First and foremost, Happy MF New Year! It’s finally over bruh. We’ve officially made it out of 2020.
So much bullshit has happened in 2020. I don’t even know where to start. Wait, I take that back. I know exactly where to start… Right here in 2021.
Fuck 2020. Period.
In fact, this might be the first time I actually feel that, “new year, new me” shit.
Since the title of this piece starts by saying, “New Year, Same Shit…” Some of y’all might think that last sentence is a contradiction. Allow me to clear that up real swift. Me saying, “New year, same shit” basically means that I’ll be bringing that same Afrocentric, fuck white supremacy energy I had in 2020 to 2021 🤷🏾♂️
I know there has been some serious radio silence from yours truly, and for that I’d like to formally apologize.
If you’ve been following the IG account then you already know why you haven’t seen much content from this platform.
But if for some reason you don’t follow the IG account (which, I mean, stop lacking bruh and follow) allow me to quickly fill you in on some real life shit.
About four months ago my mother informed me that it was a high possibility that her breast cancer had resurged in her liver, and some select spots in her bones. I can still remember the call like it was yesterday. The only thing I could say before being overwhelmed with raw emotions was, “I’m so sorry momma.”
The news rocked my world because my mother was (and still is) my favorite superhero. For the longest time, it’s always been my mother and I. Whenever I was at my lowest, it was my mother I called. She was the one I could turn to whenever I felt my back against the wall.
Two months later we learned that the cancer in my mother’s liver had spread “faster than anticipated” and was officially classified as stage 4. The craziest part of the situation was that even though we were receiving extremely troubling news, my mother was still operating as if things were normal.
She was still working as a train operator for Bi-State, for the most part, and her mind was as sharp as a tack.
The day after Thankstaking (Nov. 28th) I got a call from my auntie saying that they (her and a few of my other aunties) were about to take my mother to the hospital because she was complaining about some serous hip pain.
November 28th was the last day I got to hug my mother in her own house…
The days following my mother’s admission into the hospital were by far the most toughest days in my life. On December 10th, 2020 around 7:00 pm, my mother took her last breathe while holding my hand surrounded by close family. My mother was only 58 years old when she passed away.
After my mother passed (and honestly speaking a few weeks prior to that) I decided to put TGA on hold and spend as much time as I could with those who love me. So you see, I had to ghost y’all for a hot second. I needed that time for myself.
A letter to my Momma
Someone told a lie one day that has stuck with us for generation after generation. That lie being, “only a man can raise a man…”
Although you left us too soon, you still had enough time to raise me to be the man I am today.
It was your work ethic that taught me what it means to be a provider. It was your faith in God that taught me what it means to truly trust in the Lord. It was your kind heart and warm spirit that taught me what it means to love others regardless of their shortcomings. You taught me at an early age what it means to be a gentleman and to treat everyone with respect and dignity.
You taught me how to be the man I am today, and for that, plus so much more I’m forever grateful. I’ll always love you
– Momma’s boy
Sorry to dampen the mood with such a heavy story. However, you all deserved to know what’s going on with ya boy, especially since I’ve been so open with my life and past experiences since the day I launched this blog.
What’s in Store for 2021 You Say? 👀🤫
Now that you’re all caught on why I had to disappear for a minute, let’s talk about the future!
I gotta lot of shit planned for 2021 bruh. I don’t want to say too much right now, but since I fuck with y’all, I’ll share a small list of things to look forward to.
- The Blog | The neglection has been too real smh. My top priority for TGA in 2021 is to return to my roots as a writer, and publish at least 70 pieces.
- Patreon Exclusives | Major s/o to the Patreon. If you’re not supporting the page, what are you waiting for? I‘m going to be doing some exclusive shit for the Patreon fam 😎 I still plan on dropping a podcast with monthly episodes, not to mention drop exclusive blog post that you’ll only find on Patreon. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention the book club I’ll be hosting via Clubhouse will be a Patreon exclusive as well 👀
- TGA Merch 👀🤷🏾♂️ | That’s all I’m going to say about this for now…
Some More Shit…
A little over a week ago, a good friend of mine happened to be in town for a few days as part of his tattoo tour he’s taking through the Midwest. Now before I go any further, allow me to formally introduce this brother.
The backstory as to how we met is proof in itself that our ancestors were right when they said “everything is everything.” It’s not too often you meet someone and the first thing you start discussing is the purpose of the human existence.
As you can see my guy is clearly a serious artist (check out his Instagram), so when I heard he was in town I had to squeeze myself in for an appointment somehow. We agreed on a date and time and I sent over a few ideas I had in mind for the piece as well as the original piece of art that inspired the idea in the first place.
This is what we came up with (I should note that Yody also did the tattoo I have in the memory of my mother I shared above).
