Fact #10 of 28
M 12 Million Africans were kidnapped, nearly all by Africans themselves and then brought to Europeans, traded for some bull$hit and then marched aboard slave ships with the aim of bringing them to the new world creating some of the largest fortunes the world had ever known. Initially Africans assumed that the Europeans would be satisfied with a few of their undesirables here and there, but it wasn’t long before they realized that European desire for African labor was insatiable. As a consequence, in many instances if African Slave traders didn’t have any slaves to trade the Europeans didn’t hesitate to take to take them in their place. Karma is a b!tch.
Enslaved Africans were worth more alive than dead so those who had invested large sums of money into the profits of slavery put pressure on those who maintained these slave ships to install best practices to try to increase mortality rates of their precious cargo.
If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.Carter G. WoodsonThe problem was being chained together in the belly of a sweltering ship, covered in feces, urine, inadequate food and a daily lot of new corpses was more conducive to fostering disease than it was transporting human beings, especially if you intended those humans to live through it. Over the next 200 years, so many dead Africans were tossed from these ships that the seasonal migration pattern of Sharks which roamed those waters of the Atlantic actually altered to take advantage of this new reliable source of food. Not surprisingly, some conservative estimates suggest that as many as 2 million Africans died before ever stepping foot in the new world.
Those who didn’t succumb to disease or take advantage of the opportunity to leap to their deaths in the cold Atlantic had another horror awaiting them once they arrived in the new world called Seasoning. Seasoning was the process by which the African was made a slave by feeding him an almost daily diet of physical and psychological abuse to make them to internalize the idea of being someone’s property. Again, some of the mortality rates in these seasoning camps where reportedly as high as 50%.
The point I am trying to make is that the enslaved Africans who leapt to their deaths in the cold Atlantic are NOT the ancestors of the African-American. Those enslaved Africans that died from diseases in the belly of those slave ships are NOT the ancestors of the African-American. Those who died in these horrid seasoning camps that awaited them in the New World are NOT the ancestors of the African-American. African-Americans are the descendants of those who miraculously survived all of that only to embrace and internalize the identity of Slave rather than die. Our culture, our worldview is one that was intentionally severed from Africa and rebuilt within the context of slavery. Although there were still cultural retentions from Africa that survived, nearly all of them, over time had been reinterpreted and repurposed within this new context.
Being a Slave is an identity. Identities are learned things. We absorb them very early in childhood. We come to understand what these expectations and definitions are through our caretaker’s beliefs. This identity, as well as the expectations that come with it, have been passed on to their children and to their children’s children for generations.
Any Black who has been told that he is “less black” because he talks “too white” can attest to these expectations.
Any black who has felt the pressure under perform in school by other Blacks can attest to this, as well.
My wife right now has a student that she says got all A’s last year and then started getting teased so badly by his peers that now he makes sure that he doesn’t make an A just so he can fit in. He can do the work, but he won’t. There is always pressure to meet with the expectations of any group identity or face being rejected by the group.
Consider this quote from Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his action. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.”
More than any other factor, this Slave identity and the pressure to meet those expectations or face rejection by the group is true the blueprint of many, if not ALL, of the problems that plague the African-American community including generational poverty, crime, self-hatred, the undervaluing of education, high unemployment, and even chronic disease.
• African-American women are 15 times more likely to get HIV than are white women. African-American men are six times more likely to get HIV than are white men. African-Americans get nearly half of all new HIV infections in the U.S.
• 72 percent of black mothers are unwed compared to 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics.
• Fewer than half of all African Americans that attend college graduate.
• According to the Bureau of Justice, African-Americans make up only 11% of the population of the United States but 60.1 % of the prison population. 43% of all murder victims in the United States in 2007 were African Americans, with 93.1% of them killed by another African American.
• According to recent US Census Bureau data, 24.7% of all African-Americans live in poverty in compared to 8.6% of Whites, 11.8% of Asian-American and 23.2% of Hispanics.
• African-American women are two to three times more likely than White females to conceive during their teenage years.
So why do blacks use the N-word?
If you still need to ask. I will explain that tomorrow.