Can We Send All “I Am Not My Ancestors” Shirts to Mars?

After watching “Judas and the Black Messiah” I came to the conclusion that I’m just a regular black person, doing regular black people shit. And that’s because our ancestors and nem weren’t regular. In fact, they were so irregular, that the worlds greatest superpower, the United States of America, was petrified of their power

That power ain’t just Black power.

That’s POWER, POWER.

“Judas and the Black Messiah” was a movie. But it was also a reminder. And the foundation of that reminder is and will always be the importance of our ancestors. Our ancestors are paramount to our past, present and future. But, for whatever reason, some of us forgot that along the way.

And that’s ok.

As our ancestors would probably say, they just need a “good talking to.” That’s the beautiful thing about our ancestors. They don’t throw their children away. Because even though we fall, stumble and become too hubris for own well being, at times, we are STILL our ancestor’s dream.

But we should also be mindful that our ancestors were revolutionist, who sought black equity on both, a macro and micro level. And the currency they paid, being revolutionist in a country that actively sought to stop them from disrupting the status quo, was prodigious.

Chicago police remove the body of Fred Hampton, leader of the Illinois Black Panther Party, who was slain in a gun battle with police on Chicago’s west side Dec. 4, 1969. Shooting erupted as police arrived at the building next to the Black Panther offices to serve a warrant. Another man identified as Mark Clark of Peoria, Ill., was killed and seven others wounded. (AP Photo)

Take Chairman/Ancestor Fred Hampton for example. Chairman Hampton became an ancestor at the age of 21. By that time, he was a renowned socialist/communist black revolutionist, whose charm, intellect and ferocity aggrandized his status from a common adolescent to a Black deity. And this increased status stemmed largely from his innate ability to galvanize a variety of people, regardless of race, creed or gender.

And this is not to say our ancestors were perfect. But I also think they expect us not to consider them perfect. But they do expect for us to use them as a guide. No movement is perfect. But we have a playbook, a playbook drawn up by our ancestors. This playbook was drafted, edited, re-edited and edited again.

And it continues to be edited.

It’s FULL of track changes. Full of comment bubbles, dissecting and analyzing what we did right, what we did wrong and what we need to do, going forward. We have structural writing comments from Ancestor Ida B. Wells; petty comments from Ancestor Julian Bond; speech writing and speech delivery comments from Ancestor Malcolm and Ancestor Martin; voter registration empowerment comments from Ancestor Fannie; thought provoking comments from Ancestor Baldwin; Freedom Rider tales from Ancestor Vivan; and many, many more drafters and editors who contributed to this playbook. Because this playbook is MASSIVE. And it’s HEAVY. Full of so much black joy, so much black pain, so much black struggle, so much black hope, so much black blood.

We owe it to Ancestor Hampton and every ancestor, to remain true to the work they started. Because even though they have crossed over, they remain omnipresent in this world, as long as we continue doing the work.

And we also owe it to our ancestors to do one more thing, and that is continue the advancement of Black S.T.E.M in order to send the “i Am NoT mY AnCeStOrs, i ThRoW hAnDs” t shirts to fucking Mars. Mars, as some of you know, has a VERY thin atmosphere, which contributed, in large part, to the planet not being able to sustain life.

But here’s an idea.

JUST in case there is, in fact, life on Mars, I would assume they would need clothes. Simply because Mars can get a little chilly, with temperatures reaching as low as −243 °F. That’s pretty damn cold. And if there is one thing that can warm the soul of a cold Martian, is a free shirt, right?

So yeah, Black NASA, let’s make that happen.

Sorry I ended this with so much petty, but let’s be real, our ancestors were petty, too.

Leslie McLemore writes about a lot of different shit for Black With No Chaser. He is also the Takeaway Kang and is the father of two beautiful girls, one of which gets on every nerve he has. The other one is sweet. So, you know, balance. 

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One Thought to “Can We Send All “I Am Not My Ancestors” Shirts to Mars?”

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more. For me, those shirts disrespect the legacy of our elders.

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