It is a well known fact that the Black American history has its roots in forced slavery. It is how blacks got their start in that country. And for nearly 250 years, slavery of Africans in America was the legal norm. But this is not another article about the history of slavery in the USA. Rather, this is a brief exploration of the question, ‘With slavery having been such a dominant part of African American history, are there any remnants left of it in modern American culture?’
Well, I will consider some striking similarities between modern popular African American culture and what was the norm in African slave life in America…
- Since about the 1970’s, and especially among African American men, the fascination of thick precious metals around their neck and wrists have been apparent (rap artist being well known for this trend). However, most know that the African slave in America was bonded and/or led around by their owners with the use of metal shackles and chains.
- The hair weave industry has exploded, greatly in part by women of African descent looking for ways to be beautiful and to be accepted.Interestingly, the African slave woman in America may have envied the position of the wife of her owner. The slave owners wife, with her long flowing hair and big comfortable home, may have been the aspiration of many enslaved African women. Not to mention, having been called nappy by their “idols” for many years after that. Leaving the African slave woman in America hating her natural appearance.
- Popular Black American culture seems to place great emphasis on the body parts of their people to assess attractiveness. A big behind, a large penis, huge breasts. Yet, slave masters often assessed potential “property” in the same manner when shopping for slaves. They paid “good” money for strong backs, meaty behinds, and “bucks” for breeding.
- Black American popular culture seems to be enamored with the use of the word “nigger”. Promulgated by its music and other forms of entertainment. It is also common knowledge that that’s a word used by slave owners and oppressors to title their African slave “property”. That’s my niggah (nigger).
- Lighter cast citizens of modern African American society are often elevated and given special preference to (i.e. music videos). Also common knowledge is that the lighter cast African slave (a result of the owner having his way with one or several of his slaves) was given preference for service in the “big house”. Perhaps leaving the other, darker, African slave onlookers in envy.
- Then there is diet. Certain foods are still sought after in modern African American life, that clearly have its origin in African slave life in America. Pig feet, Chitterlings (pig intestines), and other left over parts of an animal that is well known to be filthy.
These are just a few examples. A few examples from a pretty lengthy list of observations. And, so, what do you think? Coincidences? Or something far more disconcerting?