Lincoln Discussion Symposium
"The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - Printable Version

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RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - My Name Is Kate - 03-14-2015 07:15 AM

(03-14-2015 04:50 AM)LincolnToddFan Wrote:  Africans sold one another into slavery and they were hardly the first race to do so. Throughout the history of slavery this was quite common, and not because they all hated one another. It was quite simply BUSINESS. And why do you act as if Africans are the only race of people guilty of violence toward one another Kate? Are you quite serious?

Do you realize what is going on in Mexico and South America RIGHT NOW with their drug cartels?? What has happened in the Balkans with their "ethnic cleansing"? In parts of Southern Italy with the Mafia? In the Philippines with the Christians vs. their Muslim minorities? In Northern Ireland with Catholics vs. Protestant?

As for most rap music, no offense but Whites are bit players in the majority of it.."small potatoes" to borrow a phrase from The Godfather II.

Most of the venom is directed toward AA women who are called the most degrading names, usually of a sexual nature and other Black "n---gas". The White establishment does feature, but only in a minor way.

The idea that Whites are the target of most rap music is simply not true, despite what Americans are being told by Sean Hannity and the other asinine talking heads over at Fox News.

Why it isn't illegal probably has a lot to do with our Constitution. It protects free speech.

ETA: I have no idea what went on in the minds of the men who were violating their slaves, except maybe lust, power and entitlement, the mentality of all rapists no matter what race, color or creed. If you have other information I wish you'd enlighten us all.
I was hoping we could keep this discussion on an adult and civil level.

I am not assuming anything. You are the one who assumed it is white people alone who taught black people to hate themselves. I merely pointed out that some black people may have taught some other black people to hate themselves.

I do not listen to Fox News.

The Constitution protects free speech? That seems to be going by the wayside too.

Now I understand why rap music is so hateful to you. And instead of directing your venom against the black males who are degrading black females, you instead seem to be directing a good deal of it toward me.

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - Linda Anderson - 03-15-2015 09:40 AM

Thank you, Toia, for posting about what it is like to be the descendant of slaves. It is the first time anyone has done so on this forum.

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - Eva Elisabeth - 03-15-2015 10:18 AM

(03-15-2015 09:40 AM)Linda Anderson Wrote:  Thank you, Toia, for posting about what it is like to be the descendant of slaves. It is the first time anyone has done so on this forum.
I already wanted to say the same yesterday, and thank you, Toia!

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - My Name Is Kate - 03-15-2015 06:02 PM

There is a difference between making assumptions and allowing for the possibility of something.

Eva, if you were referring to me, please show me where I made an assumption.

No one on this forum has lived through the Civil War era or slavery, and so all any of us can do, whether one is a descendant of slaves or not, is speculate on what went on in the minds of the people who did.

My ancestors had nothing to do with the Civil War or slavery and were not in this country. But I have lived for 20 years in poor, unfriendly, unsafe neighborhoods because that was all I could afford. I minded my own business and wanted (then, as now) nothing more than to be left alone. But I was not, and am still not left alone. I have seen and heard and experienced firsthand, probably more than the average white American, racism in reverse. More of this racism comes from white people than black people, though it comes from all sides. These white people seem to think that black people are incapable of taking care of themselves, so they have to do it for them. Or maybe they are trying to redirect (black) anger away from themselves and on to some other target, who they see as powerless to fight back. In any case, I have had more than enough of it. If people want to be respected, they need to start acting like respectable human beings.

That is an interesting comment in one of the above posts, that black Africans who sold other black Africans into slavery, were just conducting business without any hatred for the human chattel they were selling off. But white Southerners who bought those slaves must be held accountable for their sins and they alone are responsible for black self-hatred.

Slavery was practiced by other races too and no one is arguing about that. Nor is anyone denying that hatred exists between certain groups within other races. But we (or I) was discussing racial self-hatred, people who hate themselves because of their race and project that hatred outward onto others in an attempt to make them pay for it.

Nothing I have said is an assumption. This is all based on what I have observed with my own eyes and ears.

