Sunday, July 6, 2008

Not Only White People Owned Slaves

Many Natives vehemently argue against reparations for blacks that involve land, citing that the land is theirs.  I think that it is important to note, that what happened to Native Americans was horrible, but that does not absolve them of a crime against blacks..the crime of slavery.  It is not a well known fact, as often people will talk about the similarities between the black man and the Native as a combined struggle for the recognition of our dual humanity, thus ignoring the crime that was perpetrated against us. History cannot be twisted or forgotten. The Chickasaws, Chaktas, Creeks, and Cherokees all owned slaves, and participated in the slave trade. There is a debt to be repaid by every single group of people that profited from slave labour.

Today we stand side by side as POC  who have been marginalized, exploited and abused, but there was a time when we (read:blacks) looked upon them as our masters.  This should not stop us from recognizing their pain and validating their suffering, rather it should serve as a reminder of why POC need to stand together against oppression.  Neither of our two groups have been successful at achieving equality, economically, in the criminal justice system, or as social beings.  I am not advocating forgetting the past, rather I am using it as an example of what can happen when we wrongly take on the characteristics of our oppressors.  Whether it is colluding women, or blacks that internalize hatred when we identify with those that seek to reduce humanity at every turn we are complicit in our own marginalization. 

Though slavery is thankfully a thing of the past, there are many forces that seek to reify the message that POC are less than. The role of agents of socialization like the  media is to overwhelm us with negative imagery, so that we believe the false social construct, and base our actions upon their mendacious myths.  Today as young Latino youth engage in violence with Black youth both sides are blind to the fact that such internal strife between POC is counter to our needs.  When we repeat stereotypes about other racial groups demeaning them as people, it is counter to our needs and objectives.  The lesson that we need to take away from this history, is that not acting on behalf of the cause of justice is harmful and destructive.  To achieve equality for yourself, you must also seek it for others.


Roxie said...

wow. I didn't know that at all.
That's really mind blowing to me.

Now it makes me wonder about my own Chickasaw & Blackfoot heritage. Did they own my relatives like my white relatives did?

Roxie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Weren't there other native tribes that black ex-slaves joined as free people? Or is that just a myth?

(On the other hand, many First Nations had their own slave histories, taking slaves of other natives long before (and continuing after) non-natives ever came to North America.)

Renee said...

As far as I know some Native tribes did take in runaway slaves and they became part of the tribe. This of course still does not absolve the crime of slavery. It is the same as some whites owned slaves and some whites were abolitionists but all whites benefited from the institution of slavery.

Ebony Intuition said...

Thank you for putting this information out there because as we know already history has been twisted to make a certain group of people look like gods and saviours when its not true at all.

Another fact that people don't know is that black people actually lived in north, south, central, and the caribbean before slavery even happen.

Blacks Africans had already travelled to the western hemisphere way way before Europeans even knew that the Western Hemisphere existed.
Are ancestors used the wind currents of the ocean as guides to travel and boats were made out of papyrus.The boats trace all the way back to Egyptian civilizations.

We black people are indigenous to Africa, North, South Central and Carribean, Oceania, Australia, Middle East, India , literally the whole world, but again due to Europeans whiteing out our history they tell us that we are only from Africa ad that is very very incorrect.

And lastly, let's also not forgot about the Arab slave trade, Arabs put blacks in slavery way before the Europeans did. The European/Atlantic slave trade actually put a halt to the Arab slave trade and colonization of Africa.

Ebony Intuition said...

P.S Centuries of the black women being raped and or force to marry inter/tribal made all the tribes become as light as they are now.

Notice that rape has only now been claimed as a tactic of war and its been a tactic sense the dawn of time to divide and conquer over people.

Renee said...

Though slavery is thankfully a thing of the past,

I realized that after rereading this post that this is an erroneous comment. Slavery is not a thing of the past, it is actually flourishing.

Queers United said...

i wasnt aware the natives were involved in the slave trade

cooper said...

This is something I was not aware of. I've learned many things in the short time I've been reading you, this is just another.
I'm sure me education will continue here.

julie said...

To throw even more mix into the culture, Arabs were big in the slave trade.

Black Trade & Arabs

White slaves and Arabs

Everyone was able to be a slave

Africans also had white slaves too.

I think we focus much on what America has done because of it's leadership.

julie said...

@Ebony Intuition,

I didn't read your first comment well. Thanx for the link around slavery. And sorry for doubling up on it.

This has given me something new to learn. I had only looked up my sites because I had heard some other things very recently.

heartsandflowers said...

It is my understanding from an anthropological standpoint Africans were originally all various shades, shapes and textures from the beginning, not due to intermingling and slavery.

Ebony Intuition said...

"Africans were originally all various shades, shapes and textures"

Your comment is 50/50 correct.

Yes even before slavery we were always different shapes sizes, and yes different shades but not as light as we are now. Imagine everyone being a lot darker, due to slavery ad people mixing into our bloodline for centuries it has changed our features. But orignally we were "way" darker in pigmentation.

julie said...

@Ebony Intuition,

I watched a doco the other night saying that we have different facial features like our bone structure and lips being different sizes and flat, round etc faces, different eyes and such because of different climates.

They said there were 3 types.

The African, the European and the Chinese.

Is this correct and do you know more?