This Cameroonian Folktale Speaks To Community And The Power Of Black Unity

two hands clasped together
Alyssa Guzik
October 18, 2023

John Benedict Tate was a craftsman who built a successful business to support his family. He and his wife, Mary, had sixteen children. Known to the wealthy and commoners alike, they were called “The Family” or “Society in miniature form.”

Each child’s personality matched a trait of society. They were exuberant and distinct. Everyone knew them. Their personalities loomed so large that their father changed the name of his business empire from “Benedicts” to “The Tates” so that all of his children were represented.

Dictate, the oldest son, set the rules for the day to the chagrin of Irritate. Twins Devastate and Agitate schemed together to ruin a good time. Triplets Vegetate, Hesitate, and Mutate were slow to change and tried not to stress over much. Most loved by her parents, Potentate was considered “the queen” of the family.

Imitate and Mimitate, having no concrete decision-making abilities, followed the leader's whims at the end of the day. Twins Mediate and Cogitate frequently settled disputes between their siblings, while Rotate knew how to turn a situation around. Facilitate, Necessitate, and Orientate were able to relay all information to the siblings in such a way that they ultimately worked together.

Though they had their disputes and frequently agreed to disagree, The Tates realized that unifying through their differences made them stronger and prosperous. We are all Tate siblings, differing in our opinions and approaches to life. This folktale teaches us that it’s only by working together that we can indeed prosper.

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: