Being a Negro In America Means Trying To Smile When You Want To Cry, It Means Trying To Hold On To Physical Life Amid Psychological Death. It Means The Pain Of Watching Your Children Grow Up With Clouds Of Inferiority In Their Mental Skies. It Means Having Your Legs Cut Off, And Then Being Condemned For Being A Cripple. It Means Seeing Your Mother And Father Spiritually Murdered By The Slings And Arrows Of Daily Exploitation, And Then Being Hated For Being A Orphan. Martin Luther King 1967
As a people we have a lot of healing to do, and this is what has set us back as a race. Coming out of enslavement there was no psychiatrist for the race to see. We had gone under the greatest crime against humanity, and yet we survived which speaks a lot about our ability to survive. We had no choice but to survive and to see a better way for the children of that time and tomorrow's children. People didn't treat animals the way that we had been treated. During reconstruction we were able to make a better way for ourselves the best that we could. We became over 60% literate in a very short time in history. No time in history has a people been able to do such a thing. We were doing things for ourselves that a race had to do to survive in the belly of the beast.
The chains had been removed from us physically, yet even to
this day we have chains on our minds. Which is what Carter G. Woodson was
saying in his famous quote? Our biggest problem today is, us as a people, not
anything else. We need to not let obstacles get in our way, but climb over them
and use them to make us a better people. We must look at happened to us and
understand the trick that is still being played upon us and to stop the
madness. Some of us are more capable of doing this then others, so I'm speaking
to you, if you're able to read this and to comprehend it, then it is your duty
to yourself and others to stop the madness. It is also your duty to let others
know, how to stop this madness. So let's read these pages to understand what
needs to be done, so we can become a better people.
In this country people are taught to be individuals, and our race is not about individuality and we must learn to work together collectively. What is all your wealth, knowledge, and hard work good for, if you're not using it for the betterment of the people? So let's heal and get on with the building and the work that needs to be done. The last page was the beginning of the healing with Amos Wilson, and this page is also about healing. If we don't allow ourselves to heal, we will continue to allow ourselves to accept our current status and wear blinders, while our people are dying and suffering here and in other parts of the world with our complicity. So I ask that, you look deeper into your soul and spirit and be the people who gave civilization to the world and to enter in a new civilization.
We need to now take a look at this speech/theory that people say that a slave owner Willie Lynch gave, for we need to look at ways that we are divided and overcome these divisions. For if we don't deal with these issues we will be fulfilling the prophesy of the speech. There are two schools of thought in our community about this speech. The first one is that it's real and this is why were in the position we're in today, and regardless of the authenticity we need to see what was done to us and the reality is, that the speech has a certain truth to it. The second school of thought is that we need to debunk this Willie Lynch speech and not allow the speech to divide us and to feed into a hoax that is being played on us., and we know what divides us and we need to work on other issues that create divisions among us that are not mentioned in the speech. We like to present both views, for not to do so, would be misleading you. So you decide and let's not allow anything to continue to divide us, by placing light on it and discussing it, we are allow ourselves to heal. Thank You !
Willie Lynch: "Let's Make A Slave" "The Black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self re-fueling and self-generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands."
Let us make a slave. What do we need? First of all we need a black nigger man, a pregnant nigger woman and her baby nigger boy. Second, we will use the same basic principle that we use in breaking a horse, combined with some more sustaining factors. We reduce them from their natural state in nature; whereas nature provides them with the natural capacity to take care of their needs and the needs of their offspring, we break that natural string of independence from them and thereby create a dependency state so that we may be able to get from them useful production for our business and pleasure.
Cardinal Principals Of Breaking A Negro
For fear that our future generations may not understand the principles of breaking both horses and men, we lay down the art. For , if we are to sustain our basic economy we must break both of the beasts together, the nigger and the horse. We understand that short range planning in economics results in periodic economic chaos, so that, to avoid turmoil in the economy, it requires us to have breadth and depth in long range comprehensive planning, articulating both skill and sharp perception. We lay down the following principles for the long range comprehensive economic planning:
1) Both horse and niggers are no
good to the economy in the wild of natural state.
2) Both must be broken and tied together for orderly production.
3) For orderly futures, special and particular attention must be paid to the female and the youngest offspring.
4) Both must be crossbred to produce a variety and division of labor.
5) Both must be taught to respond to a peculiar new language.
6) Psychological and physical instruction of containment must be created for both.
We hold the above six cardinals as truths to be self-evident, based upon the following discourse concerning the economics of breaking and tying the horse and the nigger together... all-inclusive of the six principles laid down above. NOTE: Neither principles alone will suffice for good economics.
All principles must be employed for the orderly good of the nation. Accordingly, both a wild horse and a wild or natural nigger is dangerous even if captured, for they will have the tendency to seek their customary freedom, and in doing so, might kill you in your sleep. You cannot rest.
They sleep while you are awake and are awake while you are asleep. They are dangerous near the family house and it requires too much labor to watch them away from the house. Above all you cannot get them to work in this natural state. Hence, both the horse and the nigger must be broken, that is break them from one form of mental life to another, keep the body and take the mind. In other words, break the will to resist.
Now the breaking process is the same for the horse and the nigger, only slightly varying in degrees. But as we said before, you must keep your eye focused on the offspring of the horse and the nigger. A brief discourse in offspring development will shed light on the key to sound economic principles. Pay little attention to the generation of original breaking but concentrate on future generations.
Therefore, if you break the female, she will deliver it up to you. For her normal female protective tendencies will have been lost in the original breaking process. For example, take the case of the wild stud horse, a female horse and an already infant horse and compare the breaking process with tow nigger males in their natural state, a pregnant nigger woman with her infant offspring.
Take the stud horse, break him for limited containment. Completely break the female horse until she becomes very gentle whereas you or anybody can ride her in comfort. Breed the mare and the stud until you have the desired offspring. Then you can turn the stud to freedom until you need him again. Train the female horse whereby she will eat out of your hand, and she will train the infant horse to eat out of your hand also.
When it comes to breaking the uncivilized nigger, use the same process, but vary the degree and step up the pressure so as to do a complete reversal of the mind. Take the meanest and most restless nigger, strip him of his clothes in front of the remaining male niggers, the female, and the nigger infant, tar and feather him, tie each leg to a different horse faced in opposite directions, set him afire and beat both horses to pull him apart in front of the remaining niggers. The next step is to take a bullwhip and beat both the remaining nigger male to the point of death in front of the female and the infant. Don't kill him. But put the fear of God in him, for he can be useful for future breeding.
The Process Of Breaking Of The African Woman
Take the female and run a series of test on her to see if she will submit to your desires willingly. Test her in every way, because she is the most important factor for good economics. If she shows any sign of resistance in submitting completely to your will, do not hesitate to use the bull whip on her to extract that last bit of bitch out of her. Take care not to kill her, for in doing so, you spoil good economics. When in complete submission, she will train her offspring in the early years to submit to labor when they become of age. Understanding is the best thing.
Therefore, we shall go deeper into this area of the subject matter concerning what we have produced here in this breaking of the female nigger. We have reversed the relationships. In her natural uncivilized state she would have a strong dependency on the uncivilized nigger male, and she would have a limited protective dependency toward her independent male offspring and would raise offspring to be dependent like her. Nature had provided for this type of balance. We reverse nature by burning and pulling one civilized nigger apart and bull whipping the other to the point of death--all in her presence.
By her being left alone, unprotected, with the male image destroyed, the ordeal caused her to move from her psychological dependent state to a frozen independent state. In this frozen psychological state of independence she will raise her male and female offspring in reversed roles. For fear of the young male's life she will psychologically train him to be mentally weak and dependent but physically strong. Because she has become psychologically independent she will train her female offspring to be psychologically independent as well.
What have you got? You've got the nigger woman out front and the nigger man behind and scared. This is a perfect situation for sound sleep and soundly, for out of frozen fear, his woman stands guard for us. He cannot get past her early infant slave molding process. He is a good tool, now ready to be tied to the horse at a tender age. By the time a nigger boy reaches the age sixteen, he is soundly broken in and ready for a long life of sound and efficient work and the reproduction of a unit of good labor force.
Continually, through the breaking of uncivilized savage niggers, by throwing the nigger female savage into a frozen psychological state of independency, by killing the protective image, and by creating a submissive dependent mind of the nigger male slave, we Have created an orbiting cycle that turns on its own axis forever, unless a phenomenon occurs and reshifts the positions of the male and female savages. We show what we mean by example. We breed two nigger males with two nigger females. Then we take the nigger males away from them and keep them moving and working. Say the nigger female bears a nigger female and the other bears a nigger male.
Both nigger females, being without influence of the nigger male image, frozen with an independent psychology, will raise their offspring into reverse positions. The one with the female offspring will teach her to be like herself, independent and negotiable (we negotiate with her, through her, by her, and negotiate her at will). The one with the nigger male offspring, she being frozen with conscious fear for his life, will raise him to be mentally dependent and weak, but physically strong...in other words, body over mind. Now, in a few years when these two offspring become fertile for early reproduction, we will mate and breed them and continue the cycle. that is good, sound, and long range comprehensive planning.
WARNING: Possible Interloping Negatives
Earlier, we talked about the non-economic good of the horse and the nigger in their wild or natural state; we talked out the principle of breaking and tying them together for orderly production, furthermore, we talked about paying particular attention to the female savage and her offspring for orderly future planning; then more recently we stated that, by reversing the positions of the male and the female savages we had created an orbiting cycle that turns on its axis forever, unless phenomenon occurred, and reshifted the positions of the male and female savages.
Our experts warned us about the possibility of this phenomenon occurring, for they say that the mind has a strong drive to correct and recorrect itself over a period of time if it can touch some substantial original historical base; and they advise us that the best way to deal with this phenomenon is to shave off the brute's mental history and create a multiplicity of phenomenon or illusions so that each illusion will twirl in its own orbit, something akin to floating ball in a vacuum.
This creation of multiplicity of phenomenon or illusions entails the principles of cross-breeding the nigger and the horse as we stated above, the purpose of which is to create diversified divisions of labor. The result of which is the severance of the points of original beginning's for each spherical illusion. Since we feel that the subject matter may get more complicated as we proceed in laying down our economic plan concerning the purpose, reason, and effect of cross-breeding horses and niggers, we shall lay down the following definitional terms for future generations.
1. Orbiting cycle means a thing
turning in a given pattern.
2. Axis means upon which or around which a body turns.
3. Phenomenon means something beyond ordinary conception and inspires awe and wonder
4. Multiplicity means a great number.
5. Sphere means a globe.
6. Cross-breeding a horse means taking a horse and breeding it with an ass and your get a dumb backward ass, long-headed mule that is not reproductive or productive by itself.
7. Cross-breeding niggers means taking so many drops of good white blood and putting them into as many nigger women as possible, varying the drops by the various tones that you want, and then letting them breed with each other until the circle of colors appear as you desire.
What means is this: Put the
niggers and the horse in the breeding pot, mix some asses and some good white
blood and what do you get? You got multiplicity of colors of ass backwards,
unusual niggers, running, tied to backward ass long-hand mules, the one
productive of itself, the other sterile. (The one constant, the other dying. We
keep the nigger constant for we may replace the mule for another tool) both
mule and nigger tied to each other, neither knowing where the other came from
and neither productive for itself, nor without each other.
Cross-breeding completed, for further severance from their original beginning, we must completely annihilate the mother tongue of both the nigger and the new mule and institute a new language that involves the new life's work of both. You know, language is a peculiar institution. It leads to the heart of a people.
The more a foreigner knows about the language of another country, to the extent that he knows the body of the language, to that extent is the country vulnerable to attack or invasion of a foreign culture. For example, you take a slave, if you teach him all about your language, he will know all your secrets, and he is then no more a slave, for you can't fool him any longer and having a fool is one of the basic ingredients of and incidents to the making of the slavery system.
For example if you told a slave that he must perform in getting out 'our
crops' and he knows the language well, he would know that 'our crops' didn't
mean 'our' crops, and the slavery system would break down, for he would relate
on the basis of what 'our crops' really meant. So you have to be careful
in setting up the new language for the slave would soon be in your house,
talking to you as 'man to man' and that is death to our economic system.
In addition, the definitions of words or terms are only a minute part of the
process. Values are created and transported by communication through the
body of the language. A total society has many interconnected value
system. All these values in the society have bridges of language to
connect them for orderly working in the society. But for these bridges,
these many value systems would sharply clash and cause internal strife or civil
war, the degree of the conflict being determined by the magnitude of the issues
or relative opposing strength in whatever form. For example, if you put a
slave in a hog pen and train him to live there and incorporate in him to value
it as a way of life completely, the biggest problem you would have out of him
is that he would worry you about provisions to keep the hog pen clean, or
partially clean, or he might not worry you at all. On the other hand, if
you put this same slave in the same hog pen and make a slip and incorporate
something in his language whereby he comes to value a house more than he does
his hog pen you got a problem. He will soon be in your house.
