LostAshanti Parables: The Plantation

There was once a Plantation; on this Plantation existed enslavers and enslaved.

The enslavers created the plantation. They drew its borders, wrote its laws, enforced its rules and defined its social order.

The enslaved knew only the plantation. It is where there were born and raised. It is where they lived, where they ate, slept, loved, worked….. and slaved.

This plantation had an over seer, known to be vicious in his punishment of the enslaved. Punishment inflicted for the most minor infraction to the most major, or maybe nothing at all. Whatever the offense, what was certain is that the over seer could and would do as he pleased in pursuit of maintaining order on the plantation, ensuring that all went exactly according to the master’s will.

One day, the over seer, feeling in the mood for sport, mounted his horse and began to roam the plantation. He rode towards one of the enslaved males, for no reason at all really, except this day the way this one walked; upright, rhythmic and bold – made him stand out from the rest of the enslaved who generally went undistinguished from each other, against the back drop of the plantation.

The Upright noticed the enslaver coming towards him. He stopped slaving to concentrate on the overseer in his approach. In his mind flashed every brutal act of the overseer he had witnessed ever since he was born on the plantation. He felt every lash previously inflicted upon him by the overseer. He heard the screams of the victims of every story he had been told about the overseer and his service in pursuit of maintaining the master’s order. Not wishing to be a victim of the same, the Upright ran.

The overseer, incensed and angered, pursued the upright. He caught him. The beating was so bad, it severed the life from the body of the upright, leaving his physical framed maimed, broken and distorted. The overseer returned with the body of the upright flung over his horse.

Upon seeing the battered and broken body of their likeness limp and lifeless across the overseers hoarse, sadness filled the souls of the enslaved. They knew why he had ran. They to, so many times had wanted to do the same. They knew what had gone through his mind as if they had experienced it in that moment, themselves, with their own flesh, eyes and ears. The sadness grew among them like the effect of a storm on still waters; they finally felt their own current – and it carried them to the big house and the quarters of the overseer in protest.

They demanded to know what happened. They received no answers. They demanded to know why the overseer felt the need beat the Upright to death. They received no answers. They demanded that the master bring the overseer to justice for the murder of the upright. They received no response.

Raging waters turned living fire. The fire sparked in their souls and grew until it engulfed the entire plantation. It consumed the big house, the overseer’s quarters, the slave quarters, the cabin, the shack, the store house and swept across the entire land mass. Everything on the plantation went up in smoke and came down in ashes. In a moment of blazing light, the entire reality of the plantation was transformed.

The enslaved stood upright. All were dancing with joy, or consumed by deep meditation, deep in contemplation of the changing reality they had just brought into existence with their own hands. All the enslaved were engulfed in this vibration…. All except the head boy, who looked upon all the enslaved in disgust and said:

“Look you stupid slaves. You’ve burned down your own plantation.”

LostAshanti 29/04/15



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