It seems that I have always respected and valued communication with my Black and Original ancestors. Although I admittedly do not always follow their counsel, I do look to them often for direction, overstanding, forgiveness and more.
On one particular night during my 1960s – 1970s ‘Movement’ days, Stokely ‘Black Power’ Carmichael (lka Kwame Ture) and I both felt a sudden uneasiness while riding through the streets of Washington, DC. Stokely was at the wheel of the car and I was seated in the passenger side. For no apparent reason, I felt a sudden uneasiness; squirmed and quickly turned around. Almost simultaneously, Stokely voiced a similar uneasiness.
As was often typical, Stokely and I saw that we were being followed by folk we ‘assumed’ to be FBI/CIA. This time, however, their presence in the car that trailed us was not met with ‘comic relief’ or gestures. Instead, Stokely and I instantly knew that the evening was not ‘intended’ to end well.
Stokely pressed down on the gas pedal hard as we raced through the streets of DC with the car that was following us in hot pursuit. Quickly, Stokely and I prepared for a probable violent confrontation should the car manage to overtake us. We overstood the seriousness of the situation….
As Stokely and I discussed tactics over the blare of our car’s radio, we spoke words to one another and to our ancestors. Stokely told me that he did not have his drivers license; we both knew that that fact alone would provide an ‘out’ for law enforcement to justify their ‘intended’ violence towards us. No matter the cost, Stokely and I both knew that we could not let that happen. Me, I did have my drivers license….
So, as our car raced on sidewalks and streets throughout the DC area, Stokely and I did what we had to do. (Today, I marvel at the protection and agility our ancestors provided us with….)
While gunning the pedal to the metal, Stokely and I somehow managed to change places with me winding up in the driver’s seat of the car.
Having made the switch while the car was in full motion, there was no time or way to adjust the driver’s seat, etc. to accommodate my shorter body frame. Stokely continued to operate the steering wheel throughout the duration of the ‘chase’ as I managed to slip my foot under his on the gas pedal. I kept my foot grounded on the car’s gas pedal as Stokely and I continued to travel the streets of DC.
Stokely and I drove through alleys, on sidewalks, on streets – you name it. And, although the pursuing car tried to continue the chase, we eventually – with the help of our ancestors – managed to leave that car in our dust.
In time, Stokely and I ditched the car and ran via our feet through various buildings and more until we reached a ‘safe’ destination amongst DC’s Black population. As Stokely and I sat amongst the safety of our people, we both laughed heartily and long and spoke of how we had managed to do that which many had thought to be ‘impossible’….
Needless to say, both Stokely and yours truly lived to fight another day and another night!
Undying love for Black people!
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‘Don’t forget our reparations’.
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