In school, we learn all about the several wars that America has engaged in and the devastation that came from war, but for some reason talking about the devastation that the American slave trade caused on Black Americans and Africa is seen as being taboo and 'anti-progressive'.
"Why are you people still talking about slavery? It was a thing of the past. I didn't enslave your ancestors."
Why are we as a nation suppose to forget almost 250 years of our history? The holocaust occured for 5 years and was absolutely horrific. If you lived in Germany, you wouldn't dare go up to a family member of a Holocaust victim and say "Why are you people still talking about the Holocaust? You should just forget about it because we can never move forward with people like you." Did you know that there is a Holocaust Remembrance Day? On April 16th (and in some places the whole week), Holocaust victims are commemerated and their are activities to show respect.
Now, I would never compare the devastation of the Holocaust and American Chattel Slavery, as these are two completely separate parts of history. It does make me wonder, however, why there is no slavery commemoration in America for all of the barbaric crimes, mutilations, lynchings, and medical injections committed against the ancestors of Black Americans.
Is slavery really a thing of the past? I say no. Epigenetically and psychologically, there is no way that 250 years of oppresion and torture can ever be forgotten, especially since we are still facing the detriment of chattel slavery today. Here is Part I of aspects of slavery and post-slavery that are still prevelant in America today. To all of the self-proclaimed "New Blacks" out there (cough, couch Raven...cough, cough Simone), you might want to take a seat and listen:
1. The Black Communities Distrust for Police
2. The Black Communities Distrust for Doctors
3. The Broken Black Home
4. Downplaying Our Accomplishments
So, when did we unlearn these habits? Now, I am not saying that we can blame all of the problems within our community on slavery and the events that occurred after slavery but we can't forget our history. In reality, it did not happen that long ago and you cannot expect 250 years of damage to be healed if we don't address the wounds. America needs healing from all of the damage it has caused itself and is continuing to cause in our community.
Stay tuned for Part II next week.