Today marks the 186th celebration of the Southampton Insurrection better known as Nat Turner’s Rebellion. Nathaniel “Nat” Turner was a Virginia slave who was also a man of the cloth Turner who was convinced by an eclipse of the Sun in 1831 that the time to rise up had come. Nat Turner believed that he was chosen by God to lead him and the other slaves from bondage. There is another eclipse of the Sun happening today, August 21st, the same faithful day in 1831 when Turner’s Rebellion “officially” began. Coming off of the heels of KKK and white supremacy attacks in Charlottesville, the counter protesting in Boston, MA, and the death of the incomparable Richard “Dick” Claxton Gregory this solar eclipse should be a sign from God to all of us. We are his chosen people not just the Jews and the Israelites I mean any Pan-African across the globe. Basic science tells you that white cannot produce black yet Black produces all colors of the spectrum so hopefully you get my drift.
As the solar eclipse makes most of the country forget the racial tension that this country has boiling over the government is still governing the capitalist society that was created by their predecessors. In 1831 measures were passed in Virginia and other states in the South that made it unlawful to teach slaves and free African-Americans how to read or write. They cited Turner’s ability to read and write as the cause for the uprising. That sounds like early COINTELPRO to me. You have Rappers ready to go and be the most conscious they’ve been since the eighties and early nineties but once again our rebellion has been eclipsed by something miniscule. Granted a full eclipse of the Sun won’t happen again in some of our lifetimes but if it’s not some Kardashian drama, ugly blue dress, or loch ness monster there is always something that takes away from our own rebellion. Those feelings you feel watching videos of police brutality, photos of Klansmen beating Black men and women in 2017, or the anger you feel when you are stereotyped by any white person are the feelings Nat Turner felt when he decided to stop being a slave. The only difference is we are easily distracted by any and everything partly because of too much technology in our daily lives.
Some Rappers get distracted by drugs, women, and money and it becomes evident in their lyrics or lack thereof. It’s one thing to have your rebellion stopped by someone but to just stop and give up on yourself should not be allowed nor should it be an option. Once again we cannot sell ourselves short. We have to realize that we are worth it and so is the culture. Rappers can make it rain for the culture and make jokes about smoking a blunt “for the culture”. These days you can do anything “for the culture”. I write these pieces for the culture. Not for just me or just you but for all of us! That’s why you rebel! For the betterment of your own quality of life, your family, your friends, and others that you will never meet in your earthly lifetime. That’s a problem with Rap/Hip Hop music today it’s a one-(wo)man show and nobody wants to help anybody else. We’re not ready to revolt just yet but remember Nat Turner’s Rebellion happened over a 3-day period of time. How long will it take for Hip Hop to catch up to the times and how long will it take for Pan-African Americans to stop eclipsing their own rebellion?
“Yes eclipsed by the shadows, a dark dance to the coffin” -Run the Jewels, Zack De La Rocha (Close Your Eyes)