In TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE on August 28, 2008 at UTC.44.31.
Captives on deck, in the hull, tightly packed. One manages to escape through suicide!

Captives on deck, in the hull, tightly packed. One manages to escape through suicide!

On January 1, 1863, then President Lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation, in effect, abolishing the illegal trafficking of human cargo. Otherwise, infamously, known as the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. To the educated, we reject this idea of ‘slave trade,’ rather, we prefer the term enslavement which speaks to the process of enslavement.

‘Slaves’ don’t come from Africa, Africans do. ‘Slaves’ weren’t made in Africa, rather America. The term ‘slave’ takes out the humanistic element that people have stripped away by the term: ‘Slave.’ The term slave originates from Slavic, an Eastern European ethnic group, and has no origin with black people, despite the connotation. Human beings from Africa were reduced to en-slavement as a result of white supremacy, racism & injustice. This point can’t be stressed enough!!!

A few months ago, the U.S. House made a non-binding agreemnent concerning the acknowledgement & apology for enslavement.

‘The “sense of the Congress” resolution–which does not carry the force of law, even if the Senate passes its own version of the apology–passed by voice vote July 29. Slavery ended officially in the country on June 19, 1865–a day named “Juneteenth” by the Freedmen–when the slaves in Galveston, Texas, were set free by a column of U.S. troops.’

Most African Americans could care less about a damn apology. For the simple reason that the “peculiar institution” as it was called by practitioners was abolished just 143 years ago. Nonetheless, Blacks still suffered under chattel slaver for 310 years, in addition, to “Jim Crow” laws for 100 years. After 410 years of 2nd class treatment, an apology falls on deaf ears at this late date. Rep. John Conyers introduced a bill several years ago to look into solutions per enslavement. 

“The discussion of race is a sensitive, difficult issue, even today in our society, and of course the apology is not the end of the story,” said Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), chair of the House Judiciary Committee and sponsor of H.R. 40, a bill establishing a U.S. commission to study the effects of slavery and the potential value to the country of making reparations payments.”

“But it does reaffirm our national commitment to understanding and addressing, in the words of the resolution, how to rectify the ‘lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African Americans under slavery and Jim Crow,’ and to stop the occurrence of human rights violations in the future,” Mr. Conyers continued.

Race is in America is a sensitive issue, but its unacceptable for descendants of slave masters to feign pity or ignorance. The ill effects of race will never be eradicated, if citizens won’t speak honestly & frankly about the repurcussions manifest today. Alas, thats part of the problem, whites feel racism is over or not as bad. Just how they justify that thinking is irrational to say the least. On the other hand, Blacks know the psychological chains of slavery are still rampant & pervasive. Despite, the honest attempts of those who, like their black brethren, know of its decadence!

“The House of Representatives “apologizes to African Americans on behalf of the people of the United States for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow,” the resolution reads in part.”

“The fact that this government has not apologized to its own citizens, African Americans, for the institution of slavery and for the Jim Crow laws that followed, and accepted that fact and encouraged changes in our dialogue and understanding in the actions of this country to rectify that is certainly a mistake. And today, we rectify that mistake,” Mr. Cohen said on the House floor.”

“When people commit injustices and do bad things, they ought to apologize and ask for forgiveness,” Mr. Cohen said. “Just be a good human being. Countries should operate in the same manner. Slavery is abhorrent.”

Shameful, that it took so long for our nation to get to this point. It must be what I term the “Obama Effect” which has seen a sudden interest in all causes espoused by African Americans.

Acknowledgement is the first step to recovery. Solutions aren’t any good if, one hasn’t admitted that a moral wrong has even ocurred. Now, the next step in healing this open wound comes from the honest assessment of the ill effects facing multiple generations of American citizens. We need more open dialogue between the races which will go along way to show teh victims of this heinous crime that “injustice amongst some of us, is injustice for us all!” There is no escaping this critical fact!!

‘An apology certainly is an acknowledgment that a harm was done, a grievous injury was suffered and a trauma was endured but what do we do about reconstituting Black America so that the potential for us to realize our total ambition as a people will be put in place?” said Michael Eric Dyson, an author and professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Words are not enough deeds must follow, he said.’

Reparations are certainly one of the signals that America can send if they are serious about reconstituting American culture,” Dr. Dyson continued. America rebuilt Europe after destroying it and Asian Americans and Jews were rightly compensated for their suffering, he said.’

