Slavery? Get over it!

Yesterday, i was appalled by a comment a black co-worker made as we discussed and remembered the abolition of slavery. She said:

I am sick and tired of people complaining about white people and digging up the past all the time. This was something that happened so long ago, just get over it! ‘They’ are even lucky to be in a country so well off. It would have been far worse living in ‘poor Africa or Suriname’.

Hold up. Wait a minute. Stop. Push the breaks and Freeze!
They are ‘lucky‘ to be here instead of ‘poor Africa or Suriname‘? My dear, have you forgotten how we got here in the first place? Brutally captivated, separated from our families, transported like animals only to be brutalized, violated and abused to build up the ‘developed world’. With no rights, no freedom and no mercy, only suffering. But boy, were we lucky!

Have you forgotten how this country we are ‘lucky’ to live in was built? How it came to be so great? Where all the Gold and Silver, and Diamonds were stolen from? Was it not on the backs of our people? Was it not from ‘poor Africa and Suriname’?

I was born and raised in Europe and I feel no hatred towards anyone. What annoys me is the ignorance. Not ignorance from the western world, because the one sided way Africa is being projected here has taken care of keeping ‘us’ blind to all the realities about  this continent. No, my annoyance is towards the ignorance of the black communities. But i might get into that some other time. 

Africa was Rich!
The people living in these countries were doing just fine! They had everything they needed from their own lands. Africa was a trade partner with Arabia and China, way before the Europeans. Take Ghana for instance.  Between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, it traded in gold, salt and copper. It was like a medieval European empire, with a collection of powerful local rulers, controlled by one king or emperor. Ghana was highly advanced and prosperous. Or look at the Aksum empire (now Ethiopia), it was the 3rd largest African empire at 1.25 million sq km. In the sixth century, the kingdom of Aksum (Axum) was doing what many elsewhere had been doing: pursuing trade and empire. Its exports of ivory, glass crystal, brass and copper items, among other things, had brought prosperity to the kingdom.

THEN after slavery
The ‘first world countries’ flourished, developed, and reaped the fruits of our labour, and the wealth of our countries. Leaving our countries plundered and destroyed, robbed of our riches, undeveloped and torn, with a people who were hundreds of years behind on modern developments. The countries that suffered under the Trans Atlantic slave trade were left to build the land from the ground up with nothing. Confusion, Hatred, Pain, Suffering. Generations of good knowledge and skills had been demolished. Everything they had was gone, everything they knew had changed.

Yes, this happened a long time ago, but the effects thereof are still very real for the countries that suffered by it. So no, i will not get over it, because we are still living it. Every day.

We can not speak of the poverty and under-development of Africa and disregard the history behind it. We should not belitlle the hundreds of years this continent was set back on modern developments. For far too long, Africa has been the face of failure, pity, shame, violence, sickness and despair. It might be in vain, but i still believe that Africa can rise again and will say, look at where we came from? And that should be the face of Africa.

Click here to read more about Africa’s history before slavery.

Property of blackanddixi

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51 Comments Add yours

  1. Unathi K. says:

    I learnt a lot from this post, more than I have ever learnt in a history class. You’ve whet my appetite and I want to go and dig up more facts about my home continent and its people. Thank you.

    Like

    1. Dixi says:

      So Glad to hear that! And Thanks

      Like

  2. Nwunye says:

    Oh-ho-ho! School them!

    I’ve just read two of your blog posts in under a minute. Been a while since I followed anyone.

    FOLLOWING!

    Like

    1. Dixi says:

      Thanks Nwunye, appreciate it!

      Like

  3. Reblogged this on Take Over Control's Blog and commented:
    It is reassuring that some of the younger generation are awake and alive. We should not get over the lessons of our history.

    Like

  4. IAmAphrica says:

    Reblogged this on iamaphrica and commented:
    You go, girl!

    Like

  5. livelytwist says:

    Hello Dixi, I agree with your sentiments. However, I have to say that the slavery narrative is often incomplete, it often excludes Africans’ complicity in the matter- we helped to sell our brothers and sisters too! While I don’t deny the effect of slavery on African nations, those that enslaved us have gone, and where are we? Civil wars, corruption, corruption, corruption, is ruining our economies despite the wealth of natural resources that remain. Do we blame that on slavery as well? Just my two cents to widen the discussion. I didn’t read through the comments. Perhaps this has already been addressed?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dixi says:

      Hi livelytwist,

      I don’t think this has been adressed already as such. And i agree with a lot of what you said, so thank you for that addition!

      On the fact that Africans sold their own people in to slavery themselves, yes, very bad. But don’t forget that slavery in itself was practiced all over the world in many cultures way before the Trans Atlantic. Slavery was not necessarily seen as a bad thing because, contrary to the Trans Atlantic, slaves were treated as human beings. They got paid, they got fed, they were accomodated for and had rights. Rights such as getting married, having childred, wages, the right to work towards owning their own land and the right to buy their freedom. This, is a very different form of slavery, a form of slavery i believe, a lot of African slave traders thought they were selling their own in to abroad. Does that make it right? I don’t think so. But it puts the matter in perspective.

      A lot can be said on the matter of corruption and civil wars in Africa. I like to reserve my thoughts on that matter as i am still in the process of finding the answers to some of my questions regarding those matters. But of course, i agree, many things lead back to Africa itself and the way it is struggling towards developement.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Love, Dixi

      Liked by 1 person

  6. madamsabi says:

    I come from royal ancestry and I can sincerely say that Africa was plundered! There was a scramble for Africa. Our art works were stolen. On my blog, there is a story about the great Yaa of Ghana who was ready to die than for the symbol of her Ashante society to be cartered away. Africa was doing well before colonization and the whites after the physical slavery,put the black man in mental slavery..we have been sold a lie and many of us still mentally believe that we are less than the white man. I must still commend us blacks.. Many of us still hold on the fabrics of our uniqueness as blacks.

    Like

    1. Dixi says:

      Royal ancestry? Very interesting! I do know about the great Yaa of Ghana and her remarkable loyalty to her country.

      Unfortunately decades of mis-education and inequality have left black people looking down on themselves. But it takes but one to make a change in the world right?!

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      From Dixi

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for following my blog, and really enjoying reading yours. As for this post? Don’t hold back! Tell it like it is! Keep fighting the good fight 🙂 Peace

    Like

    1. Dixi says:

      Thank you MsMovingBlack. The pleasure is all mine!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. chewfronta says:

    I see you “liked” one of my posts. Thank you. I do not have FB or anything else, so I cannot reciprocate.

    It seems to me that 1 of the greatest lessons I have learned from some African friends is that–regardless of what and how someone says something–we never cut the dignity out from under that person. As soon as we abrogate that right to ourselves, we are started on the same slippery slope that leads to doing greater evil to people. We must preserve everyone’s worth, even as we help them mature.

    As for whether Africa can thrive again, as it did before Europe and the West gutted it, I hope it can. I have my doubts. The gap between have and have not is widening. It would take acts of enormous reparation over probably an epoch on the part of the former colonizers and slavers. The reparation would have to be way more than money or material wealth. It would now require time, respect and a sincere desire for both spiritual and material equality. At least, this is my surmise.

    We the plunderers did not plunder Africa’s physical riches only. We taught many Africans to be like us. This is a far greater evil. Wherewith shall we salt them? Restoring humanity will take along time.

    Justice requires such reparation. What will make the human heart care that much about justice?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dixi says:

      I do agree with you Chewfronta. It will be, if ever, not in this generation that we will see the continent of Africa rise in all it’s glory. But my heart still hopes for a miracle, if only just because of what this continent has had to endure!

      And i am afraid that as you have said and as i wrote in my poem ‘The Power Run’: “….Justice for all shall never come, we all need to feed the power run”

      Thank you for reading and sharing thoughts!

