Monday, December 31, 2018

Ohhh Freedom, Watch Night Service,Shine On 2019


Those who've actually fought for freedom might have gotten weary, yet never tarried, for S/He who feels it, knows it. And those of us who benefit from such sacrifice and activism which gifted us life, shall be forever grateful. As for my Family Spiritual traditions, we give praise to life and give thanks to God, during this time of the year.  I celebrate #WatchNightService on New Year's Eve and pay homage to this day as FREDEDOM'S EVE.
As some of our African American Ancestors, were emboweled in American slavery, who would imagine such a moment in time whereby the fate of your destiny would come by the stroke of a pen and happen upon you by word of mouth. Do you believe it? Could your Faith withstand the weight of such news? Most certainly the shackles from one's own mind would need to be released, before their feet. I imagine that our Cultural Rootworkers, Gris Gris Men, Hunters and Nanny's had already caught a notion and knew where to look for a sign of Freedom...while others waited in a quandary, some headed to the forest to gather ceremoniously as "Mbongi", and being natural star seekers, we began to look to the heavens for "that infamous star" giving us cue upon midnight -- Freedom had indeed arrived! 

My Ancestor Hazel Eliza Evans "Paine" (1822-1917
lived to  tell her story; She is a celebrated Historical
Woman of Liberty County, Texas. foto cr: C.Cullen
Historically January 1, 1863 represents the first effects of the Emancipation Proclamation, serving as a military tactic that first released the bondage of those enslaved on rebellious Southern territory against the Union Army under Lincoln presidency; this included some of my own Ancestors of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina; Yet, it'd be an ongoing battle in the Civil War with others of my Ancestors serving in the United States Colored Troops, paving the way towards the abolition of slavery by the 13th Amendment, passed through Congress January 31, 1865 and ratified December 6, 1865.
"I say that my folks, are the most resilient, brilliant Human specie on this planet" ~R.Califa
For no matter the tactics or the terror, we were and are a liberation minded people, who've navigated slave ship horror stories, launched scores of uncharted rebellions, to waging the strife of everyday plantation life, striving to thrive. And with success, God was at the helm, with Spirituality binding us as it is commonly known about the deep Soul of Black Folks.

My Ancestral Matriarch known as Harriett Eliza Evans "Paine" was born in Tennessee and carried to Texas by the slave owning Hardin Family; During Freedom's eve, and years after Emancipation Day, she continued to work her finger to the bone, whereby news of her Freedom as well as over 250,000 others enslaved in Texas was "delayed" until June 19,  1865, hence the celebration of Juneteenth in Texas and across America today.

Remember to cook up some Good
Luck New Year's food traditions.
On Freedom's Eve,we worship in prayer and reflection proclaiming God's glory to see forward such a day made possible through our Ancestors; As the New Year transcends into Emancipation Day of Freedom Celebrations, we shout in praise with unspeakable joy.
We give praise to God for our deliverance through a legacy of Faith, Family and fortitude, while holding up the blood stained banner of slain liberation fighters, unjust lynchings of Family members and the surviving descendants of the Trails of Tears.  We send love and ease to the broken hearts along the way, finding strength and inspiration celebrating "How We Got Over", Hallelujah!!! A new day is upon us as 2018 comes to a close in preparation to hail up 2019 New Year's Day - Emancipation/Freedom Day for Black/African America! Harambee 7x's.

Deeply inspired, I encourage that you please check your local Black Church/Temple/Gathering place for #WatchNightServices and or Freedom's Eve Services in celebration of our Emancipation Day; do bring a young person and talk to your Wisdom keepers to continue to prosper these traditions through Family and Community #givethanks ~R. Califa Calloway / @nzoCALIFA

Stockton, CA

Lisle, Illinois

Little Rock, Arkansas
West Oakland, California

Oakland, California
From Whence We Came Gullah Geechie Watch Night 
+ Emancipation
South Carolina, USA
*testimonial accounts by descendants of enslaved Ancestors Freed

 Video courtesy of @GullahGeechieCorridor on youtube

Chicago, Illinois

Detroit, Michigan