Gentlemen, I greet you here on the bank of the James
River in the year of Lord one Thousand seven hundred and
twelve. First. I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the Colony of
Virginia, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your
problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation
in the West Indies where I have experimented with some
of the newest and still the oldest methods for control of slaves. Ancient
Rome would envy us if my program is
implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our
illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we cherish, I saw enough to know
that your problem is not unique. While Rome
used cords of wood as crosses for standing human bodies along its old highways
in great numbers you are here using the tree and the rope on occasion.
I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree a couple of miles back. You are not only losing valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slave are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit, you suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed. Gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate, I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them.
In my bag here, I have a fool proof method for controlling your Black slaves, I guarantee everyone of you that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at least 300 hundred years. My method is simple. Any member of your family or your overseer can use it.
I have outlined a number of differences
among the slaves: and I make these differences and make them bigger. I
use fear, and envy for control purposes. These methods have worked on my
modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work
throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences, and
think about them. On top of my list is "Age" but it is there
only because it starts with an "A"; the second is "Color"
or shade, there is intelligence, size, sex, size of plantations, status on
plantation, attitude of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on the
hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, coarse hair, or is tall or
short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an
outline of action - but before that I shall assure you that distrust is
stronger than trust, and envy is stronger than adulation, respect or
The Black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self re-fueling and self-generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands. Don't forget you must pitch the old Black male vs. the young Black male, and the young Black male against the old Black male. You must use the dark skin slave vs. the light skin slaves and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves. You must use the female vs. the male, and the male vs. the female. You must also have your white servants and overseers distrust all Black, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us, They must love, respect and trust only us.
Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. If used intensely for one year, the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful. Thank you, gentlemen.
Death To The Willie Lynch SpeechBy Prof. Manu Ampim
Since 1995 there has been much attention given to a speech claimed to be delivered by a William Lynch in 1712. This speech has been promoted widely throughout African American and Black British circles. It is re-printed on numerous websites, discussed in chat rooms, forwarded as a did you know email to friends and family members, assigned as required readings in college and high school courses, promoted at conferences, and there are several books published with the title of Willie Lynch. In addition, new terminology called the Willie Lynch Syndrome has been devised to explain the psychological problems and the disunity among Black people.
Further, it is naively assumed by a large number of Willie Lynch believers that this single and isolated speech, allegedly given almost 300 years ago, completely explains the internal problems and divisions within the African American community. They assume that the Willie Lynch Syndrome explains Black disunity and the psychological trauma of slavery. While some have questioned and even dismissed this speech from the outset, it is fair to say that most African Americans who are aware of the speech have not questioned its authenticity, and assume it to be a legitimate and very crucial historical document which explains what has happened to African Americans.
However, when we examine the details of the Willie Lynch Speech and its assumed influence, then it becomes clear that the belief in its authenticity and widespread adoption during the slavery era is nothing more than a modern myth. In this brief examination, I will show that the only known William Lynch was born three decades after the alleged speech, that the only known William Lynch did not own a plantation in the West Indies, that the speech was not mentioned by anyone in the 18th or 19th centuries, and that the speech itself clearly indicates that it was composed in the late 20th century.
SILENCE ON LYNCH SPEECH:
The Willie Lynch Speech is not mentioned by any 18th or 19th century slavemasters or anti-slavery activists. There is a large body of written materials from the slavery era, yet there is not one reference to a William Lynch speech given in 1712. This is very curious because both free and enslaved African Americans wrote and spoke about the tactics and practices of white slavemasters. Frederick Douglass, Nat Turner, Olaudah Equino, David Walker, Maria Stewart, Martin Delaney, Henry Highland Garnet, Richard Allen, Absolom Jones, Frances Harper, William Wells Brown, and Robert Purvis were African Americans who initiated various efforts to rise up against the slave system, yet none cited the alleged Lynch speech. Also, there is not a single reference to the Lynch speech by any white abolitionists, including John Brown, William Lloyd Garrison, and Wendell Phillips. Similarly, there has been no evidence found of slavemasters or pro-slavery advocates referring to (not to mention utilizing) the specific divide and rule information given in the Lynch speech.
Likewise, none of the most credible historians on the enslavement of African Americans have ever mentioned the Lynch speech in any of their writings. A reference to the Lynch speech and its alleged divide and rule tactics are completely missing in the works of Benjamin Quarles, John Hope Franklin, John Henrik Clarke, William E.B. Du Bois, Herbert Aptheker, Kenneth Stampp, John Blassingame, Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Darlene Clark-Hine, and Lerone Bennett. These authors have studied the details and dynamics of Black social life and relations during slavery, as well as the machinery of control by the slavemasters, yet none made a single reference to a Lynch speech.