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - Wild Bill - 03-15-2015 06:47 PM

I missed the question Laurie asked about Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone. It is well worth reading. Berlin likes to emphasize what historians call "Self Emancipation.' He shows that slavey had many variations depending upon the value of staple crops grown in North America and blacks' abilities to take advantage of these shifts in slavery to establish a free black population. Of great influence was the American Revolution and lack of staple production in the North and the influence of French and Spanish culture in the South, much of which echoes the Tannenbaum thesis of a kinder approach to bondage.

But he handles essentially the first 200 years of slavery and stops in the early 1800s when the slave system became tougher and more disciplined influenced by the Haitian Revolution (which helped The US to buy the Louisiana Purchase), General Gabriel's attempted revolution in Virginia, and the revolutions in Pointe Coupee and along the German coast of the Mississippi River (which many blamed on the French exodus to Louisiana along with some of their slaves from the black take-over of Haiti). Berlin sees Denmark Vesey's and Nat Turner's rebellions as a new type of black revolution that turns away from the 17th century Enlightenment, the rights of man, Age of Revolution in the US and France and now emphasizes a mixture of African and Christian millennialism. But the Civil War would return black rebellion to its 17th century roots, and the rights of man.

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - L Verge - 03-15-2015 07:39 PM

Thanks Bill for giving me an answer because I must admit that I have not read Berlin's works - even though he is right here at the University of Maryland.

Thank you also Kate and Toia and Gene for expressing your feelings on the subject of slavery - a subject that too many of us shy away from, even in our own closed societies.

I suspect that I'm one of the oldest members of this forum, and I was raised in the Upper South during segregation. Even in my college, there was only one black student. I was also raised in a small town in a family that ran the country store. Therefore, my family and I interacted with the black community and had friends (not just customers) within it. We visited black homes and they ours - though not in large numbers, I admit. Black men sat around the store's pot-belly stoves and talked baseball with my uncle. My grandfather never recovered the financial debts owed him by blacks and whites when he handed out food to those in need during the Depression.

1965 and the protest marches are branded on my memory because I began teaching that year. Maryland's judges created busing to achieve desegregation and equal education. That created more problems than it solved because both sides favored their community schools. Many of the schools in black neighborhoods had been there for generations and being bused broke longstanding traditions within those communities. They had also had some excellent teachers who did not come along to the new schools with them. Trust me, there was plenty of tension to go around on both the black and white sides of our classrooms.

Unfortunately, I heard more blacks calling each other "n----s" than I did whites. I once asked why they did that - and why would they punch my lights out if I used the word. They told me it was because those guys were acting like "n-----s." They were using class distinction (if you want to call it that) within their own race. Whites do the same. We really do have a lot of traits in common.

I was recently contacted by a black lawyer from Illinois, who is the generation behind me. He grew up in my village (T.B.) and lived about a half-mile from me. He graduated from my high school in 1970. He got in touch with me after reading the essay that I did about 5-6 years ago on This Old House, the story of my family's home from 1862 to present. I made reference to my great-grandfather Joseph Eli Huntt. This man's great-grandfather bought land from Mr. Huntt after the Civil War, and the two went on to be friends. Without either of us knowing it, this man's mother and I were friends. She was the maid at our school when I went there, and after I finished schooling and teaching, I moved back to the neighborhood and renewed our friendship. This man had then left the family to start out on his own -- so we just missed each other.

He and I have spent some great weeks remembering what life was like back then. Amazingly, we carry on forthright conversations and have not accused either one of us with being racially biased. In fact, several days ago, I was reading something on Rutherford B. Hayes (brought on by something on this forum) and saw reference to that president's coachman being named Albert Hawkins. I now have to contact my friend James Hawkins to see if Albert might be on his family tree.

Great strides have been made in the past fifty years, but there are a lot more to be made. Sometimes I think the government, the media, the lawyers, etc. need to step back and let the educated folks and leaders on both sides try to work things out. I guess I'm just being naive about human nature and the issues of race...

