By Baba Jahahara
Greetings of IMANI (FAITH) Esteemed GOD(DESSES)S,
May our Divine Mother-Father Creator of and in All – and Beloved Ancestors from yesteryear and yesterday – find you and (y)our extended family in healing Spirit. As HARRIET TUBMAN Health Conductor “#777,” I am so honored for being extended an invitation to participate in our “#HEALTHistheNEW BLACK” initiative, also sponsored by the dynamic Bay Area Black United Fund.
Not long ago, I was hoopin’, aka playing basketball, over at Oakland’s Mosswood Park. As usual, every player was three or four decades or more, my junior. As a very, very good athlete back in da day, I can still hold my own with these youngsters. After reaching my “limit” of two full-court games, lengthened by an extra 20-plus minutes of Brotha’s arguing—over who fouled who, too many step calls or ball “hoggin”—I was stretching out on the grass, toweling off the sweat and drinking water. “One mo’ game, O.G.” Shouted several of the youth. “No, I’m done, G-O-Ds.” I replied in my exhaustion. Now short one player, all of them came over and sat near me. Some started pulling bottles from their bags. Others shared a sip with a friend.
“What you drinking O.G?” one asked. Challenging him, I asked “Who you calling O.G?” (knowing this is a respectful term of endearment our youth use for we Elders, meaning “’Old’ or ‘Original Gangster’”). “I’m a G-O-D! And, so are you!” The response from two teen-age sumthin-sumthins was startling, and this is no joke: “What that spell?” The others were now laughin’ and funnin. “Stupid fools! Ya’ll don’t know what G-O-D spells!” Trying to diffuse the ridiculing, I went back to the initial question. “I’m having the best, the most Divine drink in the world, G-O-Ds! It’s called water!”
“Water? I don’t need no damn water!” said one after another.
“I need some Gatorade after ballin all day.”
“Hell, just give me some diet coke. Or, a cooold six-pack (of beer)!” Said the dude who kept “hackin” me whenever I dribbled past him to the basket.
One brother, about six foot five, shouted: “Sh__, I can’t even get my body movin without my latte in the mornin… Hell! It’s all goooood. It quenches my thirst.”
Well, being the G-O-D I BE, it was time to turn this into a teaching lesson. I used the opportunity to stress the importance to our bodies, and our overall well-being, to drinking plenty of good and clean water. So, I raised some simple questions to these young scholar-ballers: “How many of you would take a shower in Gatorade? Or, diet coke?” Most laughed and called my questions “stupid.” Continuing, I offered, “Who would like to take a bath in hot coffee, with a little cattle milk in it? How bout laying down in a tub of Vitamin water?” They were all getting loud now. “You crazy, O.G. Uh, I mean G-O-D. That would make me sticky and sh__! That’s nasty!”
“That’s precisely my point G-O-Ds. What we consume in our bodies… is even more important than what we put on the outside. It’s critical that we keep our internal organs hydrated, cleansed and moving with good clean water and nutritious organic food. Then, all our systems can work in harmony. There is no substitute for water as the proven source of a Divine life. These “new” processed foods, so-called “energy” products and artificially-flavored and sugar-laden drinks cannot bring us optimum health. These unnatural items will ultimately, and negatively, attack our Spirits, emotional health, internal organs and bodies. Simply put, doo-doo in… means doo-out.”
A few weeks later, I returned to Mosswood. Three of the previous young G-0-Ds were in the mix. And, one proudly said to me. “I got my bottle of water, O.G! I mean G-O-D!” Wow! If he can remember, let’s all do our best to see the G-O-D in each person we meet. And, drink adequate amounts of good clean water daily, and encourage those around us, as a primary way of returning to our healthy and Divine African (Black) Ways! Ase`.
Amen-RA Hotep (Truth, Justice, Love, Health, Peace, Prosperity and Continued Blessings).
Baba Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma’at can be reached at email@example.com
*20 November 6254 KMT/2014 JC is the 94th B’Earthday of Jahahara’s beloved Baba (Father) and Ancestor, CLEVELAND LEE ARMSTRONG, SR.
Also, please view the “Food Fight” music video, filmed here in Oakland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu8QthlZ6hY
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