Libations for My Brother-In-Law for His 75th Birthday

Victor, my brother-law, asked me to “pour libations” as part of the celebration of his 75th Birthday.”  I agreed.

I’ve modeled my “pouring” on the words of Tony Browder, who “poured” at my 75th birthday celebration. We must keep passing the ritual to the next person holding a 75th birthday ceremony.

Tony reminded us of a certain age of the scene in the movie “Cooley High,” where before the guys would take the first sip from a bottle of liquor, they would “pour one out for the homies.” They would splash a little on the ground for the brothers who were no longer with them. That was their “libation ceremony.”
The libation ceremony is a ritual of dispensing a liquid as an offering to a spirit, deity, or soul of a person who is deceased. The ceremony is one of the oldest rituals, where people worldwide have always acknowledged their ancestors.
An ancestor is someone who’s no longer living, and the libation ceremony allows us to venerate them and invite them to share their wisdom to guide us.
For example, many people who created the streets we walk on, the buildings we live in, and the songs we sing are no longer living.
When remembering what we’ve inherited from our ancestors, we honor them.
And by remembering and honoring them, we fill our hearts and souls with love.  Whenever people gather, for any special occasion, like Victor’s 75th Birthday, we pour libations to acknowledge:
  • The Source of our Being.
  • Our ancestors and family members responsible for us doing what we’re doing during our lifetime.
  • The coming together of like-minded souls
  • Our role in passing on intergenerational blessings.
After we pour, we say Asé.
We acknowledge the Creator, known by many names. And all those names are a legitimate expression of a people’s relationship with an unknown source of ultimate power.
Take a moment and connect with your source of ultimate power.
And as we connect with our source of ultimate power, we pour libations,
And, we say Asé.

We also acknowledge the Creator, who brought into existence the first people to walk this planet, who are our ancestors. They lived in Northeast Africa and developed the oldest known civilization. And because of them, we are here today. So, we acknowledge the Creator’s creations and pour this libation,

And, we say Asé.

We acknowledge our ancestors who were the first to think and reason, write books, create culture, and build civilizations. They set in motion a process that has benefited humanity for over 300,000 years. We acknowledge their contributions to our development and pour this libation,

And, we say Asé.

We acknowledge the African men, women, and children stolen from their homes, whose bones lie on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, from the West Coast of Africa to the East Coast of the United States of America. These are the bones of our people whose names we will never know. I encourage you to take some time during this Cruise and, in your own way, acknowledge that we have ancestors on the ocean’s bottom. We pour this libation and honor those nameless souls whose lives, deaths, and spirits matter to us,
And, we say Asé.

We acknowledge those who survived The Middle Passage and worked hard to build a nation, families, and community. We acknowledge their contributions and their many forms of resistance against the people who would own and subjugate them. Their lives matter to us too. We recognize them today as we pour this libation,
And, we say Asé.
We acknowledge those who survived Jim Crowism and all its insidious forms.
  • Through Justin Pearson, we honor our ancestors “who refused to quit.”
  • Through Angela Reese, we celebrate our ancestors who refused to fit “the narrative.”
  • Through Calcea Johnson and Ne’Kiya Jackson, we reconnect with our ancestors’ mathematical
We pour this libation,
And, we say Asé.
I want to let us acknowledge the family members responsible for our being on this Cruise Ship.
We’re all responsible to our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. And so, we pay tribute to them by calling their names, remembering them, and inviting them to participate in this celebration.
So, please call their names out loud or silently.
When we call their names, we let them know we remember them and invite them into our space and heart.
Lastly, we pour libations for those who have not been born – our children’s children’s children.
If we do our job correctly, 75 years from now, when we’re long gone, they will gather at an event like this one, pour libations, and call our names because we’ve demonstrated what it means to be alive and live a life worth living. We accept our responsibility as we pour this libation and say,

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