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - Linda Anderson - 03-15-2015 10:38 PM

Here's another point of view from a descendant of slaveholders.

"That was a long time ago, and everything has changed, people say. But the poet Claudia Rankine describes memory like this, in her book “Citizen,” published last fall: 'The world is wrong. You can’t put the past behind you. It’s buried in you; it’s turned your flesh into its own cupboard. Not everything remembered is useful, but it all comes from the world to be stored in you.'"®ion=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - My Name Is Kate - 03-16-2015 01:40 AM

Ferguson, MO is nearly 70% black, so it's not surprising that the majority of traffic tickets will be given to blacks. Why was that statistic left out of the article in the above link? Michael Brown and friends' idea of obeying traffic laws was that they could walk down the middle of the street with impunity (while holding in plain view the cigars Brown had just stolen from a store). Were they anomalies in their behavior, or typical?

All of the unarmed black men in the list in the above link were breaking the law. But the article only mentions that they were unarmed, with the implication that they were no threat to anyone. Maybe one or two weren't, but most were.

Ferguson police department is largely white, but the population is largely black. Why? Do blacks apply to become cops but are turned down, or do they not want to have anything to do with the police department? Let's have the facts.

I hate biased articles and news reporting.

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - Linda Anderson - 03-16-2015 02:32 AM

Kate, first of all the NYT piece is an opinion piece, not a news article.

Second, Mr. Ball is got his information from the Justice Department report. He writes:

"Earlier this month the Justice Department found the police in Ferguson, Mo., culpable for conducting a continual dragnet in which they stopped, harassed and took into custody black citizens in disproportionate numbers. African-Americans make up approximately 90 percent of traffic stops and tickets, and nearly 95 percent of arrests, in Ferguson. Furthermore, according to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the courts of the largely black and yet white-run town use arrests and fines against African-Americans to raise revenue and keep the city budget from falling into deficit. It’s hard to imagine that Ferguson is alone among American cities in applying this strategy."

Here is the Justice Department report. The data on the traffic stops is on page 4. "Data collected by the Ferguson Police Department from 2012 to 2014 show that African Americans account for 85% of vehicle stops, 90% of citations, and 93% of arrests made by FPD officers, despite comprising only 67% of Ferguson's population." The Justice Department found the arrests, etc. "disproportionate," as Mr. Ball says, with even 67% of the population being African American.

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - My Name Is Kate - 03-16-2015 03:21 AM

The 67% black is a 2010 statistic and doesn't include people who are only partly black. Remember George Zimmerman? He is only half white, but the media made him out to be all white so they could crucify him for trying to protect his community. So the 2010 statistic in Ferguson is probably higher if the same standard is used, and white people have been steadily leaving Ferguson. I wonder if that Justice report made an effort to find out what the population percentage is right now.

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - My Name Is Kate - 03-16-2015 05:21 PM

I would like to try to clarify something I said in an earlier post that has apparently been misunderstood by some.

My views on physical attraction between people (a subject that I did not bring up) was a reaction to my past experiences of being hit on or pursued (more like harassed) by males who I had no reciprocating interest in, who then turned on me and tried to make me out to others to be things that I was not (use your imagination here) and one of those things was that I must be a racist. Now there is an assumption for you.

And apparently the subject of physical attraction between people was brought into the discussion because it was thought that I had stated that black slaves who were forced to give birth to mulatto offspring, welcomed the infusion of white blood into their veins because it would do their race good. I tried to explain that I was only speculating, based on personal experiences, of what might have gone through the minds of some of the victims. There is a tendency in some victims of assault (I'm trying to avoid being too explicit here) to take on the viewpoint of the victimizer in an attempt to acquire some sort of sense of power, control, or choice where there is actually none at all.

If my comments are still misunderstood, I guess they will just have to remain so because I am through with trying to explain myself to people who, it seems to me, do not want to understand and who have no empathy or respect whatsoever for me and my experiences, even though they claim they do...