      Dixi

      Like

  9. harlematl says:

    I normally find this a issue from those from the Caribbean Island that are educated under the British rule. Sometimes the pass is too painful to look back and reflect upon. It’s almost telling a rape victim to get over it and move on with your life, because it was the past and the past was so long ago. Many are in denial. I always tell them denial is not a river in Eygpt. If that woman ever experience Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Dr. Yoseph Ben, Bro. Phil Valentine or even Malcolm X I think they would have Neva opened their mouth in such a tone. Thanks for being here. I appreciate you.

    Like

    1. Dixi says:

      Hey harlematl,

      I think that a lot of ‘brothers and sisters’ would not think that way if not for the mis-education forced unto them. But, i see it getting better right?

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.

      Like

      1. harlematl says:

        I see it getting better but there’s a disconnect or a gap in generations overall. Many of us fail to inform or re-educate (laying down a foundation) as we pass the torch to the children that come behind us. As you know there are 2 forms of education, the one that is given to us, the other is the one we give to ourselves. The latter is by far the most important because it constitute who we are and all that we have to do. One can never expect our enemy to properly educate or show us how to obtain “Power”.

        Like

      2. Dixi says:

        I agree that we have a very big role to play when it comes to educating ‘our own’. I guess we have a job to do …

        Liked by 1 person

      3. harlematl says:

        “Get Over It” Nobody tells the Euro-Jewish people to get over it. They’ve gotten an entire state on occupied soil along with aid, lol and a army, navy and air force to ensure their nationalism.

        Like

  10. thulanana says:

    I have visited a few Slave Castles in Ghana, coast line of West Africa and East Africa, Zanzibar in particular. It is quite creepy and desolate. Alas slavery is older than the Bible itself. On a recent tour through a castle I was offended that the tour guide pitched Europeans as the bad and the Africans as the only sufferers. Being the only whitish person in the castle tour group, I spoke up and said the same thing you did. Get over it. Egyptians and Israelites were at the slave trade forever…worst is I am not even European, I am born in Africa, so was my last 8 generations. My great- and Grandparents held no European passports, and I am entitled to none either. I also agree that Slavery is part of a history that should be learned from. Many visitors from America come here – Ghana to “find their roots”, but insist on being ‘African-American”. They are quite a sight, water bottles in hand, colourful clothes, walking sticks and the loud out-landish comments! My goodness. Quite something else I must say. I also think there is a modern type of slavery- on-going. Children are sold into slave labour as we speak. The Nigerian girls that were abducted are believed to all be child-brides and forced labourers. It’s a fight the rest of Africa is not excluded from. Cambodia, Vietnam, India to name a few…we are just farting against a tornado.

    Like

    1. Dixi says:

      Thanks for your comment Thulanana. I have been to a few slave castles myself, good to know!

      Though slavery itself has been around for centuries, there have been significant differences in the ‘type of slavery’ that is practiced. 

      Back in the day, the most common form of slavery was of an economic nature. Separate the worthy from the unworthy and force the latter to build your country or kingdom. Slavery is not that far away from us. Mauritiana abolished slavery in 1981 and only made slavery a crime in 2007!

      So why does it look like the Trans Atlantic slave trade is one of the most talked about forms of slavery? Well, i don’t know.

      Perphaps we perceive it as being ‘much’ because slavery of black people by white people was still practiced not too long ago, historicly speaking. Making it still very relevant to this generation.

      It could also be because of the very recent and current after math of the Trans Atlantic slavery: the world wide scope of racism towards black people. Being confronted with it every day can digg up old wounds.

      I can also imagine it being the most ‘popular’, simply because of the way the Europeans chose their slaves: solely by the color of their skin. According to these slave traders, blacks were the only ‘race’ found to be at the same level as animals and similar to monkeys and thus only suitable for enslavement. 

      For what ever reason the Trans Atlantic slave trade is still a hot topic today is not as relevant as to why people are asked to just shut up about it. And thats what my post is about.

      I have always wondered why people respond to this subject with: “Slavery was everywhere, everyone did it, it’s not just Africans so get over it”.

      That is like Germans telling the Jews: so we imprisoned, exploited, abused and killed a few million of your people, simply because they were Jews. Thats not new, it has happned so many times during times of war and even outside of war. Lots of countries did it, and even did more, so get over it! 

      Do we say that to the Jews who, till this day, are still systematically discriminated against because of who they are? Think not. We remember it every year and if possible twice a month with a documentary.

      So if we won’t ask other (ethnic)groups to get over the horrors of their (often) very recent history, past and present….Why do you ask blacks?

      Sometimes, it’s hard to understand what emotions and connections people have to their (family) history. And even if you feel like it wasn’t that bad, and others had it worse, i don’t think any of us have the right to decide how that person should feel about it.

      From Dixi

      Like

  11. ruzzyah says:

    The ignorance of people, especially our people, is amazing. Like you mentioned, Africa, before slavery, was thriving. Our people were very educated and “civilized.”
    Africa is still the richest country as far as resources, but the people are poor because people from Europe, and now china, are plundering the land; taking the resources out of the land into their own country. This is why Africa is experience constant tribulation.
    Great post!

    Like

    1. Dixi says:

      Yes, Africa has a great history and is still rich in resources like you said. It is sad that our generation has lost hope in Africa as well, making it hard to make a change for the better. We need people who believe in Africa to unite and build up the continent with all its richess. If only we could…i’m still hoping, knowing that i have to do my part aswell!

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      Dixi

      Like

  12. “History in America is distorted in schools. Propaganda is taught as fact, and the reality of the past is left to the imagination.”
    Kyaza, for what it’s worth, we don’t teach that “propaganda”–not at the college level at least. My U.S history courses spend much time and energy on the Middle Passage, the development of slavery, the arguments about abolition, the coming of the Civil War, the process of emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Harlem Renaissance, WEB DuBois, A. Philip Randolph, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Panthers, “redlining,” etc. And we do a fair share of Indian history, and Women’s history, as well. While reactionaries whine and complain about history standards and liberal bias, the profession is dedicated to evaluating the past accurately, and describing the contributions and tribulations of the various ethnic and social groups that make up America.

    Like

    1. Dixi says:

      Great. Thanks for clarifying Chris!

