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"Brother/Sister" in African Tradition (1/2)

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Black Americans' common greeting, even to strangers, of "brother" and "sister" dates to Very Ancient African mythology. First, Ancient African Bible sayings are: the Creator god Atum was born into the Cosmos as a combined "Brother and Sister" (Pyramid Text) + the neteru (i.e. gods and goddesses) emanate from Neter or God and represent the "Cosmic Forces engendering Creation"-- explaining the manifestations of the Divine in Nature and in human philosophy. A top god is Asar (Soul, Higher Self) and the top goddesses is Aset (Intuitional Wisdom, the ultimate expression of the African ideal)--the original Black Madonna before being replaced by the European Mary (431 AD). Second, the name Asar (Osiris in Greek) is intimately related to the name Aset (Isis in Greek) as "brother" and "sister" because they came from the same neteru family--i.e. the same Spiritual Source (Ashby, Book of Dead p87). Third, by being the first king and queen of Ancient Egypt, the husband Asar, and his wife, Aset, were titled as "brother" and "sister" because of their human-divinity status. Fourth, in Earth World realms, Ancient Africans' concepts of the Law of Sympathy established "Dignity", "Divinity," and God's Love in all human beings by deriving from the image of God. Here, too, the mystical origins of all humans essentially make them "Brothers" and "Sisters." Fifth, for the same reason, men and women who married were referred to as "brother" and "sister," even though they were of no blood-kin. Sixth, a religious philosophy of Very Ancient Africans is that life is present beyond death; that God is the Creator of the world; and that dead Ancestors are the creators of society. The departed--whether parents, brothers, sisters, or children--form part of "The Family" and therefore surviving relatives must keep in touch with their "Living Dead" Ancestors, in a manner similar to their best contact with their living "Brothers" and "Sisters."

Throughout African history the Family has always been extended beyond the nuclear members whereby "Brothers" and "Sisters" get even more complex. A Kinship System involves a common language of Kinship Terms (parents, grandparents, siblings, children, in-laws). Each person has many kinship labels--e.g. father, husband, uncle, son-in-law, father-in-law--all at the same time. An Extended Family includes parents, children, uncles, aunts, cousins, half brothers, half-sisters, great aunts, and great uncles. However, a Gambian might call someone "brother" who is really his second cousin. Or, he might call someone "uncle" who is really his grandfather's cousin. Typically, there are no orphans and no unwanted children--for they are raised by relatives or given to someone who has no children. In surrounding communities participating in the African Age-Set system, "Brothers"--and their "Sisters" equivalent--are essentially a system of self-cultivation and group-cultivation in action, a tried and true method over the centuries, if not for thousands of years (Kenyatta). Its essence is that early teenage boys go through an initiation to become bonded as “brothers.” They and family members interact inside certain Common Humanity rules. Hence, to refer to a kin as "cousin" and not as sister or brother is an insult because of the failure to recognize their shared mystical origins (Some` Healing, p10). Out of this (among others) arose embracing any Black person as "brother" and "sister"--despite any with-in group diversity. This was done as a way of expressing their recognition of an ultimate Spiritual source; of declaring they share common Ancestors; and of the need to interact within a Common Humanity as part of the Law of Sympathy.

Nevertheless, in European biblical accounts, false assumptions about "Brother" and "Sister" in African Tradition are rampant. This is because of European Egyptologists' "far-out" dumbness and evilness in judging what is above their ability to understand; jumping to conclusions; and arrogantly using their ridiculous misinterpretations to debase the morals of Black People--a form of projection of their own amoral nature. Then, they"self-righteously" falsely advertized to the world that Ancient Egyptians engaged freely in incest. Their first stupidity was/is not bothering to discover that the Ancient Egyptian word for "brother and husband" is the same word as well as the word for "sister and wife." Their screwing up of this subject continues in books published today. Yet, Afrocentric People's deep spiritual meaning persists in "Brothers" and "Sisters" greetings.


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