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - L Verge - 03-16-2015 05:27 PM

"It turned your flesh into its own cupboard" is an interesting way of describing the ongoing need to restate the evils of slavery. I would, in turn, state that many things in cupboards become outdated and rotten and need to be thrown out. That is my opinion on the constant rehashing of the slavery issue. We had a bad system (as did many civilizations), and we fought a horrible military war and (so far) another 150 years of raging words and riots and condemnations from both sides. What has it gotten us?

Until we stop blaming an outdated system and work to overcome what still divides us, we are failures.

I happen to live and work in a county that is over 90% black. It is also the most economically prosperous black county in the nation. Black doctors, lawyers, politicians, sports stars, TV personalities, members of Congress, etc. live in my county; and all major political and civic positions are held by blacks. There is a high percentage of blacks in the police force - including, until the recent election, a black chief. And yet, we still have pockets of black poverty and high crime statistics for that race.

If we haven't learned by this time that slavery was wrong, then god help us! If we're still blaming the past for the sins of today, god help us. If we can't see the problems that are right in front of us today and become part of the solutions for the future, we're doomed. I would hope that we could clean out that old cupboard and come up with some new concoctions that stop us from always throwing the blame on the other side.

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - Wild Bill - 03-16-2015 05:39 PM

Just for fun, lets look at the gradations of race in French Louisiana, British West Indies and the US. All blacks are assumed to be slaves by law, but the French and the Spanish were much more liberal in their laws by gradation of race. Each step toward white tended to receive more privilege in society, the ultimate regardless of blackness was freedom.

Note the lack of gradation and privilege in the United States. This led Frank Tannenbaum and his group to see Latin America (French, Portuguese, Spanish) as more liberal toward race and privilege and easier freedom. In the US census the color of a black person was described by the census taker or the Plantation owner or manager, so mulatto was the label of convenience for all blacks, free or enslaved. In his book, Ira Berlin refers to how these distinctions of race changed depending on what period a slave lived, before 1776, after 1876, and after 1815.

There were individual slaves or free persons of color know more accurately locally as quadroon or octoroon, New Orleans was famous for its quadroon dances and may planters and their sons supported black mistresses in town away from the plantation wife. But pretty much everyone was in on the secret as demonstrated by entries in the Mary Chestnut Diary (there are many copies of this famous account of a South Carolina plantation wife, but C. Vann Woodward's edition is probably the best). Also of interest are James Oakes, The Ruling Race; and Catherine Clinton, The Plantation Mistress.

Many years ago I taught a class on the Old South at the college level, which is where I get this stuff. It was divided into 2 sections of 8 weeks each, The Institution of Slavery, and The Politics of Slavery. You may get my views in my book an Historical Dictionary of the Old South. Try and get the more recent date (2013) You may run into other gradation lists. They may be better than mine and slightly different. So what it is worth, here we go:

French Louisiana British West Indies United States
------------------------- Sambo (3/4 black)
Griffe (3/4 black)
MULATTO (1/2 black) MULATTO MULATTO (=all mixed bloods in US census)
Quadroon (1/4 black) Quadroon
Octoroon (1/8 black) Octoroon

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - BettyO - 03-17-2015 05:48 AM

Toia -

I agree with Linda - thanks for sharing your ancestry with us....we value you and your input always! You are one of my favorite folk on the Forum....

RE: "The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" - L Verge - 03-17-2015 06:57 PM


We all have different things that have shaped our lives, and I enjoy reading others' opinions (even when I don't agree with them). I also have a loud mouth and enough age on me that I don't feel compelled to mince words anymore. Sorry about that. Maybe I should quit Surratt House and go to work for Fox News because I am often in line with SOME of their heads. I have become a rather snarky senior.

There are many things to admire about this forum; but above all, I appreciate that we can converse on a variety of subjects - often taking a beating, but keeping on ticking. Democracy is dependent on freedom of speech (with limits for the common good). Roger is a wonderful moderator in the way that he rustles us cats, and we seldom lose a member. Some of our leaders and our media folk need to take lessons from Roger. Kindness is what counts.