Friday, October 9, 2009

Michelle is more than the Daughter of Slaves

The biggest fallacy in American history regarding black people is that our existence started with slavery. As is the case of Michelle Obama, a news report today traces her "roots" to an enslaved girl in the mid 1800s.

On the show, "Good Morning America," television journalist, Diane Sawyer called the family history of Michelle Obama a "unique" American experience. This was after she talked about First Lady Obama's family tree that was traced back about 150 years.

Sorry Diane, this is not unique. If you read history, power changes hands many times over. The oppressed have become the powerful.

And, if you read US and Austrailian history, you would know that most of the first Englanders that were transported across the Atlantic were the spillovers of England jails, not royal or religious, but criminals. So one of your ancestors might have been Pete the thief from West London, but you Diane have ascended to prominence. We should applaud your rise to visibility and relative power.

(English Convicts line up to go to Austrailia. Click here to read story)

However, First Lady Obama's brief points of slavery in a family lineage that spans long before it, is not a testament to the greatness of America, but the poignant unpredictability of simple humanity. Basically, shit like this has happened before, will happen again, and is not unique to America. Get over it.

The reports about the First Lady and other prominent African-Americans who emerge from "slave origins" leave out two glaring truths that many want to forget.

One, African-American "roots" did not start with slavery, and did not begin in America.

Two, it was the beastial chattel slave system that has caused millions of black people throughout North, Central and South America to be totally disconnected to their African origins and unclear about exactly where in Africa they come from.

Other people can trace their roots to various points all over the world, but black folks, especially in the United States, are stigmatized as being from just slaves. Like our destiny was to serve and be shat upon.

It has been a long debate regarding people of African descent in America in regards to our origin. The recent revisionist history is for historians to emphasize that African-Americans (and other black folk in the American Diaspora) have so many different origins (in other words, we've been fucked many ways come Sunday by so many people), it is implied that although we are not white or European, we definitely are not African.

I totally disagree; especially having visited several countries in Africa.

In the words of WEB DuBois, "Africa flows through my veins."

3 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

RiPPa said...

"the poignant unpredictability of simple humanity."

I love that line; very profound.

Reggie said...

Excellent point!!! The meek shall inherit the Earth......

Eco.Soul.Intellectual said...

thank y'all so much! i was just yelling and screaming about this today after a couple of mojitos