From my experience as a Black man and what I’ve seen, the life-span of the majority of us as Black men in racist America whatever the ending age has been a constant grind that’s distressing and exhausting. Living for Black men in this country is a tiring battle; psychologist refer to it as ‘racial battle-fatigue’.
Black men we live each day knowing that we can be murdered by racist law enforcement officers like the recent police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota; that Black men can be murdered by all types of racist white men and other non-Black males; that they can be murdered by other Black men; yes Black men we live with a ‘bulls-eye’ on our chests, it’s always open-season on us!
Black men we live everyday being ‘male-bashed’ by so many Black women and non-Black females, this male-bashing causes too many of our children and grandchildren to disrespect us. Black men we live under a barrage of being unappreciated, devalued, disgusted, slighted, blamed, accused, suspected, investigated, discriminated, rejected, neglected, stunted, marginalized, hunted, attacked, murdered, victimized, and traumatized.
All the chronic stress Black men face every day causes many of us to die prematurely from heart attacks and strokes; while many of us seek daily temporary relief through drugs, alcohol, sex, religion, ego-tripping, or zoned out in sports land. Many Black men try to find a ‘space’ in the house generally in the basement ‘man cave’ to debrief and relax from relentless stress.
Ra Ubadiah Hotep His Open House: An Oasis in the Distressed Desert
For decades in Pontiac, Michigan Ra Ubadiah Hotep who recently became an Ancestor was a conscious cultural facilitator and Black male advocate who provided distressed Black men with much-much more than just a man cave; he opened up his home on Fridays for decades as a space where Black men could come relax, rejuvenate, recreate, and redevelop themselves.
Ra Ubadiah Hotep's open-house was known informally as the ‘Omni Development Space Complex’ (ODSC) a cultural free space likened to the safe houses of the Underground Railroad. The safe houses of the Underground Railroad were spaces where our enslaved Ancestors could stay and hide; food and clothing was provided as well as a bed to sleep on.
Ra Ubadiah Hotep’s ‘Omni Development Space Complex’ represented a contemporary Underground Railroad 'free space' that facilitated the ‘all’ in the sense of avant-garde jazz music therapeutic expression, promoted learning an instrument, promoted learning Black History, enhanced a sense of Brotherhood, encouraged creative expressions (poetry) and polemic rap sessions, use of herbs and herbal remedies, and provided nutritious meals (navy beans with smoke turkey and cornbread).
Black men looked forward weekly to come through ODSC; local Black auto workers who played instruments would come through after a stressful day of work, musicians would come through, Black male college students from Oakland University would come through, conscious Black men came through, and a variety of other Black men came through ODSC.
Ra Ubadiah Hotep was an embodiment of 1960’s Black Nationalism & Cultural Nationalism that he kept alive so we could be connected to this super-important classic period. Ra Ubadiah Hotep left an indelible mark on me by exposing me to the writings of the great Black Panther revolutionary George Jackson who matured my thinking and sharpened my political ideology.
Ra Ubadiah Hotep would send many Brothers hand-written letters including writing many in jail and prisons; he was a surrogate father-figure for many younger Black males. Ra Ubadiah Hotep was an avid reader and was constantly recreating himself to his death.
About a month ago I talked with Ra Ubadiah Hotep for several hours, our conversation focused on Kemetic spirituality and its funerary ritual that he requested I conduct for him. In the Kemetic funeral ritual the deceased heart was weighed on scale before Ancestral jurors. Indeed Ra Ubadiah Hotep’s heart was with the overall betterment and wellbeing of Black men, thus our Paternal Ancestral jurors’ judgment is that they are pleased with his heart!
Ra Ubadiah Hotep is now an Ancestor to be constantly remembered through portraits of him on walls and altars; his birthday becomes a holiday celebration; and libations poured consistently in his name. As Black men we thank you for caring about us, in your memory let us extend your legacy by continuing to care about the welfare of Black men. Much Love & Appreciation!!