Consider this stylized version of the Creation Story and the rise and fall of humankind: In the beginning was God, and God created the angels to do His Will. God then created man in His own likeness. God commanded the angels to bow before man. All of the angels did as God commanded, except for Iblis (also called Lucifer), who was consequently cast out for his disobedience. God placed man upon the Earth. God went about creating the universe. Woman was the universe, and the universe was the woman. Her hue was black, ever foreboding and infinite as the unattainable reaches that form the vastness of God’s mind. God’s words impregnated her, and she brought forth all things, for within her abode the possibility for all things. But man was alone in all that God had created; so, God took woman from the heavens and fashioned her physical form from the essence of man. And, woman stood beside man. Because of her previous celestial state, her emotional depth and connection to the supernatural were both far greater than man’s. After all, she had once been infinite. Man’s inability to be complete within himself moved God to confine woman for man’s benefit, for man’s aid and to be a symbol of God’s unwavering grace and compassion upon man. And, man so loved woman that he would do anything to please her.
Seeing all this, Iblis approached woman. Knowing that woman desired to return to her celestial state, Iblis told woman that she and man could break free from their physical limitations and become gods themselves. Iblis convinced woman she and man could be free were they but bold enough to partake of the tree which bears the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Woman did, in fact, long to return to her former glory; so, she did partake. She then offered the fruit to her husband. Man, wanting to please his wife, also partook in that which was forbidden. Upon eating the fruit, they became instantly aware but began to feel naked. They attempted to hide from the presence of God. When God chastised them, woman defended herself, but man blamed woman for his own complicity. While man’s testimony in no way influenced God, God punished woman more harshly than man. Instead of owning up to his own failings in accepting God’s judgment, man hardened his heart towards woman. Though he continued to use her for what she was able to offer, man began to treat woman in a manner akin to benign neglect. Woman grew resentful. In her resentment, woman set out to prove herself worthy of man’s respect. In doing so, she forgot herself, her previous heavenly demeanor. She began to mimic man’s basest behaviors. She inadvertently defiled her body. Though man’s body had become just as soiled, he rejected woman, perceiving her as impure. Woman grew angry.
(An excerpt from “On the Respect of Womanhood”, We Struggle Not Against Flesh & Blood: Thoughts & Reflections on Being Black in America, Vol. 1. Copyright © 2012. Amir Clayton Powell. All Rights Reserved. Order your copy at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/aclaytonpowell.)
Amir Clayton Powell is an author, advocate, entrepreneur, father, husband, servant of God, and warrior. By the by, he also happens to be the Publisher of The Old School Journal™ (TOSJ) as well as the Founder & Chairman of A C Powell & Co. LLC. Find A C on Twitter: @AClaytonPowell. Follow TOSJ on Facebook & Twitter. Find other books and essays by Amir Clayton Powell by following this link.
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