Getting Over Slavery

I was asked on my formspring: Do you think African-Americans will ever get beyond slavery? It ended so long ago yet it seems like it's still the "big elephant in the room" in a lot of situations.
I actually think African-Americans are over slavery. You don’t hear (or at least I don’t) Black people complain about being slaves in the past. What has not been gotten over as of yet is ALL THE OTHER ISSUES THAT THE ENSLAVEMENT OF BLACK PEOPLE CAUSED.

Slavery is long gone, but what isn’t gone is:
-A feeling of displacement because of the fact that Blacks were kidnapped from their homelands and brought to this country. (I expanded about that feeling in another post)

-A feeling of superiority for some Whites AND a feeling of inferiority for some Blacks because of the number of years the “White People > Black People” system was in place. Many times this is not a conscious thing on either side. All people are still breaking out of that system.

-The fact that White is still seen as the standard, and anything other is sub. It just is. I talk about this a lot in terms of women’s beauty and hair, and the White standard of beauty, but this really extends to many facets of life. An example is how people, White, Black, and any other race, will proclaim that President Obama has not held up to their standards, and therefore, they don’t want another Black president. Inherent in this statement is that a White president is standard, and therefore, even the bad presidents we’ve had in the past, if White, were part of the norm and didn’t have to prove their worth. President Obama is having to prove his worth as a BLACK President, not just as a president. Which leads me to...

-The feeling that as a Black person they must prove themselves while other groups don’t have to. This also includes the feeling of representing their race as a whole although they are an individual person.

Slavery is over, yes, but the IMPLICATIONS of that time period for all people are not yet surpass-able. Mainly because there are still people on both sides of the fence (White and Black) who hold on to it. White individuals who still feel overtly superior to Blacks because at one time Blacks were considered only part of a human, are just as much a part of the problem as those Black people that some would say “just can’t get over slavery.”

There are Black people, I think I would include myself in this category, that are fortunate enough to not really have to deal with the above implications in a crippling capacity. But I can’t look down on others who are in circumstances (career paths, locations, etc.) where they must face the fact every day that they are still considered “less than.”


  1. ITA with all of your points. Slavery itself may have been gotten over, but the effects of slavery, not so much. Great post!

  2. the effects are still very rampant, especially the inferiority complex. it's all blech

  3. The mere fact that we as black people deal with colorism, both within our community and out, shows that the aftershocks of slavery aren't over and dealt with on a large scale. Very thought-provoking post!

  4. @janelle - so, so, true. Colorism is another of those byproducts of slavery that seem to still be very prevalent. Glad you liked the post!

  5. Great post. I think there is a perception and attitude that make this an issue on both sides. And I agree 110% with your comment on the president. I always get a little upset because I feel like people were/are expecting the moon and stars from him within days of entering the presidency. When he didn't produce, he was labeled (is labeled) as unsuccessful or ineffective. And I legitimately feel like he has to constantly prove because of his color. Sometimes though, I feel like I might become defensive because I feel like people are basing their decisions on the color of his skin and NOT his actual ability to do the work. He was disliked before he even stepped into the role.

    I don't have a certain attitude toward slavery, but I have been on the receiving end of those with that attitude. I have been made to feel less than, but I've had to make a choice to not let it bother me. I'm going to stop before this comment turns into a post. Like I said before, good post.

  6. I definitely agree with each point made! You know also even though slavery is over---the separation within the black community is still present today due to slavery( the whole light skinned"house negro" is better and darker skinned "field negro" is BENeATH them.) People still feel this way and I think that because of this, the black community can never be whole & will always have some form of separation..especially in the South. It's sad--because all Black Is Beautiful!

  7. @Jet-Setting Divas - DEFINITIVELY. Slavery is still affecting how we are towards each all. All Black is Beautiful!

    @CC - Definitely agree on the way the president is being looked at. Thanks for commenting, no comment is too long :-)

  8. Awesome post. It's the effects of slavery that is harder to get over. I also have that feeling of being a representative of my entire ethnic group, btw. Oh and colorism and the fact that Black models, to this day, still get their faces lightened on magazine covers are other issues.

  9. @Retromus-ik - Glad you liked it. There are definitely still issues today caused by the slavery and oppression of the past.

  10. realy great post!! you really hit the nail on the head. Definately, slavery is forgotten for its just the standards of African Americans and as second class citizens. Also, there are some places that racisim stil occurs, I guess that's why some who might want to move on from the past(slavery) can't.

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  11. You said it!

    "Why can't they get over it?"
    Excuse me?

    I was just reminded how insensitive and racist people still are with the recent tragic events in Japan. So many comments on how they "deserved it for Pearl Harbor." That's all kinds of messed up. Talk about grudges!

    Anyway, good post as always.


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