Remember Jupiter

Alfonzo Tucker

Hello world, I trust you all are in good spirits, if not allow me to divert your attention from all negative issues; at least for the few moments we share within the words of this article. Allow me, to bring to your attention, a Black man born into slavery on October 17, 1711. I know this man to be “Jupiter Hammon”. He was considered one of the founders of African American Literature, as he was the first black man to become published in 1760. His first in print work was a poem titled, “Evening Thought”. I believe his knowledge of the holy word is what allowed him to survive four generations of slavery.

Please take note of this quote from the late Jupiter Hammons’ poem, it’s my favorite! “We cry as Sinners to the Lord, Salvation to obtain; it is firmly fixed, his holy Word, Ye shall not cry in vain”. Repeat that as many times as you need to feel the affects of that statement. I know many of use dwell within issues that lead us astray. I know I have on occasion engaged in vises that could be harmful to the soul. Yet, there are people in our history, like Jupiter Hammon, who dealt with societal issues with such bravery, that he shared his opinions with the world. He inspires me to live healthy.

I often wonder what makes certain people so strong or influential in a world where life is taken for granted. Is it confidence? Is it mental strength? I think it has a lot to do with the value one places upon themselves. In several of the works published from the thoughts of Jupiter Hammon, they all have a reoccurring theme; that theme was his faith. I know that many of us, even me, struggle with that topic. Yet I must admit salvation, in any form one chooses to recognize it, is desired by every person on earth.

During a time where education of the black slave was frowned upon, Jupiter excelled and shared his knowledge with others. I can not fathom the struggles one had to endure as a slave. I know that in today’s society where education is offered abundantly, many of us do not realize the long term profit.

The point I am attempting to express is this, many of you may remember this statement from my past articles, “education is the key to success in all areas of ones life”. Whether it is finding where your personal salvation exists or establishing a foundation in which to gain personal confidence and mental strength; these goals have been achieved before us. People like Jupiter Hammon and others have endured struggles far greater then most. I personally, was born to a woman who solicited her body for the financial gain of my biological father, who then became addicted to the drugs he sold. Yet, I cry aloud and look forward to accomplishing the most positive goals one can achieve.

So, find your path. Allow yourself to be motivated by persons before you! And most importantly allow yourself the salvation that is rightfully yours. We live in a country that offers us education and freedom; take positive advantage!