African Americans; Must Shed Any Shame Associated With Slavery.




( During a recent event celebrating the work of a fantastic collective of African-American artists addressing ‘Afro-Futurism,’ I listened intently during the Q & A session that followed. All that I can say is “out of the mouths of babes” because the most poignant inquiry raised came from one of the youngest in the audience.

The poised middle-school-aged African-American female was undoubtedly wise beyond her age, an “old soul,” so to speak. This child shared a heart-wrenching account of how uncomfortable she becomes when the issue of slavery arises in any of her classes. This impressive young sister shared the following.

When we talk about slavery, all of the white kids turn in their seats and stare at me. It is uncomfortable. I wish that my teachers would not talk about it at all, mainly because I am the only Black person in the class.


Unbeknownst to this young lady, the vast majority of African-Americans, regardless of age, educational attainments, and socioeconomic status, experience the “shame” when the topic of chattel slavery arises. It would not be a stretch to argue that the subject matter haunts them like an unwanted haunting. I will never understand why the descendants of those victimized by American chattel slavery choose to carry negative connotations regarding the African Holocaust on their sturdy shoulders.

The burden is not theirs.

If anyone should shudder at the mention of America’s original sin, it is those who have Anglo-Saxon blood flowing through their veins. They are not difficult to find as they proudly lay claim to this eternal transgression by claiming sole ownership of this nation. Unbeknownst to them, their claim carries a foreboding history that should guarantee one’s place in the hottest portion of Hell. Rest assured that this thought is not new, as evidenced by the words of an American Patriot who advised his countrymen of the desperate need to shed the sin of slavery in the following manner.

If God is just, and I believe that he is, we will burn in Hell for this shit.

White Anglo-Saxon Protestants claim to this nation identify them as the descendants of a people who perpetrated untold horrific deeds during this nation’s darkest period. As if that were not enough, the same boasting and bragging convicts their kind as the perpetrators of multiple Holocausts on the North American continent. If only we could get others (Polish, Japanese, Italians, Ghanaians, Brazilians, Nigerians and a host of others) to join in the process of laying such atrocities at the feet of White Angl0-Saxon Protestants, racial matters would become less convoluted in this nation.

When one thinks about this issue, it becomes evident that the “original settlers” of the North American continent (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) have been able to shed what should be inescapable blame and responsibility for the deeds of their ancestors.

If nothing else, I have to tip my hat to the ingenious ways that White Anglo-Saxon Protestants have been able to convince persons of African descent that their ancestors were responsible for their victimization during the world’s greatest Holocaust. Similarly, “Whites” whose ancestors did not arrive in this land until well after the deplorable institution was established and operating have been duped into believing that a portion of their admittance to whiteness is paid in their joining the White choral whose favorite tunes are the denouncement of racial justice and resistance to reparations.

Arguably, this is the longest-running con on the North American continent. The most crucial element in its achievement is the astounding lack of historical knowledge that engulfs the vast majority of Americans. When viewed from a detached view, it is obvious that the greatest tie binding Americans together is the shocking level of historical illiteracy that governs their belief systems and worldviews.

Anyone who has studied the discipline of History in depth can tell you that the most powerful element in shaping the worldview and beliefs of people is “the narrative.” The narrative is merely the arrangement of facts to generate sympathy and support for one’s version of History. Experience has taught me that Black America, despite their oral traditions, have yet to learn that they must seize their historical record, just as persons of Jewish descent have, and wield it as an Excalibur against less than favorable “narratives” of History. I guarantee you that until that occurs, African-Americans will continue to carry the shame of slavery on their shoulders, there may be no greater manifestation of this unfortunate reality than the nervousness and insecurities that overtake Black children at the mention of slavery.

Staff Writer; Dr. James Thomas Jones III

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