      Like

  13. Kyaza says:

    History in America is distorted in schools. Propaganda is taught as fact, and the reality of the past is left to the imagination. As a white woman, I don’t even try and pretend that I can understand the depths of the horrors that were inflicted on Africans, Asians, Hispanics – the list goes on – but I can say that they disturb me and always have.
    Growing up in the south made that worse because my parents would tell me not to judge, then turn around and use the n-word without any regard for the people they said it to. But I hated the way they did that, hated it so much that when my uncle took us out for an expensive dinner when I was 10 years old and used the n-word in front of me, I shoved my chair back, yelled at him for being ignorant, and left the restaurant bursting with anger.
    And that hatred of prejudice, of justification of cruelty due to the color of someone’s skin, someone’s sexual orientation, nationality, creed, religious belief, etc. – that is what I built the foundation of my life around because prejudice is ignorance and I cannot abide ignorance.
    But living in this country makes it hard to escape the chains of prejudice, chains that are created by the government and the education foisted upon us. In early education, history teachers dump all this information on us that turns out to be falsified, but few people ever realize that we’re lied to by the people who are supposed to teach us the truth.
    As Americans, we learn to discriminate against anyone who doesn’t live within the borders of this nation, look at them as if they are somehow beneath us, somehow less than human because they don’t live here. Even the Indians are stigmatized as barbaric and uncivilized, but once you read the proper history books, the ones that aren’t filled with the lies the government wants to preach to us, you realize that the Indians weren’t so native to this country after all, and that they were settlers just like we were. But instead of coming here from Europe, they crossed the land bridge from Russia before we ever got here, and the struggle between the Indians and the Europeans to settle the land occurred between two great nations, one already established and the other attempting to uproot the Indians from the place they had come to call home.
    In school, we’re taught that Africans were enslaved but not that the enslavement of another people was only possible through the application of brutality. Instead, Africans are painted as being somehow less than human, pushed on us as somehow less intelligent, less capable, than white people – and I hate it, because the truth is that such propaganda, taught for so long and by so many, becomes insidious and difficult to fight against. It becomes a way to indoctrinate hatred in the people in this country and it causes problems like the ones that arise with the issue of immigration.
    Hispanics are viewed as “dirty, unclean, stupid” and “good only for hard labor.” There’s a saying that is widespread in this country that “Mexicans will work for low wages,” and that is true only because the government in this country does the best it can to keep them uneducated, uninformed of the truth about the wages they should be making. I have a Mexican friend who owns her own business and she told me that when she moved here, the Mexican contractor who hired her father to work for him stole all the money he made and claimed it paid for his “expenses.” But that’s what I mean by the indoctrination – even people with a different racial background – Mexicans, Asians, Africans (the list goes on) – are taught, when they grow up in this nation, that not being white is problematic and taught to attempt to be white in their actions and discriminate against their own people.
    And the ignorance is spreading because I heard recently that the school system wants to rewrite the history textbooks again and portray slavery in a positive light, as if the history of slavery didn’t matter any more than learning the capitals. When events like that happen, my anger at this country grows exponentially. Because we’re supposed to be a culture of different races and creeds, mixing together to form a diverse society, but that’s not what happens.
    If you’re not a white man – because women are still discriminated against, too – then you’re basically screwed. People won’t take you seriously, treat you with respect, or listen to the truth when it comes from you. And it doesn’t matter, for example, that this country has no official national language, people will still complain about the immigrants that “don’t speak English” because they don’t realize that a good 1/3rd of this country never spoke English as their main language in the first place. They don’t realize that Texas was once a part of Mexico, or that the reason the west coast is full of Hispanics because places like California and Arizona were originally inhabited by Hispanics.
    So I relate to this post in a different way, because I understand the reason for the woman’s ignorance and that the ignorance she shows is not because she thinks her history doesn’t matter, but because she’s been taught that it doesn’t and brainwashed into believing that the scars of slavery don’t affect her.

    Like

    1. Dixi says:

      You have made some very good and valid comments Kyaza. I can read that you are very passionate about this matter.

      I agree with your thoughts on why the black lady in my post thinks the way she thinks. I understand that the majority of ‘us’ (sub)consciously thinks the same way as she does on certain matters because we are confronted with but a limited side of the story everyday through the media and what not.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      Dixi

      Like

  14. ReddPeace says:

    Reblogged this on Love Thy Self and commented:
    This Beautiful, Black Sister speaks the truth. To get over slavery is to not allow the past of the treacherous and most horrific events bind us mentally but set us free to return to our power as Queens and Kings. We r ROYAL and don’t have to continue to feel as if we have to accept less than because we were and still are ill treated. I, like my Sister will not accept the statement ‘Get over it!’ I will instead speak the truth of my experience and according to history as an African American woman in this decade and set the minds of my people free.
    Peace to thee!

    Like

    1. Dixi says:

      Thank you for reading and sharing my sister!

      Like

      1. ReddPeace says:

        You are most welcome. This stirred something deeply within. 🙂

        Like

  15. Anyone–black or white (but especially white)–who believes the “get over it” argument needs to read Ta-nehisi Coates’ indispensable article in the Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations.” http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/ Unfortunately, most will see the word “REPARATIONS!” and freak out and not read it. That is a huge mistake. I think this is the single most important magazine article written this year.

    Like

    1. Dixi says:

      Thank you for reading and sharing Christopher! This article is indeed very important and hopefully eye opening to some. Thanks again!

