The last time we got together, we began dialoguing about the lasting effects slavery has had on America. As we continue, let's dig a bit deeper...
Before attempting to solve any problem, you have to first define it. Only then will you have adequate information to determine its effects and find a solution.
THE PROBLEM: "Mentacide"
For African-Americans, we have had to endure physical abuse - everything from hundreds of whips on our backs to our necks hanging in nooses, while swinging from trees - the likes of which society urges us to forget. As grotesque (and unwarranted) as these actions against the black race was, I am inclined to argue that the lasting mental effects slavery has produced are far worse than the temporary physical results. Carter G. Woodson, known as the Father of Black History, stated, "when you control a man's thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions." The most devastating impact slavery has had on African Americans is not physical, but rather, psychological. Centuries after slavery has ended, many African Americans are still mentally chained to the plantation.
However, as mentioned in my intro blog to this series, MENTACIDE not only affects African Americans, but also affects White Americans as well. How naive to think that we (blacks, whites, and other races) all live together, but are unaffected by the same things. The impact of how events affect us all can be likened to a city that is shaken by an earthquake. The rumblings of the earth show no favor in the foundations of the homes they shake, destruction of bridges and roadways, or lives they happen to take - but at the end of the disaster, the damage is undeniable. Just as a natural disaster can devastate an entire community, a social tragedy (such as slavery), can leave a society in shambles.
African Americans are bombarded with negative pieces of information that conveniently highlight our inability to...for lack of better terminology, GET IT TOGETHER - BUT, are our white counterparts as together as some would like to believe? In my opinion, the answer is simple. NO.
While many African Americans live in an irrational belief of inferiority and fear, just as many White Americans live in a state of superiority and denial. This flawed thought process on both parties' parts is directly related to the master/slave relationship blacks and whites had during slavery. The dynamics and resulting actions of this defective bond has been ingrained in all of our brains and behaviors over many generations...and of course, it will take more than one generation to reverse its effects.
Speaking of 'its' effects, that is the subject of our next conversation. So, let's meditate and let this marinate. Until next month, speak your piece...
"In order to liberate the [Black] mind, we have to change and fundamentally transform the consciousness of the [Black] individual." - Gershom Williams
This liberation applies to ALL minds.
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