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History Of Black American Juggling

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The Black American story of diluted magician type "Juggling" began during African American slavery. Let us start with Africanborn Conjurers (as called by Europeans) because of how they were able to influence the Slaves and the evi l European captors. Juggling done by Conjurers included shaping the local Slave folk religions, often blending features of Christianity and African practices, while using knowledge of the medicinal value of roots and herbs to impress by curing certain illnesses. Conjurers' influence was important, not from having power over the slave owners--which a few did--but rather from possessing powers the slave owners' lacked.

By making a big impression on the Slaves the Conjurer often had more control over them than did the slave owner. Meanwhile, after an exhausting day's work in the fields the Slaves had to take care of (juggle) many things in the Slave quarters between dusk and dawn.

Can you imagine the juggling required for Slaves to escape as done. For example Harriet Tubman "Balanced" things like letting the Slave community know she was there by singing a particular song; selecting Slaves who were to escape; get t ing the Slaves and their supporters ready by means of what designs were to be placed on what quilts and when and by whom in order to signal the time, direction, and means of escape; and what allegory songs to sing to give additional information for escapes. Plans had to be altered if there was a change in "the atmosphere," as from a "waiting Slave" (a tattler) discovering the plan and informing the captors.

It was during this time that "atmospheres" became very significant for Black Americans, not in the sense of air encompassing the Earth, but rather in the form of “Thought Clouds” (Yogi Ramacharaka, Fourteen Lessons, p. 77). These "Clouds"-- mixed wi th earthly anxiety, fear, and anger--emitted a penetrating unseeable message force; existing everywhere; felt by all of the Enslaved; that warned of ever impending hostile attacks from the captors; and that caused them to huddle together. This "atmosphere" kept the Enslaved on constant (Omnibus Brain type) alert.

But great mindset diversity came from natural diversi ty among Africans in Africa (apart from their relative Spiritual and philosophical "Sameness") plus the reaction of each Enslaved to slavery plus reaction to the captors plus reaction to each other. The diversity could be roughly grouped. One large group, the "Normal Variants" (those between normal and abnormal but separate from either) was characterized by a "Middle Self" form of self-preservation designed to exclude from personal awareness evil outside forces and to endure. For example, the Slaves' horrendous conditions spurred many to separate (i.e. "Dissociate") their Painful Self from their Real Self by means of philosophical, supernatural, or mystical “wedges.”

Other things the Slaves did to cope fell into various categories-- things like wearing masks and engaging in masquerades; applying Selfhood Armor; and practicing Slave Resistance. The latter included avengement (extracting an "eyelash for an eye" rather than "an eye for an eye") as, for example, extensive sabotage of anything designed to be of benefit to the captors (e.g. procrastination and destruction of property).

Residuals in each of these aspects, under the term of Slavery Survivals, plus the apathetic and "dissociated" mindset, plus numerous other factors were culturally transmitted out of slavery. Despite them no longer having any utility, today's juggler descendants have made them into self-defeating mindsets and practices. Those who have reacted most strongly to racism, either by embracing it or being overwhelmed by it are more likely to be extreme Chronic Jugglers. Each of their problems is of great complexity for which there are no simple or "cookbook" answers and no clear and definite steps to lead out even the willing.

But that is no reason not to proceed toward success because Black people have tremendous powers to overcome the "impossible."

website: www.jablifeskills.com

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