Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Black History Month: 7 Ways Slavery Still Psycho-Behaviorally Impacts Black People Negatively

From my perspective if one thinks the influences of Black enslavement is over due to the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) and Civil Rights legislation (1965) then one has a limited perspective.

Though legal - physical slavery is over mental slavery is far more insidious, enduring, and manifests itself today psycho-behaviorally in self-limiting, self-containing, self-ashaming, and self-defeating ways.

7 Ways Slavery Still Psycho-Behaviorally Impacts Black People Negatively:

1. Names and Identity Disorder

Just as Kunta Kinte was forced under the lash to change his name in the novel and movie Roots, Black people both in America and Africa were forced to take their European slave masters’ names. Arab enslavement in Africa resulted in forced name impostion.

Currently, most Black people still carry European or Arabic names, which is a direct link to our enslaved identity. Unfortunately today too many young Black adults and teens identify themselves as being 'Niggas' a racist derogatory name from slavery.

Moreover, many young Black males not only identify themselves as Niggas, they also integrate the names of White Mafia mobsters and Latin American drug cartel kingpin figures names into their own names. Also, too many young Black males identities come from street gang affiliations.

There is a poigant scene in the classic movie Boyz From The Hood, where the star of the movie 'Tre' was talking in class and the teacher singled him out telling him to come up front and teach the class. Tre goes to the blackboard and pulls down a map of Africa and says we all come from here, a young Black male in the class immediately responds by saying “Nigga I aint from no Africa, I'm from the Crenshaw Mafia” (gang set).

2. Religion

More powerful than the European and Arab names that were forcibly imposed on Black slaves, was the religious imposition of Christianity and Islam. The Catholic Church used Christianity to justify enslaving Africans and used it to control Blacks on the plantation.

They used the imagery of a white Jesus as the Son of God to show the white man as God 'All-Knowing' and 'All-Powerful'; the white man is an awesome embodiment both as the 'Enslaver' and 'Savior'; that Blacks must accept a 'for
cibly imposed' Jesus for their salvation to get their rewards in heaven after death.

Regarding Islam, many parts of Africa were already under Arab Islamic 'conquest' control prior to European Christian colonialism; Muslim Africans were captured by European slave traders and brought to America. 

Today you have Black Christians turning toward the 'Vatican' and 'Jerusalem' as the sacred lands; Blacks that are Muslims turn toward 'Mecca' in Saudi Arabia as the sacred land. What about Africa being Blacks sacred land, it's our birth place and the birth place of civilization and monotheistic religion?

Black people have been taught under the domination of the religious 'supremacy' and 'exclusivism' of the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam that these are the 'only' religions that God accepts! That Judaism - 'Jews' are God's chosen people, that Christianity - 'Jesus Christ' the Son of God must be accepted as Lord and Savior to enter the kingdom of heaven; that Islam - 'Prophet Muhammad' must be accepted as God's last and final Messenger to enter paradise. 

Thus as a Black person practicing any Traditional African Religions or New World African Religions is inferior and doom to go to hell; so our salvation in the afterlife is in following the religions of Jews, Europeans, and Arabs

John Henrik Clarke stated: "Anytime someone says your God is ugly and you release your God and join their God, there is no hope for your freedom until you once more believe in your own concept of the 'deity'." 

The majority of Blacks forcibly brought to America and enslaved came from 4 Traditional African Religious (TAR) centers: Bakongo, Yoruba, Akan, and Vodun, most Blacks today no nothing of their Traditional African Religious heritages. 

Historical research shows that most enslaved Blacks during slavery did not identify themselves as Christians because they practiced an integrated and modified version of Traditional African Religion in the new world known as 'Hoodoo' a natural spiritual healing system.

In the Book “Slavery, Civil War, and Salvation: African American Slaves and Christianity” by Daniel Fountain, successfully challenges assumptions regarding the ubiquity of Christianity amongst Black slaves and suggests that the Christianization of most African Americans occurred after Emancipation.

It was during the Reconstruction Period when white Christian missionaries helped finance and build new churches and schools for freedmen which created a tremendous conversion of ex-Black slaves to Christianity. Without slavery there would be no Black Christians in America!

