Onitaset Kumat (as Alm Hiel)

Continuing on this month’s theme of exalting John Edward Bruce, I write a short story incorporating his ideas on “The Making of a Race.” There he contended that it is in the home that the race is made. With this in mind I look into the distant future after all the activity of the African Blood Siblings when our current era is known as the “Pre-Liberation Era” to those future Africans who benefit from today’s activities. We visit our Literary Family in a Prosperous, Independent African Community and see at least figuratively what Liberation means. Witness, the African Blood Siblings is a Race Organization to create Race Civilization. Many will read this call to action, few will respond. Please let it be you. Our Future can be worthwhile or worthless. The choice is yours. The consequences are your descendants’. Try to understand everything written.  Then help realize this dream.  Many say they are Black Nationalist, yet have no vision or activity toward a Black Nation.  Others, Pan-Africanist but no vision or activity toward a united Africa.  Here’s the vision and the system of activity.  The choice is yours.  Future Liberation or Future Enslavement?  Join.  Subscribe, share, love.

Short Story: “The Starting Point in the Making of a Race is the Home”
By Onitaset Kumat

So a citizen is more than a resident, a woman is more than an aged girl and an African is more than a person. In every group there are roles, and Alm Hiel along with a class of fifty-nine other girls were preparing to be transported to initiation school. It’s here where they become African women.

Her mother Rebibu Katsha memoralized the moment, sharing with Alm a pendant of her grandmother’s and preparing Alm with the reality of education, “Alm, you will leave here a thirteen-year-old girl, and return a twenty-year-old woman.”

Eight-years of training finalized by initiation rites transform girls into women, people into Africans, residents into citizens. Thereafter Alm was a member of a typical number of organizations: of a Sisterhood, of a Race, of a Nation and soon to have a new role in her Family. Elders, with the approval of Rebibu Katsha and Rebibu’s brother Hakani Matin paired Pathaza Adini and Alm Hiel together. The two, now adults–Organized Prosperous, Independent Communal Africans–wed one another consummating their marriage shortly after. As both were trained on how to pleasingly consummate, the experience was fluid and promptly induced a few more.

Alm sat comfortably in her lover’s arms on a rest day when she noticed her smiling mother and blushed. Rebibu spoke up, “Busy night?” All laughed. “Or was it a busy morning?” This question made Alm sit up, though Pathaza could not help himself from playing with her full, soft locks. He played unconcerned about the mother-daughter dialogue.

“Mother, I hope that we did not wake you.”

“Well I don’t sleep while I’m cooking.” Rebibu elicited more blushing. “But you know your younger siblings don’t need to hear your . . .,” she paused and Alm, understanding, hoped her mother would finish there, but hoping is not always enough, “‘experience.'”

Pathaza lightly chuckled, but a flush of imperceptible blood stayed on Alm’s cheeks. Were she less melanated, her face would look as red as the very blood there; but hers is a beautiful black where all of her embarrassment is kept in her expression. It was then that Rebibu herself burst out laughing.

“My mother,” she taught, “did the same thing to me. Oh I thought it was cruel! But I know you are my daughter; not only in how expertly you make Pathaza dote, but also in how flushed you become. My lovely first-born, my mother’s grand-daughter, my line, I am so happy that you are home, but my, learn to take a joke.”

Then Alm could not help from smiling. Her mother must have waited many years to catch her first-born with that playful joke and Alm figured she must tell her grandmother that the family still had a sense of humor. However realizing now how her mother could hear her ‘experience,’ Alm told her, “I promise to quiet down, Mother.”

Rebibu, feeling jolly for her daughter’s return suggested, “You’ll need Pathaza to promise that he won’t make you too loud.”

Pathaza gloatingly added, “I can’t make any such promises.”

When Rebibu snapped, “Well you were the louder party so Alm’s promise is enough.” They all laughed and Pathaza pleaded how he loved Alm’s mother.

In seriousness Rebibu reminded Alm how a new house on their property was being made available. Rebibu sent Pathaza to look it over with her Brother. Alone with her mother, Alm, ever scholastic, began a discussion on home decoration which eventually related to race.

“Mother, I come from school. I am so happy for my success. Let me quiz you.” Her mother assented. Alm continued, “Who said, ‘The mothers and fathers of the Race have a duty which they cannot evade nor avoid; it is to teach their children to love their Race; to study its history; to honor its great men, and to be true to its traditions.'”

Rebibu answered that many of us agree with or have said that sentiment. Though she continued, “If I had to guess who you mean ‘John Edward Bruce.'” Alm was impressed, so Rebibu continued, “In my years with the Sisterhood, we have many times reviewed what it means to be a woman. But I also remember Bruce from my schooling.”

“Well, I’ll give you a harder quotation, ‘there has never been a white historian who ever wrote with any true love or feeling for the Negro.'”

“Onitaset Kumat?” Rebibu asked, “No, no, Marcus Garvey!” Alm affirmed. Rebibu continued, “Alm, you know better than to memorize quotations and names from the Pre-Liberation era. ‘We mustn’t confuse mastery with mimicry, knowledge with superstitious ignorance.'”

“Oh the ancients!!! But yes, mother. I’m just excited is all. I won’t quiz you anymore today.”

“I don’t mind, but if you want to say something, please.”

Alm lives in a Prosperous, Independent African Community. From birth to her twelfth year she lived in the safe part of the community where no Europeans or Asians were allowed to tread. Now coming from school, she had learned that there was a race of people different from hers, hostile even, and she learned more about her upbringing in the process.

Alm spoke, “John Edward Bruce has been on my mind.” Her mother sat on the floor beside her. Alm continued, “He had said, “‘The difference between a Race and a Nation is one of degree.’ Mother, I do not understand; to be part of a Nation you must fulfill a role. Was there really a time when people considered themselves to be part of a Race but did not do anything to further it?” Her mother affirmed. Alm asked more, “And Marcus Garvey, he had warned against European propaganda and how never should an African decorate her own home with European propaganda or anything to glorify other races, did Africans really do contrary?” Rebibu affirmed assenting that she had read distant history to that effect. Alm asked again, “And John Edward Bruce said, ‘The starting point in the making of a race is the home’ and ‘A Race, then, is a family’ and he said this early on, how did Africans have broken homes, broken families and an absence of race consciousness and organization even afterward?”

Rebibu answered, “We only need to be grateful to those before us, who addressed the cruelties in an effective and intelligent manner so that we don’t have to. Those whom sought to recreate Civilization and whose shoulders our Civilization lay.”

“Onitaset Kumat,” Alm said. “He must have been a kind man to have struggled for Race Organization and Race Civilization.”

“He struggled because many heard but few listened. If more had listened, it would not have been a struggle. The few, the African Blood Siblings, those were our race, those were the Africans, those are who we are. But that’s ancient history now. We are grateful to our ancestry, without them who knows how we’ll be or if we’d be. Quite a few dis-organized were killed off. But we rescued many more.”

“Yes, were I in that time. I would have organized behind that Philosopher.”

“You never know dear. But certainly, the starting point in the making of a race is in the home. So you are now an African Woman, think on how you’ll decorate your home and prepare for my grandchildren a living arrangement befitting another generation of Liberated Africans. A Race brings about a Race Civilization. What you do in your home, your family, your life, that creates or destroys your Race. Never waver in your knowledge.  Never waver in your wisdom. Never waver in your love.”

Pathaza called out to the two. Looking to him, then winking at her mother, “I won’t,” promised Alm.

“I won’t let you,” finished Rebibu.

A reading man and woman is a ready man and woman, but a writing man and woman is exact.

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