Africa’s Journal

Your source for African news.

The Future of Blackness

Posted by africasjournal on January 23, 2008

Yesterday I had an emulation of the black race. Ironically I had finished reading a NY Times article about notorious rebel commander Joshua Milton Blahyi, who stated that he is responsible for the killings of 20,000 Liberians. I thought to myself here’s a man who terrorized his neighbors and classmates, elders and newborns. His practices were monstrous to be courteous and now he was a born again Christian. Is forgiveness in the eye of the beholder or victim?

”I could be electrocuted. I could be hanged. I could be given any other punishment,” the 37-year-old Blahyi said in a weekend interview following his truth commission appearance last week. ”But I think forgiveness and reconciliation is the right way to go.”I have been looking for an opportunity to tell the true story about my life — and every time I tell people my story, I feel relieved.”

Mr.Blahyi aka Gen. Butt Naked had a way of enticing fear in humans. Before sending his men to battle naked he would sacrifice an innocent child and divide the heart amongst his men to eat. Ironically Blahyi later said that it was during one of these battles that he emerged resurrected having received a message from God that he was in fact a slave of the Devil. He therefore realized that he was not the paladin he once thought he was and began recording his testaments as a dedication to God.

Reconciliation is a term that often comes out in the evening of war. Like its counterpart forgiveness it emerges when battles have been won and lost, when economies have been scarred, and families have disappeared. Often criticized as an endless cycle of reevaluation; it is sometimes the deja vu of war- the view points of the living and accounts of the dead. But, it is a selfish act of pity that one asks for forgiveness and reconciliation as a means of self acceptance.

It is true; the future of blackness lies in our ability to reconcile with each other. With most African countries stained by tribal conflicts and African Americans bitter at their stance in American society. It is time that we reexamine our history, but in doing so realize that in forgiving we shall never forget. With reconciliation comes relief. Relief does not arrive in society like air- free flowing and endless; it is a struggle of time often recomposed by the bitter memories of a lost one and picturesque flashes of their killers. That is what Blahyi should think of in his sermons; in the aftermath of war.


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