3. Food

The diets of many Black people who in live in the Diaspora are a direct result of slavery. The slave masters generally consumed the lean and fleshy parts of farm animals, and left the scraps for the enslaved. Enslaved Africans were forced to incorporate those leftovers such as chitterlings, hog-maws, ham-hocks, pig nose, pig ears, pigs feet, and other bad foods into their daily meals.

Those unhealthy foods from slavery are still part of the diets of many Black people today along with the high consumption of fast-food and junk-food. This diet is harmful to the body and are the cause of chronic illnesses that plague our communities including Strokes, Heart disease, High blood pressure, Diabetes and Obesity.

Currently African American adults are nearly 1.5 times as likely to be obese compared with White adults. Approximately 47.8 percent of African Americans are obese (including 37.1 percent of men and 56.6 percent of women) compared with 32.6 percent of Whites (including 32.4 percent of men and 32.8 percent of women.

4. Economic Dependence

Before Arab and Transatlantic slave trade, many African economies flourished and were the foundation of stable, developed societies. Mansa Musa, who was king of the great Mali empire in the 14th century, was the richest man on the planet, worth $400 billion dollars, which is more than any black nation’s annual GDP today.

In the post Civil Rights era, Blacks tend to invest the majority of their income in communities outside their own to the detriment of their daily lives and well-being. 

Today Blacks have purchasing power of over a trillion dollars, almost all of this buying power goes to non-Black businesses; for every dollar Blacks spend only 2 cents is spent with Black businesses resulting in 'economic suicide'. We've become consumer slaves believing other people need our buying power more than we do; we've become financially insane!

5. Language

Currently the official language of many people who are African or African descent is either European or Arabic. Whether it was during the 8th century Arab invasion into north Africa or the European colonization and slave trade that began in the 15th century, foreign languages were forced upon Black people and have been the legacy for generations.

Today Black youth are encouraged to learn second languages like French, Spanish, Chinese, Japenese, and Arabic, but are not encouraged to learn the Pan African language of Kiswahili. Around 5 million Africans speak Swahili as a native language and a further 135 million speak it as a second language.

6. Self-Hate

The slave masters used Machiavellian systems to mentally break the enslaved Africans. While validating themselves as superior, they used every propaganda tool within their power to teach Black people to hate themselves. The results still have major impact on the psyche of Black people today - our hair being an example.

On the slave plantation Black women were told they had 'bad hair' nappy and wooly; taught to be ashamed of their hair. During slavery, Black women with lighter skin and curly hair were more likely to be house slaves, whereas Black women with darker skin and kinky hair were relegated to the fields with 'Mamies' being the exception.

Since slavery Blacks have consistently altered the natural texture of their hair or worn wigs to cover up their hair. The Black revolutionary movement of the 1960's to the middle 1970's was the greatest period of promoting and wearing natural Black hairstyles.

Just look around today and see the majority of Black women wearing long hair wigs and weaves. I hear Black women give all kind of reasons why they prefer long hair, but the bottom line psychologically from my perspective is they subscribe to a white long-hair beauty standard 'consciously' or 'unconsciously'

How often do you see White women, Korean women, Arab women, or other non-Black women wearing braids or natural Black hair styles – rarely or never!

7. Family

The destruction of the Black family unit through the slave master’s intrusive sexual exploitation of women and other evil designs, evolved into a volatile moral code for Black people. 

On plantations enslaved Black men were not men 'fathers', only the white plantation owner was the 'godfather', enslaved Black men were not fathers, they were 'breeders'. Enslaved Black fathers had no ultimate control over their children; they could not protect their children from the master's harsh discipline or prevent them from being sold.

When enslaved Black males turned 15 years old and younger in some cases they had their first inspection. Boys who were under-developed, had their testicles castrated and sent to the market or used on the farm. 

Each enslaved male was expected to get 12 females pregnant a year. The men were used for breeding for five years. One enslaved man name Burt produced more than 200 offspring, according to the Slave Narratives.

A weakened Black family emerged from slavery, as a consequence today over 70 percent of African-American children are born to unmarried women in America. That number is an astonishing residual effect of slavery; such large numbers of Black children born to single mothers is clearly the wrong model. 

Too often I hear young Black women and older referring to Black men as 'sperm donors', just a new term for Black men as breeders. There is a growing trend where Black women in lesbian relationships are sexually manipulating Black men in sperm doning so they can have a child and get child support. 

Indeed, Black men are increasingly viewed as marginal in the new version of the Black family of 'man-less' households. 

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