Shame Lies With the Slaveholder

Fairly often, I’ll see segments of non-immigrant US black people (called, among other things, “Ankh negroes” and Hotep dudes” for their fixation on Egyptian history) promoting a simplistic, utopian version of African History, a version that says “In Africa, we (black people) were kings and queens.” What alarms me about this incorrect telling of African history, aside from the untruth of it, is the implicit classism, which I think also is continuous with, and lends itself to, the shaming of regular, everyday citizens and of black people who were (and still are) held in slavery.

We shouldn’t shame people because they’re not a king or queen, or because they’re poor, or because they’re enslaved.

I’ll see jokes coming from some US black people, and a few famous comedians, that joke about the conditions of slavery. “His feet look so bad he coulda been a runaway slave!” Or saying someone “looks like a slave” because of their countenance or their demeanor (The Boondocks has displayed this “slave behavior” in action). There is no shame in being enslaved. Shame lies with the slaveholder.

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