Friday, January 18, 2008

Anatomy of a Search: The Power of a Hum

I once read a book by Rabbi Akiva Tatz which explained how Jewish people become religious. What motivates them, what blocks them mentally, what some look for as opposed to others. I wish that he was able to expand this into the Black community. I often wondered what would his research results say.

My guess is that BF are a very spiritual bunch. No matter what, or who, even if the person is a self proclaimed athiest, I suspect they'd have some sort of drive towards helping the world, or saving x, y, or z. or some cloaked spiritual drive in the guise of physically helping someone or something.

In history, since the time of slavery, you can read about how Harriet Tubman, for example, did what she did because she felt God was guiding her through voices. Or how people felt vindicated through the Bible. Or even just for sustaining themselves, how so many sang spiritual songs from the Old Testament events.

I am willing to bet that even before they were introduced to the Bible, BF were a spiritual bunch. If anyone can direct me as to where I can read about that era, I'd be so grateful!

At any rate, one beautiful thing that I must say I love about BF spirituality, is they way we hum. Throughout the day, I remember my mother humming away. You'd think there were no problems. I remember a black lady who was getting ready to give birth, how she hummed and hummed through the pain.

A few days ago, I almost fell off my chair with laughter as a Jewish lady came to me and said she wanted to share a secret with me and a bunch of other girls. She said, "my teacher taught me the secret of getting through the day!" Everyone hunched closer to hear this big secret. What was this secret? She says, "she says she hums!"

I smiled and looked down. Oh if only BF knew the beauty that they have. I'm not just talking what degree they have, how they look in the mirror. But these things that are so basic that it doesn't even get counted as beauty.

Having a psalm at the tip of your lips can uplift one's spirit so high! Humming a pleasant tune can give the heart so much energy. Its almost like an antidote to depression.

There is a part of Judaism that focuses on joy. (there are like so many different words for the many different types of joy one can feel: Gila, rina, ditza, hedvah, simcha, sasson, etc) And those who really push this part (The Breslovers) of Judaism, advocate humming!

But we have that already!

3 comments:

Grata said...

"I once read a book by Rabbi Akiva Tatz which explained how Jewish people become religious. What motivates them, what blocks them mentally, what some look for as opposed to others. I wish that he was able to expand this into the Black community. I often wondered what would his research results say".

Miriam,


GREAT TOPIC. And I never say this just to anyone. What blocks BP mentallY? Look at how other societies develop. A society's psyche is greatly influenced by its thinkers. American blacks had great thinkers, the MLKs etc. But today the few that we have are being torn down and discredited like Cosby. The way I see it is, MLK seems to be more greatly publically acknowledged by non blacks than the blacks themselves.

I think the question you should be asking is, where are our thinkers? you know BP are suspiscious of knowledge from other sources so we need our own that can guide our thinking. Who has the most influence at the moment? the Hip Hop producers, not only on the black youth but on America on matters regarding black.


"My guess is that BF are a very spiritual bunch. No matter what, or who, even if the person is a self proclaimed athiest, I suspect they'd have some sort of drive towards helping the world, or saving x, y, or z. or some cloaked spiritual drive in the guise of physically helping someone or something"

This is another strange thing. In my tribe we are hummers. Because we traditionally do hard labor like cultivating mountains with our bare hands, people working in groups while singing and humming.
At funerals you always have people singing and humming, at parties, same thing. Women in their homes are always humming away their sorrows. When I am under stress, I tend to hum.

So it amazes me when I see some AAs tryng to distance themselves and claim that AA music is their own invention.

diva said...

This post brightened my day:)

Miriam said...

Grata,

Where are our thinkers? Now that's a great topic i'd like to post on.

And speaking of hip hop, I really miss the type of music Will Smith did. But those -I guess-don't seem to sell as much as the hard core, negative women image ones.

"So it amazes me when I see some AAs tryng to distance themselves and claim that AA music is their own invention."

I wonder if that is part and parcel to the whole negative image portrayal that AA have received for way too long. It creates too much insecurity?

Diva -I am so glad!!! your comment brightened mine!