By Any Means Necessary: Volume 3, Issue 3

Page 33

you would normally have to prevent you from doing something negative, and slowly but surely, perhaps you are going to commit some act of violence. I did not want that to be a part of my practice; so, when I was working in drug treatment programs I would always express to the people the importance of language. It’s important to use language with love. All these things are fortified by the fasting discipline.” ● What tips would you offer to first time Black August fasters? “Be realistic. You know on the temples it says ‘Know thyself.’ It’s important for people to know their limitations. Everyone needs to do a health check to make sure they are physically able to fast and determine what type of fast they can do. Can you do a liquid fast, can you do a fast and decide to not do dairy, can you do a fast where you don’t do chicken or fish? Also recognize the environment. In certain parts of California right now we know it’s extremely hot! A certain kind of fasting could result in extreme injury, including death. So, it’s important to assess your limitations, your strengths, and also the environment. In terms of Black August fasting, it could be a variety of things; you know if you are a cigarette smoker you could try to fast from smoking for the month. The point is sacrifice, that is the most important thing. You want to sacrifice for yourself but also your family and the wellbeing of your community—our nation and our people. Fasting should be a part of loving yourself. Removing things that are harmful from your body is an act of self-love. I know people talk about self-care and that’s good, but you really have to love yourself and that takes work. It's important for people to seek out others to help them. If you have dis-ease or depression you should access someone to help you sort through that and that is an act of love. Our New Afrikan community is about finding the best of ourselves and best practices in advancing forward.”

Additional Comments “I think what’s really important is we have to stress demonstrating love of self, love of community, love of nation. I think we start by looking at the best practices in any tradition. What do we learn from the Baka people, what do we learn from the animals in the environment, and so on? As we are looking at ourselves we have to confront hierarchies and patriarchy. As we understand, the ultimate reality is both feminine and masculine; it's important for me to understand how I use those for the balance in myself, my family, the community, and nation. So, you see it comes back to the single unit which develops into the micro and the macro. Love is the foundation.”


By Any Means Necessary