For those who aren’t quite sure what all you’re looking at, don’t worry. I’ll break things down for you.
The first image you see is the Sankofa bird. The Sankofa bird also happens to be the central image in my logo.
What does the Sankofa bird symbolizes? Well, to understand the bird you must first understand what Sankofa means. Sankofa can be translated to basically mean, “go back to the past and bring forward that which is useful.” This explains why the bird’s body is facing forward but its head is turn around. Another important thing to note is the egg in the birds mouth. This symbolizes the importance of passing that historical knowledge to future generations so that they will have knowledge of self.
What’s the red disk in the background? Our ancestors came from an ancient culture that saw nature and the elements as characteristics of the creator. Mainly because their geological location allowed for nature and the elements to work as a provider for their everyday life. As opposed to those who come from cooler parts of the world where ones survival depended on their ability to shield themselves from the elements.
This is an important cultural difference Cheikh Anta Diop highlights in both his books, “The Cultural Unity of Black Africa: The Domains of Matriarchy & of Patriarchy in Classical Antiquity” & “Precolonial Black Africa.” I say all this to say that one of the oldest symbols for the creator was the sun.
Not to be confused as “sun worship” though. Ra (the sun) was nothing more then a physical manifestations of the creator.
I’ll give you a quick example…
In a very literal sense, you can’t have life (or at least life as we know it) without the sun. It’s scientifically impossible. Even if you try your hardest to imagine a scenario where you could survive without the sun 🙃 I promise you it won’t be sustainable for your entire lifetime, let alone the lifetime for millions of others.
The reason why the sun disk is behind the Sankofa bird is to symbolize the importance of returning to ones cultural and spiritual roots. It’s a shame we don’t know the 7 principles of Ma’at, or the 42 Declarations of Innocence. It’s a shame we know who Moses was but have no idea who Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) was, much less his contributions to spiritual thought.
For too long we’ve been led to believe the lie that our ancestors were a bunch of pagan, Godless, savages. When in reality, it was our ancestors spiritual teachings that serve as the foundation for the all three major religions of today.
To be 100% the sun disk was something that my guy Yody added on his own. Idk if he got the same message I got out of it, but the very fact that his mind went there speaks volumes.
Do the steps mean anything? So, believe it or not, those aren’t really “steps.” Well, not steps in the sense of steps that you’re probably thinking of. The steps in my tattoo actually symbolize the Step Pyramid of Saqqara.
Meet the piece of art that inspired my tattoo. We know what the Sankofa birds means but what’s the significance of it standing atop of a step pyramid? Sometimes the answer is right in front of our faces… It symbolizes that a portion of the historical knowledge we need to bring forward and pass to future generations, includes the knowledge of the ancient Nile Valley civilizations.
It’s important to note that this statue was found in Ghana (which is in WEST AFRIKA) and is dated to be made some time between the 18th and 20th century. This is a small piece of evidence that confirms what the late great Grandmaster Teacher Cheikh Anta Diop calls “the cultural unity of Black Afrika.”
Why is the step pyramid flipped upside-down? This was something that Yody and myself added at the last minute haha. Originally the tattoo was just going to be the Sankofa bird standing atop a step pyramid with a sun disk in the back. However, once we put the stencil on, Yody was like, “I feel like we need something at the bottom here…” So I suggested inverting the pyramid and adding the older Sankofa symbol blossoming out of the bottom.
The inverted pyramid has a literal and symbolic meaning. The literal meaning is that all the pyramids we see are just as deep as they are higher. The symbolic meaning behind it has a lot to do with the phrase, “as above, so below.”
You’d probably be shocked to know that every temple and tomb in ancient Kemet and Kush were astrological markers. Not only that, but the main chambers in each temple and tomb in ancient Kemet were astrological markers as well.
Not to mention that during the time of their construction, each pyramid we see in Giza for example, had a limestone finish that made it shine in the sunlight causing each pyramid to have a “star like” shine that was visible from hundreds of miles away.
So when we take this understanding and apply it to my tattoo, you’ll begin to understand why the older Sankofa symbol is at the bottom, while the Sankofa bird is on the top.
Books to read regrading the astrological markers behind the temples and tombs of ancient Kemet:
- The Orion Mystery: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pyramids
- Imhotep the African: Architect of the Cosmos
- Black Genesis: The Prehistoric Origins of Ancient Egypt
- The Egypt Code
- Secret Chamber Revisited: The Quest for the Lost Knowledge of Ancient Egypt
- Origins of the Sphinx: Celestial Guardian of Pre-Pharaonic Civilization
Well that’s all the updates I have for you right now. Be on the look out for my latest shit, and don’t forget to unlearn, relearn, educate & repeat.
Oh yea, Candace and I also adopted a dog that we’ve been fostering for about a month now as a Christmas gift to ourselves. So yeah, we have a dog now 😊