A Story About Yemoja

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Once upon a time there lived an AFRICAN GODDESS, named  YEMOJA who dwell in the OGUN RIVER, with HAIR that was BLACK as MIDNIGHT and SKIN DARK BROWN like MOLASSES that pour from OAK TREE’S on a hot summer’s day.  Around her neck she wore a beautifully strung necklace made with RIVER STONES.  YEMOJA had come to live in the RIVER after her husband, KING OGUN, went on a journey, never to return.  In despair, she climbed to the top of the tallest tree, on the top of the tallest mountain and reached her arms up to the HEAVEN’S above; seeking comfort from OLODUMARE (God), Consumed by her own tears, she rolled down the mountain just as morning  dew rolls off a blade of grass, filling the empty RIVER BED below.

YEMOJA had many, CHILDREN and she gave them all such beautiful names, some of which were ORISA,  MAN, WOMAN and CHILD.  YEMOJA loved all of her CHILDREN very dearly.  However, there was one other thing that YEMOJA loved just as much and that was the SWEET taste of MOLASSES.  One of her FAVORITE FOODS!  The CHILDREN who lived near the OGUN RIVER would bring YEMOJA, MOLASSES everyday, pouring it into the RIVER as they sang her song of praise…..

“YEMOJA MAYE ‘LE ‘WO MAYE ‘LE ‘WO,

YEMOJA, YEMOJA MAYE ‘LE W\’WO

MAYE ‘LE ‘OW YEMOJA”

This PLEASED YEMOJA, and as a token of HER appreciation, she would leave gifts of COLORFUL RIVER STONES for ALL of HER CHILDREN,  at the base of OLD BAOBAB TREES, that stood along the river edge.

During the Festival of “THE MOTHER Villages would come to the OGUN RIVER where they placed special offerings of FRUIT, MOLASSES and WHITE YAMS.  Every one would then would gather  to recite a special prayer, in Honor of “THE MOTHER OF FISHES”

It is the BIRD that takes GOOD FORTUNE to the SPIRIT of the “MOTHER OF FISHES”  The GODDESS of the OGUN RIVER.

It is the bird ALUKO that takes GOOD FORTUNE to the SPIRIT of the LAGOON.

The assistant to the GODDESS of the OGUN RIVER.

It is the PARROT that takes GOOD FORTUNE to the Chief of Iwo.

It is CHILDREN who bring GOOD FORTUNE from HEAVEN to EARTH.

The GREAT ONE  who gives GOOD THINGS, give me GOOD THINGS from the GREAT ONE who gives GOOD THINGS.              May it be so!

ABEOKUTA was the VILLAGE in which the OGUN RIVER was located, and many of the Villages went there to collect water so that they could wash their clothes, cook their meals and bathe their skin.

During the day, the Sun’s rays could be seen rising harmoniously off of the surface water……..

HISTORY OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

HISTORY OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

ABOLITION

In 1886, the STATUE OF LIBERTY, was a symbol of DEMOCRATIC government and enlightenment ideals as well as a celebration of the Unions Victory in the American Civil War and the Abolition of Slavery. Edouarde de Laboulaye the French political thinker, U.S. Constitution expert, and abolitionist, who first processed the idea of a great monument as a gift from France to the United States. Edouarde, was a firm supporter of President Abraham Lincoln and his fight for abolition. Edouarde saw abolition not only as a wau to eliminate immorality, but also a way to protest repressive tendencies in France.

As an abolition ist, Edourado de Laboulaye was an honary member of the Philadelphia a branch (Founded in 1862) of the Union League Club. The Union League Club was a group of people who were dedicated to the NEW REPUBLICIAN PARTY, the Union’s cause in the Civil War, and the Abolition of Slavery. Additionally, Edourado were a Co-Founder and President of the French Anti Slavery Society. This society was founded in 1865. In essence, it called upon ALL NATIONS to abolish slavery. Additionally, the members also raised money that was given to newly freed slaves in the UNITED STATES.

With the Abolition of Slavery and the Union’s Victory in the Civil War in 1865, Edourado Laboulaye’s wishes of freedom and democracy were turning into a reality in the United States. In order to honor these achievements, Edourado proposed that a gift be built for the United States on behalf of France. Edourado hoped that by calling attention to the recent achievements of the United States, the French people would be inspired to call for their own democracy in the trace of a repressive monarchy.

when Edourado Laboulaye’s Statue of “Liberty, Enlightening the World” was completed, it not only reprinted democracy but also symbolized American Independence and the end of all types of servitude and oppression. A broken shackle and chain lie at the Statue’s right foot. The chain disappears beneath the draperies, only to re-appear in front of her left foot, its end link broken. However, although the Broken Shackle is a powerful image, the meaning behind it was not yet a reality for African Americans in 1886.

After the Statue dedication in 1886, the BLACK PRESS, began to debunk romantic nations of the Statue of Liberty and American History. Racism and discrimination towards AFRICAN AMERICANS did not end after the Civil War or with the dedication of the Statue the Statue-it continues on for more than a century. As a result, the Statue was not a symbol of Democratic Government or Enlightenment ideas for African American but rather a source of pain. Instead of representing Freedom and Justice for All, the Statue emphasized the bitter ironies of America’s professed identity as a just and free society for all the people regardless of race. From the time of the Statues dedication, attitudes towards the Statue in the African American Community were ambivalent and uncertain.

The fight for equality, liberty and justice for all did pertain to his race at this .in time had not been achieved. Therefore African Americans rarely used the Statue as a relevant symbol for their struggle-they were reluctant to embrace the symbol of a Nation which would not fully include them as citizens. The Statue of Liberty did not help them gain equality it was just a beginning step.

In 1886, My two Grand Mothers were witnessing this evolutionary change. Emily Frances Phillips and Maggie Bass were in their early teenage years they were freed from slavery during this time. Both were actually born into Slavery.

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