Mama Koko's New Year Wisdom: Honoring The Past Is The Way To A Better Future
I am the daughter of Marcelite Marie Landry, the granddaughter of George Esther Rabb, the great-granddaughter of Effie Gladys Webb, and the great-great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Agràs. I begin with the names of my maternal line because they are sacred scriptures of DNA, strands of strength that empower me. Although other names may be unknown to me, I know that despite their alleged anonymity, there’s a knowing, an epistemic remembrance made possible through making connections. This prevents me from being lured into amnesia and a cultural death. Calling their names is a libation of sound vibrations that reverberate, opening infinite possibilities of being. I continue to remember to remember. The Bantu people of West Central Africa express this connection in the proverbial phrase umuntu umuntu nagabuntu—meaning a person is a person because of people. This sacred imperative of collective being drives me to live with purpose and an unwavering commitment to community.
I come from ancestors who continue inspiring me to keep tapping in to unlock the self. I listen to their whisperings, urging me to allow the self to have free rein to explore the beauty of all God’s majesty. At the core of my being is the intention to be in service to others—but most expressly to be in service of my “self,” for whom I have primary custodial care. How do I cultivate this responsibility and maintain this commitment? Here, I share the strategies that have helped me chart a course toward unlimited possibilities, in hopes that you uncork your life.