Good Evening Everyone! I hope everyone is doing well. I’m back with another Black History post and this time, I’m going to share a poem. But not just any poem. Tonight’s poem was written from the perspective of a female slave.
For those of you who have followed my blog for some time, I discussed in the past about wet nursing during slavery. If you aren’t familiar with wet nursing during slavery, it’s when a nursing / pregnant female slave is forced to breastfeed the child of her slave owners.
This was a cruel practice because many times, the female slave’s child or children went hungry. Some babies actually starved to death because the slave owners prohibited the female slave to share her milk with her own child. Why? Because it would leave less milk for the slave “owners” child to nurse on. I find that to be unbelievably ridiculous and cruel seeing how that child’s own mother should have been breastfeeding them.
The poem by Hess Love is touching in so many ways because it shows what many nursing / pregnant female slaves must have felt. Imagine having to watch your child cry from hunger while you breastfed your “owners” child or children first. Breastfeeding your child first was never a priority, only your “owners” children. If you did, you risked being severely punished or having your child killed / murdered.
As you read the poem below by Hess Love, try to read it from a female slave’s perspective because when you do, her words don’t seem so harsh. It really gives you something to think about.
Did you know the following inventions were invented by African Americans? Make sure you pay attention to the dates! And to think for many, many years Black people were considered dumb or inferior. Many still hold that same warped belief. Can you imagine how life would be now without these inventions? By the way, this is a small list…
I thought I’d drop some more Black History Month facts seeing how Black History Month is almost over.
It’s February! So you know I’m about to share untold stories or forgotten about events for Black History month. Let’s get started…
Recy Taylor. Have you heard of her before? Millions were introduced to her during Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech a few weeks ago. I however knew about her way before then. Let me tell you a little bit about this courageous woman who passed away December 28, 2017 at the age of 97.
Recy Taylor was a woman with an extraordinary painful history. Her case stands out in history because of what she, like so many other Black women, went through during slavery and the Jim Crow Era. Recy Taylor was gang raped by seven White men and beaten over the course for several hours. The damage that was done to her body was so extensive that she was unable to bear more children.
Recy Taylor tells how prior to her vicious attack, several White men were following her, whistling at her and calling her derogatory names. The things she went through that night over the course of several hours is way too graphic and I refuse to share the sickening details. Sad to say, rape and other means of sexual violence was the main tool of intimidation towards Black women by the Ku Klux Klan and other racist White men.
Despite numerous threats from her attackers, Recy Taylor was brave enough to call out her attackers and to press charges against them which was unprecedented at that time. With her face still badly bruised and battered, she boldly and courageously told her story. Sadly, like so many other Black women and men during that time, nothing was ever done to her attackers and she never received any type of justice while she was still alive.
A documentary was made about her life and if you have the stomach to watch it, it’s a painful and depressing thing to watch. Yet, millions of Black Americans have similar stories to tell because that is something that happened quite often back then.
The one thing that stands out about Recy Taylor to millions of people now is her bravery and her fearlessness. Recy Taylor had the guts to speak up when so many chose to remain silent out of fear, intimidation and retaliation. Say what you want, Recy Taylor was a force to be reckoned with until the very end.
The history of slavery is a very touchy subject for most Americans living here in the United States. It is also a very sore subject for most African Americans to discuss. We have all learned and heard of the unspeakable horrors that took place during slavery. It is enough to make anyone hurt and upset regardless of your skin color. If you ever seen a photo of a slave ship and how African slaves were bound and chained, it most likely broke your heart. No doubt the voyage was long and painful. Many of us would not be able to survive anything remotely close to what those slaves went through. It is mind boggling to think of all the African slaves that did survive such a difficult and inhumane voyage.
Imagine yourself on that slave ship bound so tightly that you could not move or even go to the rest room. Eating a proper meal was out of the question. Most slaves were fed once a day and you know what that meal consisted of? Slops and scraps. Yes, these slaves were fed like they were pigs or animals. As far as a bath, that generally involved being doused with a bucket of cold sea water. Those who had deep wounds from the slave chains cutting into their skin no doubt felt the stinging pain from the salt in the sea water.
The slaves who finally made it onto land were quickly sold and auctioned off. The slaves who did not survive the voyage were unchained and tossed into the sea en route. How sad. Husbands, wives, children, sisters and brothers were often torn apart at these slave auctions. Never mind their pleading and begging. Their cries fell on deaf ears.
The beatings and mistreatment these slaves endured was unspeakable to say the least. Many were branded, had limbs broken or cut off, some of the men were castrated and we know what was largely done to the young women and girls. Beatings and whippings were the norm in slavery because that is what was used to punish and maim slaves.
I cannot help but to wonder how slaves were often punished for “being lazy” when the United States was largely built on the back of slaves. As they worked themselves to the bone, millions of others reaped the financial benefits of their hard work. Their descendants are still reaping in some cases. What did these slaves get in return? A wooden shack, a broke down back and a life filled with poverty, injustice and pain. It does not take a rocket scientist to tell you who got the short end of the deal.
a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.
Caricatures. I have never cared for them. Why? Because they are used to mock or make fun of others. Caricatures (in the beginning) were primarily used to mock and make fun of Black people particularly here in the United States. That I tell you is just a cold hard fact. Google it’s history and you will see that I am telling the truth. I see no need to lie or sugar coat it; it is what it is. Caricatures are very offensive and demeaning, yet they were used as a comedic effect to sell products at the expense of those they mocked. Believe it or not, a lot of money was made using these stereotypical caricatures.
I remember hearing stories from my parents and grandparents how these caricatures would be all over TV and newspapers to advertise a certain product or products. Upon seeing them in museums and on documentaries as I got older, I began to understand why they found them to be so offensive. Visit any historical Black museum or watch any of the Black history documentaries this month and you will see exactly what I am talking about.
Black people were often depicted with oversized big lips, huge noses, short stubby nappy hair and dumb. Yes full lips, broad noses and coiled / curly hair is a trait among Black people, but the way Black people were depicted in these caricatures is a far cry from how Black people really looked. As far as being dumb, well we all know that was something most of those racist poor souls liked to think to make themselves feel better.
I saw a black history special recently that discussed how these caricatures are now very expensive antiques. There are some caricatures that sell for thousands and thousands of dollars for die hard collectors. Who would have thought that something so offensive would be worth so much of money nowadays. I guess they want to own a little piece of history. You will never catch me running out to buy one. I prefer to see all people in a positive light rather than a negative one.