Are the effects of slavery present today.
Although the effects of slavery were exceptional for America’s economic growth, it has come at a high cost of uneducated African American’s, along with the dehumanization of African Americans and a slew of problem’s that were to affect inner cities of African American communities today.
I plan to explain how the effects of slavery are present in today’s society by the lack of education in the African American communities as well as the high crime rate in inner city African American communities and how they are connected to slavery.
The effect of slavery has brought America to a place where economic growth was exceptional through free labor at the cost of African American Slave. “For nearly three hundred years, the labor system in the United States was dependent upon holding human beings in bondage and forcing them to work against their will. This system was kept afloat not by the willingness of slaves, but by constant policing and violent enforcement of slave codes and laws.” Say’s author (Kim G. 2006)
Slaves were treated as property and not human beings, there for they did not have the rights of other citizens in the United States, causing rebellion and violence at the act of being free. By the time William Lynch arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1712 to give a speech on how to control slaves, he came with a plan to control slaves and give direction to slave owners while dehumanizing slaves in the process. As I read the speech my stomach turned because it felt like I was reading the answers to all the problems that exist in African American communities today. William Lynch stated
“The Black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self re-fueling and self generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands. Don't forget you must pitch the old Black male vs. the young Black male, and the young Black male against the old Black male. You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves. You must use the female vs. the male, and the male vs. the female. You must also have your white servants and overseers distrust all Blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love, respect and trust only us.
Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. If used intensely for one year, the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful. Thank you, gentlemen.” (Willie Lynch Speech -- Courtesy of The Freeman Institute, 2008)
In 1865 when the thirteenth amendment abolished slavery in our country, at that account southern states along with other states did not approve of this and kept any chance of reform in African Americans communities were basically destroyed by the constant reminder of the difference in races, throughout society and it clearly stated in Jim Crow Laws just how important African American were after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. As I look further into the Jim Crow Laws from state to state every law brought forth unequal rights for African Americans leaving a message of free but not equal. I looked at some of the pictures that was provided by African-American history and the pictures were sad because it showed just how dirty the water fountain was for colored and how clean it was for whites it made me think if the government allowed such distinctions to be shown in the publics eye who was bringing forth change in out country.
Laws were practiced that were unfair for African Americans “Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, & Kentucky
By the 1890s, as the gains of Reconstruction were stripped away, southern states began enacting Jim Crow laws that enforced separate facilities for blacks and whites.” States Jessica McElrath.
In the 1984 I lived in Mattapan, Massachusetts I seen a crime wave hit the city I was living in hard. If anything in the above speech has any truth, hatred was taught, and somehow it has extended in African American communities while living in New Orleans, Louisiana I have seen the same problem it was reported in 2004 Louisiana violent crime rate was at twenty two thousand six hundred and sixty three just in the inner city alone the murder and nonnegligent manslaughter was five hundred and thirteen. It makes a statement in my mind who taught this anger or as well, in some cases the hatred has allowed families that had no sense of change (with the exception for a job) not mentally grow out of slavery, Bill Cosby stated “I met with 35 boys, ages 13-18 who are part of the Ready Rap program, which helps them get a high school diploma. All they have to do is study. But most of them aren’t ready because mentally they have a mantra that is from the streets. It doesn’t take much to pull a trigger of to pull off a stupid robbery. And let us not forget that chronologically a boy may be sixteen years old, but could be four years old in terms of maturity, because he’s never been taught anything.” (essence magazine march 2008 Bill Cosby’s latest book, coauthored with Dr. Alvin F Poussaint, is come on People: On the Path From Victims to Victors) (Thomas Nelson) Now that same economic growth that our country got ahead from now is a great cost. Over crowed jails cause broken families and no direction or structure because two parents are not in the home, furthermore causing taxes to go up, because of the support of families on welfare and holdings in jails.
Some how I have managed to run across six African American males in my life that don’t know how to read, they are very unsecure about who they are and the ignorance of not trying to learn how to read saddens me even more.
Being a victim of gang rape when I was in middle school, I felt the young men that did this had not been told it was wrong and unmoral to disrespect someone personal space. Although I was taught not to hook school I did it any way and I put my self in a place were I was subjected to be violated by drinking alcohol. I am not saying they had any right but I wondered where their actions came from. The lack of structure was created through slavery for African Americans because of the constant service for someone else’s benefit.
Here is a poem that I wrote it is called
I’m A Man
Look at my little man a mother hollers on a ghetto street right next to all the other little men at the liquor store just hanging for the day
I guess back in the days these black males were boys for so long and they had become men quick
And right now it’s getting me and everyone else in the country a little to sick
Oh now you see this s*** is thick now you have to listen quick or you will not get the message
Our young men are children’s children of slaves oh yah they know how to be have but no one has seen a mule
So look at the black woman who has to raise the slave, with no hope, no money, no time, no will, no sprit and no sole so who is going to teach her how to live
Oh her little man he’ll bring home the welfare check as long as daddy forgets how to be a man
Daddy says this is easy I’m a man I’ll walk away maybe welfare can give her more because I still think like the little man my mom taught me to be or did society (slave time America)
Where is my moms forty acres and mule forget it she’s going back and forth to school I haven’t figured it out yet maybe someone owes you something but the biggest thing grow up and become a man remember let a child be a child while he still can be one and when he’s growing to become a man teach and show him how.
By Sherry West
By finding a part of the source of the problems today in African American communities, I plan to make a difference in the lives of my four sons. By expressing to them how important it is to be educated leaders, effective thinkers, and role models, because the communities we have lived in lacked these qualities in some of the African American Males.