Raising Children in Meritah (Traditional Africa)

Raising Children in Meritah

"In Meritah, a child born into the world is seen as a spirit, a valuable entity that has a destiny and bloodline that all of us who come in contact with the child, must honor and respect. Everyone takes responsibility for how the child ends up because they are not only a reflection of the individual who raised them, but are representative of a whole culture..."

Where to start...?

The fact of the matter is we can’t begin to have this discussion without addressing a vital reality that affects every human being from the moment they are born, until the moment they depart their journey on this Earth, and that is identity.  We have to start here because education, no matter where we are raised, or what we think, or believe in, has it’s way of reminding us of our origin one way or another.  Our identity is what defines us.  It is what separates us from being lost, insecure and oblivious to the greater realities that impose themselves on our very existence.  


It’s what makes us us and nobody else. Though it may sound complex, it is the simplest and most fundamental thing we have the right to know, or reclaim in the case of those of us who have been detached physically and spiritually from the Motherland.  Without our identity to define us, we end up seeking the validation and definition of our place in the world among those who do not have our best interest at heart.  And the identity that we do seek, is not our own, but that of those who have defined every aspect of our life in the colonial  west.

Where do identity and education link?

It is important to acknowledge our own educational discrepancies before we can truly value the method by which children are raised in traditional communities.  If not, we end up with a judgemental approach that may close our mind before there is the opportunity to learn.  We have to begin with our own needs and shortcoming before we can address those of our children.  

Unless they are homeschooled, most children in the West  spend the bulk of their waking hour being guided and educated by a number of authorities, or community figures.  This can be their babysitter, relative, neighbor, or nanny just to name a few.  Even then, the exposure to other parents outside of the typical nuclear family isn’t that common.  Most often children are in the hand of an educator who is hard at work instilling in them the values and education that reflect an identity that is not their own.  


Now, the teacher is only doing their job, as they themselves are simply trying to make a living in this society in order to survive within it.  It is almost certain that they too were raised the same way, without access to their original value system coming from their Ancestral lineage.  They too suffer from identity ieu linked to not having direct access to their traditional heritage.  

Over time, the children in their care end up growing to become ambassadors of a system that views them as a number, or statistic.  Most unfortunately, they are educated without anyone taking responsibility for them, unless they are “successful”.  Children educated to be someone they are not, understandably end up confused morally and spiritually.  



Without proper guidance and exposure to greater reality, they are more likely to make poor decisions, or exhibit behavior, adopt mental illness, etc. that land them in the trenches of this society.  They are then condemned a failure and all of the responsibility for their “success” in a system marginalized against them is placed on their shoulders.  In a healthy educational environment, those who educate you also take responsibility for how you turn out.  This is the difference between an education and a sham.  This is what we see from generation to generation, but each generation rises with the belief that it will be different for them.  However, unless our educational and societal structures are reclaimed, our identity will never be reclaimed and the cycle will continue.

Modern Family structure

The other side that we must address, is of course, the family/community structure, for it is the family to provide the first education that a child will encounter.  It is normal for children to be primarily raised in the nuclear household structure – mother, father, 1-3 children and a pet.  Though they may travel as a family, the main exposure and education come from those who birthed them into the world.  Although there are exceptions, this model of the nuclear family is standard.  For one household, even sending children to school, feeding and clothing more than three in the West is increasingly difficult, especially with the lack of economic opportunity for those on the bottom rung.


In addition, there is a very large component of a child’s education missing in the American value system. It is common practice to send the grandparent somewhere else to grow old away from the family.  A modern society dictates, they have no more value in the workforce and therefore no more value in the society.  

This same dismissal of our generation of elders has shamefully found its way into our own family structures in the West.  In traditional culture, elders are the most valuable component to a society.  They help guide the family and provide a wealth of wisdom to each generation in the household and overall community.  Removing grandparents from the home removes their influence and connection to their grandchildren who often share more between one another than them and their parents.  

The relationship between a grandparent and their grandchildren is so essential in the traditional family tree, that most children are exclusively raised by their grandmother for a period of time in their youth.   There is nothing wrong with a child being raised by their mother and father.  All any parent seeks to do is protect their children from their perceived evil in the world that may steer them wrong.  No one will fault a parent for this.  But, who is there to protect them from you?  Remember, our identity is strongly defined by the orchestrator of this society, what else is left for us to consider our own idea?


We all have our flaws and handicaps at every level of our being.  We are far from a perfect model for our children, no one is perfect.  But, by allowing them to experience different parenting styles and exposure to different personalities, etc.  they become much more well rounded.  Perhaps the weaknesses you may unknowingly instill can be countered by the strengths of another parent.  All of this becomes that much more impactful when this is an understanding shared by a whole society.  In Meritah, the culture is about educating a child to be the best version of themselves at all costs rather than just another empty shell.   



There is the aspect of initiation that is understood to be of importance as well.  There is a moment when a child must learn the history, practices and secrets of their forefathers in order to start building and growing into their spiritual predispositions.  This initiation can’t be solely provided by a mother, or father.  Normally, by the time a child reaches this age they have already been raised by their grandparents, the siblings of their parents, their neighbors, other priests, healers and other people in the community.


There are spiritual professionals that are trained to usher the child towards what destiny requires through the intense, rigorous process of initiation.  That priest/healer will become the child’s Master.  He/she will make any sacrifice to assist the child in their evolution.  He becomes their master, father, healer, teacher, his home, his family, his life will be devoted to doing his job to secure this child’s future,  In turn the initiate will become a devoted disciple. 

He will abide by all of the principles and observe all taboos.  He will serve his master and his master’s family who will become his own while working hard to apply all he learns with humility and integrity.  He will raise his human qualities and will receive the favor and benediction of his Ancestors and the Divine world as they too will assist the initiate in his evolution.  



In this process the initiate will learn many secrets, build their knowledge of nature and greater realities, and anything  specific of their own ingenuity.  Their spiritual and intellectual predispositions will refine as they continue to apply what they learn.  This will continue for years until they show they are able to take hold of their own destiny and eventually lead, and sacrifice for others the way their master did for them.


These are some of the insights to what goes into taking the life of a child and guiding them forward.  Their sense of identity is their foundation.  Once this is taken away it is no longer possible for them to achieve any level of stability mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.  Tradition protects and reinforces the identity of everyone so they can fit into nature and evolve a quality human being with the force of nature in their favor.  

Every parent understands this reality in traditional communities.  In the colonial West our children are left to the hand of a system founded on values that do not honor humanity’s Ancestral heritage.  The most we can do for them and for ourselves is to seek out and honor our heritage and stop looking for our identity from everyone else.  Our culture is still alive and pulsating in Meritah, whatever steps we can take to reclaim it is better than doing nothing.          

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