a blast from 2004
…about the Soul Gathering, a weekly confabulation of art, music and spoken words, and about whether the very name of this event, “Soul Gathering” is exclusionary to some ethnicities. Marva suggested changing the name to the “Spirit Gathering” but I thought that was a very bad idea. So I asked myself, can a white boy have soul? I consulted the good Doctor’s Merriam and Webster.
1: the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
2 a: the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe
3: a person’s total self
4 a: an active or essential part b : a moving spirit c : leader
5 a: the moral and emotional nature of human beings
b : the quality that arouses emotion and sentiment
c : spiritual or moral force
6 : PERSON
7 : EXEMPLIFICATION, PERSONIFICATION i.e. she is the soul of integrity
8 a: a strong positive feeling (as of intense sensitivity and emotional fervor) conveyed especially by black American performers c : SOUL MUSIC d : SOUL FOOD e : SOUL BROTHER
SOURCE: Merriam Webster online
So, can a white person have soul? This question leads to, What is the dividing line between white and black? Why does there have to be a line? If God created us in his image, then why don’t we all look like Rosario Dawson? If we are different, then why can my blood be used to transfuse your blood? Why is it that our mixed race children are the ones that turn the most heads? Why why why why why why why? So many questions. The bottom line is ignorance. People see something different and what is their response? Envy and hatred. The grass is always greener, blah blah blah!
They say you only get one chance to make a first impression? I say that’s bullshit. When you look at me, what is it that you see? Am I a privileged white boy? An elitist? A preppie. A hippie? What? The truth be told, I’m a humanist. I see only one race, a human race. I believe we all descended from Dinkanesh, the three million year old girl found in the Afar Valley of Ethiopia. My white brothers named her Lucy, but I like Dinkanesh, which means “thou art wonderful” in the Ethiopian Language, It doesn’t matter if you believe in creation or evolution. We all came from the same family tree. The tree of life.
The first conversation that I ever had with Marva went something like this,
Marva: (bumping into me) Sorry I’ve got such a big booty.
Terry: Don’t ever apologize for that. God made your booty
just the way he wanted it.
Truth of the matter is, God created all of our booties just the way she wanted them. I have seen hatred in the eyes of people I have never even met. Peeps not liking the shape of my booty or the color of my booty or the color of the booty I’m with. I’m sure that every one of you out there can say the same thing has happened to you at some point in your life. It goes back to ignorance, upbringing, envy, and jealousy. You cannot judge a person by what they look like, only by what they think and how they act. This is the new millennium people, why does this shit have to be this way.
I get the argument. Four hundred years of oppression and slavery at the hands of the white men. I’m sorry and if I could turn back the clock I would. Truth is, it was Africans doing other Africans wrong that brought the slaves to the New World. It’s no different from the Prots holding down the Irish Catholics in Belfast, Muslims killing Christians and vice versa in Bosnia. Muslims killing other Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Sudan and Somalia. Cousins killing cousins in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Men keeping down women. People making a living by fucking over other people. Whosoever holds the power is going to do what it takes to keep the power. Women hold the majority in America. Men hold the power. That’s why we have no woman President.
We Wasps have done some pretty f*cked-up shit in the course of history, but I never did anything to you. The worst thing we ever did was round up all the Indians and put them on reservations, steal all their land and steal all of their culture. I got a sixteenth of Indian blood in me and I’m ashamed that my people could do that to my people.
It’s a proven fact that people suck. We ought get over it and start fixing our f*cked up world.
It’s not just the white boys in the wife beater t-shirts with the Confederate flags in the back window of their pick-em-up truck. They wear their colors where we can all see and deal with them. It’s the sharks in the suits that we gotta look out for. The jackass drug dealer in the Benz polluting our kids with shit that eats their minds. The apathetic school administrators that turn our kids out like a waitress turning tables at the Bob Evans. The parents who do drugs in front of their young children.
I was in love with a girl. I remember saying to my friend, “There’s this Indian chick that I work with, She’s somewhere between 17 and 24. She’s the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I think I love her.” I was so naïve. Turned out the girl was from Ethiopia and she was indeed twenty-four. I fell head over heels in love with her. Maybe it was my way of getting closer to little Dinkanesh. Anyway, her family couldn’t fathom the idea of one of the daughters of Sheba falling in love a white boy, marrying a white boy. They did everything in their power to break us up. It worked. I lost her. She moved to LA because she couldn’t stand to break my heart day after day. Did I mention that I hate LA.
So where does that leave us? Do I have soul because I have a sixteenth of a Blackfoot Indian running though my veins? Do I have soul because my Irish ancestors had to come here to get away from English oppression? Do I have soul because I descended from Dinkanesh, who roots we can all trace back to? Is soul in me because I loved her daughter?
The answer is no. I have soul because I want to end all this racist bullsh*t. There is but one race, the human race, and we all belong to the club. I have soul because I want every kid to get an equal chance in this world. It’s in me. You’d have to kill me to take it out.
With that being said, can I be your soul brother?