Where we are today as African descendants has not been an easy road. We have not come to 2013, still conscious of where we came from, still desiring to understand better and to reconnect with those who came before us by accident or coincidence. That we who call ourselves "Keepers of the Way" are here keeping the way of our Ancestors is a triumph over tribulations. That we know the names of some of those who sacrificed themselves so that we could work, vote, own land, travel, be a citizen, be free, it is a tremendous blessing.
We call ourselves "Keepers of the Way" because we know there was a way before now that got us to where we are now because those before us kept the way. This Annual Ancestor Celebration is one of many ways that we the descendants of Africans keep the way of our Ancestors. And why do we keep it? We keep it because our Ancestors kept it. We keep it because without the keeping of it, we would not be here keeping it. We keep it because it must be kept for those who will come after us to keep it when we are gone. We keep the way of our Ancestors so that the way continues to infinity.
Keeping the way of our Ancestors has been a challenge. When our Ancestors walked this Earth, they were forced to follow other ways that were not their own. They were forced or coerced to give up their own. They sacrificed and they strategized. They never gave up. They persisted and they persevered. Because of those things that they did, conscious efforts that they made, their traditions and beliefs survived the indoctrination, persecution, propaganda and discrimination. We know to honor our Ancestors because they knew to honor theirs and they did it.
Like those before us, then, we must continue on this journey of keeping the way of our Ancestors. They kept the way so that we could have the way and now we must keep it for future generations to have. The challenges have not disappeared. They are quite different, in fact, that those our Ancestors faced but they are challenges nevertheless. Like our Ancestors, we cannot give up because they did not. We cannot succumb to the questioning and the condemnation. We cannot succumb to the confusion and the misinformation. We cannot succumb to the negativity and the ignorance. We cannot and we must not.
What we must do is heal, wear white, give thanks, work together, sing, dance, pray, give offering, call the names in honor of our Ancestors and in keeping of our way, THE way. As our Ancestors persevered, so must we to keep our traditions alive for the present and future generations. Ire! Ase!
Who We Are
Who We Are: "We are a collaboration of families of African Traditional practitioners coming together to venerate our Ancestors for the perpetual healing of our communities."About our favicon: Fawohodie, an adinkra symbol meaning the "symbol of independence, freedom, emancipation". From the expression: Fawodhodie ene obre na enam. Literal translation: "Independence comes with its responsibilities."