Tag: slavery

May 7, 2014 / / Entertainment
July 19, 2013 / / history
July 3, 2012 / / Quoted
June 19, 2012 / / WTF?
July 11, 2011 / / politics

Michele Bachmann

Last week, Michele Bachmann caused a ruckus in the black blogosphere after signing “The Marriage Vow” a uber-conservative manifesto to ensure candidates agree that they will oppose gay marriage measures once in office. The document is offensive enough on its own, but it got a little extra juice from this inclusion:

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

This makes me wonder have these people read anything at all about slavery. Did they know that slaves were considered chattel? Property, not people? And under such considerations, not allowed to legally wed? Do they even know what jumping the broom is? (Historically, black slaves jumped the broom into the land of matrimony, since many slaves were denied traditional weddings since they were considered property.) Did they miss the fact that children and families were routinely sold away from each other, breaking the bonds of family? What kind of revisionist bullshit were they reading? That whole “blacks were better off during slavery” lie has a ridiculous hold on the GOP. But I suppose this is what happens when we start re-writing history books and sanitizing what happened.

To add insult to injury, the Marriage Vow follows that steaming pile up with a glowing reference to the Moynihan report, and quickly points out the white community has exceeded those crisis levels (and the black community is doomed). Oh, the humanity!

But Bachmann signed this thing, and so far, it’s rolling off her like Teflon. Many Black conservatives, pleased with the message Bachmann endorsed with her signature, believe she’s speaking some kind of truth to power.

So, of course, the first thing I’m wondering is if there’s any policy behind all of Bachmann’s posturing, and surprisingly there is. And to my horror, it’s gonna be really appealing to social conservatives. Read the Post Wait, The GOP is Seriously Considering Michele Bachmann?

Wild Seed cover

Doro discovered the woman by accident when he went to see what was left of one of his seed villages. The village was a comfortable mud-walled palace surrounded by grasslands and scattered trees. But Doro realized before he reached it that it’s people were gone. Slavers had been to it before him. With their guns and their greed, they had undone in a few hours the work of a thousand years. Those villagers they had not herded away, they had slaughtered. Doro found human bones, hair, bits of desiccated flesh missed by scavengers. He stood over a very small skeleton – the bones of a child – and wondered where the survivors had been taken. Which country or New World colony? How far would he have to travel to find the remnants of what had been a healthy, vigorous people?

Finally, he stumbled away from the ruins bitterly angry, not knowing or caring where he went. It was a matter of pride with him that he protected his own. Not the individuals, perhaps, but the groups. They gave him their loyalty, their obedience, and he protected them.

He had failed. Read the Post Wild Seed [Octavia Butler Book Club]

June 29, 2011 / / ethnocentrism

by Guest Contributor Sonita Moss

I’m back, America.

I have been home, on U.S. soil, for the past 3 weeks, and it has given me some time to reflect on being a black woman in U.S. vs. being a black American woman in France. Living in France for the second time was rather colder than the first but a bit more illuminating in terms of race. That can be attributed to the fact that while Aix-en-Provence, the first city that introduced me to the entrancing world of French culture, is an international student-city in the sunny south, Vannes is situated in Bretagne, in the rainy north-west of the country. Aside from the nonstop rain, Vannes was whiter than white. Not to say I didn’t see black people – indeed, I noticed black women on my daily bus route to work, but many public spaces, like the port, the library, and the grocery store were lacking in color. Admittedly, there were actually two black hair stores and a café Afrique that shut down while I was there, but that was about it.

Binta, the young Senegalese woman who did my hair, broke it down for me one day, “There’s no black people here because it’s too small because there are no jobs. But a lot of them marry French.” By “French”, she meant white men, and her sister, the owner of Ebene Cosmetique, was one such example. I noticed, with a certain amount of chagrin, that many Europeans of color refer to their privileged compatriots as the standard of that country, while they are specifically marked by their race. “English” are white, but English blacks are, well, black. The same goes for conversations I have had with German blacks. I suppose we hold the same standard in America, but because of our sordid misdealings with the social construction, although blacks may not be considered true “Americans” we do not refer to our white counterparts as simply “Americans”. Indeed, we are obsessed with race but rarely given the proper tools to talk about, much less acknowledge, our race problems. And white Europeans know it, effectively allowing them to ignore their own issues, I discovered.

When I first arrived in Vannes, I befriended a couple of local boys, and we often went out to bars since there is little else to do in the city. Amazed at the utter whiteness of the venue, one night I asked my friend, “Do you ever notice that there are essentially no black people here – why is that?” and he said, “There are some, just not many. But it’s very different in France, we are much less conscience of race in France than Americans.” He smoothly side-stepped my question and turned the focus to America’s racism. Because America is a popular topic in the media, the nightly French news frequently reported breaking American news. Thus, the world beyond our borders is informed of how race issues are part and parcel to American culture. Read the Post America, the Scapegoat [Youth Correspondent Tryout]