So, why are blacks treated like pariah whenever the idea of reparations is brought forward? Is there pain & suffering any different from anyone else’s? Are they not worthy or repair, reconstitution, redemption? Why are blacks held to a stricter standard for every social service that is theirs by right & citizenship? When will mainstream society finally use the tenets of empathy, and selflessness to understand the plight of the “least of us.” If not now, then when, if not us then who?

Dr. Dyson raises critical points, the apology is empty if not followed up with deeds and action! If America can rebuild Europe with hundreds of millions of dollars, then the U.S. must replicate that same good will and display it to your own citizens. African-Americans are the back bone of this society, and the moral conscience of a generation, from its inception to the present time.

Now, is the time to honor the memory of the legions af sharecroppers, indentured servants, chattel enslaved, lynched, raped, pillaged human beings that by no will of their own found themselves reduced to enslavement!!


“This resolution is very important because it does acknowledge the tremendous history of slavery and Jim Crow in the United States, and it also does acknowledge that the systems and institutions, the mindset and all those things that stem from the era of enslavement and Jim Crow are still with us today, and they are still impacting African Americans lives.

“It also resolves that there should be a commitment to rectify the lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African Americans under slavery and Jim Crow, and very importantly and to stop the occurrence of human rights violations in the future. That does not say specifically anything about reparations, but it also is important language, because it does not exclude it,” Ms. Tyehimba continued.

“What’s clear is that reparations is something that has legal precedent, but it’s a political storm and game that’s going on. And for you to say ‘you’re sorry’, when we already knew, and for you to say that ‘we know that you continue to suffer,’ it’s just insulting,” commented Dr. Leary.

“And shame on us as Black people for not addressing and responding to this en mass, but we don’t know who we are and if you don’t know who you are, you even don’t have the wherewithal to know that you have to find a true ending. I don’t suspect that you’re going to get some miraculous consciousness as a result of this, but what we should do is galvanize because they’re admitting to a crime against humanity, wholeheartedly, and basically saying we aren’t going to do anything about it. Shame on us as Black people if we sit there and go, ‘Oh thanks.’

“What happens now is the next logical piece because your dialogue with me is I’m sorry. I don’t care about dialoguing about it because this is nothing new for us.White people always want to dialogue but they don’t want to change the hand of power.You haven’t done anything for me because you’ve said you’re sorry, and I don’t believe you’re sorry because you continue to do the same behavior,” argued Dr. Leary. She just returned from Ghana and her most recently published work is “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing.”

‘While applauding the resolution, Ms. Tinker questioned Mr. Cohen’s motive. “I think an apology for the atrocities of slavery was long overdue,” she said in a statement. “But I find it very interesting that Mr. Cohen would call for a national apology during a heated election when he clearly needs African American votes. For over 20 years while serving in the Tennessee General Assembly, he never thought to ask the state of Tennessee for an apology, not once,” she said.’

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) also applauded the House action. “Before you can heal, you’ve got to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ That’s basic Psychology 101,” said Rep. Lee. “If you hurt somebody and don’t say, ‘I’m sorry,’ how can you move on?”

Dr. Leary maintained the apology should be placed in a proper context. “This year marks the 200th year of the end of the slave trade, which was largely ignored by America, Americans, Blacks; everybody is just not tracking that, whereas other countries are at least paying lip service to the relevance of the end of the slave trade. So America is in deep trouble around the world. Everybody hates America, the American dollar is falling, for instance, the Ghanaian cedi is equal to the American dollar, or a little less than, but a few of years ago it was like $100 million to one,” she noted.

“We’ve got to be careful and look at the timing of this apology, number one. They’ve served to (Barack) Obama the question of reparations, with the intent of alienating either one or both communities, no matter what his response is,” she said.

Sen. Obama, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president, has said the best form of reparations would be jobs and access to education and downplayed any official apology. “Whether it’s Native American issues, whether it’s African American issues and reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just to offer words, but to offer deeds,” he said, in a July 27 appearance at the Unity journalists of color conference in Chicago.

  1. I am not going to defend the sale of the slave but rather the origin and fashion it was conducted. You must not soley blame the Americas or the Portugese for the trading of slaves. The first to blame would be the Africans and the African cheifs themselves. Even though the Europeans were the ones who transported the slaves, it was the Africans in Africa that captured eachothers, and trasnported them to the coast where they were shipped. You must understand that the value of human life was not as great as it is today. The Cheifs of the tribes that controlled Africa made a deal with the Europeans to capture their own kind. Before you start pointing fingers, point it at the africans who took the intiative in caging their own kind.

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