By Roy D. Malonson, Publisher
|An infamous musician once encouraged to, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.”|
A lot of people do not realize when our ancestors were taken away from Africa; a great deal of our heritage was lost. Various media outlets have a tendency to only display the uncivilized depictions of Africa. However, it is often overlooked that Africa was a very significant part of the world before the invasion of the Europeans.
As record would have it the African empires of Benin, Songhai and Zimbabwe inclusive with the ingenious Egyptian empire, were rich in culture. These regions also possessed an innumerable amount of economic wealth from trading gold and spices. The Europeans played a part in unsettling these qualities by taking our ancestors from their rightful country, at an attempt to build up the country that they had stolen from the Indians.
Once the Africans arrived to America, they were treated poorly and worked under harsh conditions. At that time, Blacks were treated as property and were not classified as humans. Many people have been ignorant to the fact that in order to trace some roots of the Black community you have to refer to animal books. It is sad that, that is how slaves were treated and defined.
As time continued to dispense and slaves were finally freed, they begin to build and develop their own businesses and communities, with the little knowledge that they had acquired. Advancement for these uneducated slaves came at a steep price but it was finally achieved through hard work and a will to survive. However, it was at that time that Jim Crow laws were established and set in to place; which constituted another form of legalized slavery.
The Jim Crow laws served as a means to restrict the rights of Blacks and segregated them from Whites. These laws also limited what Blacks were able to do in public. There were some laws that were just common such as rest rooms and restaurants, but it also affected health care. In some states, White nurses could not tend to Black patients.
Marriage was also included in the Jim Crow laws that restricted races from marrying outside of their group. Though the Jim Crow laws were set in place to hinder Blacks at that time, as with anything throughout the history of the Black community, they still found a way to live even under the unfair standards that had been placed on them.
Moving forward, integration comes into play after these Jim Crow laws had been in effect for years. While many may view integration as a savior to the Black community, this was not necessarily the case. Integration crippled the Black community and destroyed a variety of the businesses and communities that had been in existence for many years. Not only is the residue from slavery still here, but also a more advanced form exists today. With the incorporation of integration into our school systems’ we have given our children’s minds to the oppressor. I will go into details next week on this particular issue. Nevertheless, it is my objective to relay a thought into the hearts and minds of our loyal African-American News & Issues, that slavery is not just a myth of the past.