      Like

  16. Reblogged this on Bozeman Development Group Blog and commented:
    Let’s talk! We get shut down so often because people (white and reconditioned Blacks) are tired of hearing about race issues. Trouble is they never do anything about it. Here’s another look at it from a European Black person:

    Like

  17. JennaJames says:

    Best respondse i have heard in while on this subject. Based on facts and truth. Don;t mind the ignorant amongst us

    Like

  18. Brainiac says:

    Life is better here than in Africa, but not because Africa doesn’t have what it takes to be a developed continent. If it would have been the other way around, and we would have robbed the west of all they had, plundered their wealth, killed their people, faded out their history and legacy and keep them there for hundreds of years, the west would be part of the undeveloped world and not the other way around so. What can we do about it? Nobody can make things better unless we all stand together

    Like

  19. LisaBee says:

    The best way to deal with ignorance is creating an overflow of knowledge. I strongly believe Africa is being kept down for the sake of creating a ‘i told you so’ they can’t do anything good for themselves’ mindset. Even tough the opposite is true, sadly, many Africans do believe this too. When we start believing in ourselves again, remember how great we once were, we can get back to the top. Not today, not next year, but we can. I just wish more people really knew how to put Africa, it’s history and the people in the RIGHT perspective. You made a good start with this post and the post about Africa before slavery. Thumbs u

    Liked by 1 person

  20. longrik says:

    Hahaha..you keeping it polite tho but you said it like it is. Some messed up stuff we did over there man. From a white guy …

    Like

  21. dalolania says:

    Dannng boo! That shit is on point. Honestly thought it was gonn be another cry story but these are facts without fiction and i’m loving it. We still living it everyday till something is done i believe we growing tho, got to keep on keeping. But hey, keep it up

    Like

  22. Boogieman says:

    Well well well, im impressed! I felt this straight down to my bones! You said it all. I’m not even gonna type anything else in order not to distract from this masterpiece of eye opening, refreshing truth.

    Like

  23. Rebecca Reed says:

    So, what are you saying. We should just keep reminding us (white) that our great great great grandfather had slaves. For how long though? Not saying its not bad, just saying, take some responsibility for how you handle it.

    Like

  24. Bigups says:

    Wow, realest shit i have heard from anybody in a while, and i’m white.

    Like

  25. foopiedoe1 says:

    This is much needed. I hear stupid comments like this all the time at work or where ever. You get tired of saying something about it, but im keeping some of your lines in mind the next time i hear a fool!

    Like

  26. Boom-a-rango says:

    Reading some stuff i did not even know when i clicked on your link about the history of Africa man. Thats some real ish. They dont teach you this in school. They use one day to tell you the short, smiley side of it all as a kid, so you wont bother thinking about it again. Some messed up stuff still going on in Africa and they tryna make it look like the people just too dumb and poor to develope the country themselves. Acting like they donating money now and stuff, no money is gona come close to what the country has lost and how far they are set back in time

    Like

  27. blackpope says:

    Free yourself from mental slavery. Some ignorant black people feel like they owe western countries their good life. Fool, you would be chilling as royalty right now if they had not destroyed your country and built their on the back of your greatgrandfater. Try to tell me whats better. This post is truth.

    Like

  28. vanessa says:

    Wow,cant believe BLACK people think this way. That lady must have been brain damaged or something to say we lucky. All im lucky to have is being born after all of this happened. But really, we still get treated differently at the work place or what ever..when it comes down to it, they still see us as less. Comments like this lady justify their behaviour. I just wonder what you said to that stupid ass woman

    Like

  29. Mirabel Hayley says:

    Whenever i hear people bring up slavery. I also feel like leaving it alone. But its not about digging up the past or playing victim after so many years, cos the countries that suffered are more than victims of greed, and terror. Its about the facts and owning up to the truth. We have really been told all our lives (my generation) it was not so bad,just forget about the past and move on, and we have accepted it. But we have moved on, we just cant forget,cos like you rightfully said, the effects are still a reality today. Really glad you spoke up in style!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Jason Bern says:

    Its really crazy how black people have allowed themselves to me miseducated. I believe years and years of miseducation, half truths and romatisicing the realities of this truth have blinded us and our society. I am guilty as well, so thank you for setting the record straight.

    Like

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