Since the Willie Lynch speech was not mentioned by any slavemasters, pro-slavery advocates, abolitionists, or historians studying the slavery era, the question of course is when did it appear?
FIRST REFERENCE TO LYNCH SPEECH:
The first reference to the Willie Lynch speech was in a late 1993 on-line listing of sources, posted by Anne Taylor, who was then the reference librarian at the University of Missouri at St. Louis (UMSL). She posted ten sources to the UMSL library database and the Lynch speech was the last item in the listing. Taylor in her 1995 email exchanges with the late Dr. William Piersen (Professor of History, Fisk University) and others interested in the origin of the Lynch speech indicated that she keep the source from where she received the speech anonymous upon request, because he was unable to establish the authenticity of the document. On October 31, 1995, Taylor wrote:
Enough butt-covering, now its time to talk about where I got it. The publisher who gave me this [speech] wanted to remain anonymous because he couldnt trace it, either, and until now Ive honored his wishes. It was printed in a local, widely-distributed, free publication called The St. Louis Black Pages, 9th anniversary edition, 1994*, page 8.
[*Taylor notes: At risk of talking down to you, its not unusual for printed materials to be post-dated the 1994 edition came out in 1993].
The Lynch speech was distributed in the Black community in 1993 and 1994, and in fact I came across it during this time period, but as an historian trained in Africana Studies and primary research I never took it serious. I simply read it and put it in a file somewhere.
However, the Lynch speech was popularized at the Million Man March (held in Washington, DC) on October 16, 1995, when it was referred to by Min. Louis Farrakhan. He stated:
We, as a people who have been fractured, divided and destroyed because of our division, now must move toward a perfect union. Let's look at a speech, delivered by a white slave holder on the banks of the James River in 1712... Listen to what he said. He said, 'In my bag, I have a foolproof method of controlling Black slaves. I guarantee everyone of you, if installed correctly, it will control the slaves for at least 300 years So spoke Willie Lynch 283 years ago.
The 1995 Million Man March was broadcast live on C-Span television and thus millions of people throughout the U.S. and the world heard about the alleged Willie Lynch speech for the first time. Now, ten years later, the speech has become extremely popular, although many historians and critical thinkers questioned this strange and unique document from the outset.
Full Text of the
alleged Willie Lynch Speech, 1712:
Gentlemen, I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies where I have experimented with some of the newest and still the oldest methods of control of slaves.
Ancient Rome would envy us if my program were
implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River,
named for our illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we cherish. I saw
enough to know that your problem is not unique. While Rome used cords of woods as crosses for
standing human bodies along its highways in great numbers you are here using
the tree and the rope on occasion.
I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree a couple of miles back. You are not only losing a valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit, you suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed.
Gentlemen, you know what
your problems are: I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your
problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them. In my bag
here, I have a fool proof method for controlling your Black slaves. I guarantee
everyone of you that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at
least 300 hundred years [sic]. My method is simple. Any member of your family
or your overseer can use it.
I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves: and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences, and think about them.
On top of my list is
Age, but it is there only because it starts with an A: the second is
Color or shade, there is intelligence, size, sex, size of plantations, status
on plantation, attitude of owners, whether the slave live in the valley, on
hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, coarse hair, or is tall or
short. Now that you have a list of differences. I shall give you an outline of
action-but before that I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust
and envy is stronger than adulation, respect, or admiration.
The Black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self re-fueling and self generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands. Don't forget you must pitch the old Black male vs. the young Black male, and the young Black male against the old Black male. You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves. You must use the female vs. the male, and the male vs. the female. You must also have your white servants and overseers distrust all Blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love, respect and trust only us.
Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. If used intensely for one year, the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful. Thank you, gentlemen."
The only known William Lynch
who could have authorized a 1712 speech in Virginia was born 30 years after The only known William Lynch lived from
1742-1820 and was from Pittsylvania,
Virginia. It is obvious that
William Lynch could not have authored a document 30 years before he was
born! This William Lynch never owned a
plantation in the West Indies, and he did not own a slave plantation in Virginia.
DIVIDE & RULE
The Lynch speech lists a number of divide and rule tactics that were not important concerns to slaveholders in the early 1700s, and they certainly were not adopted. The anonymous writer of the Lynch speech states, I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves: and I take these differences and make them bigger. Here is the list provided in the Lynch speech: age, color, intelligence, fine hair vs. coarse hair, tall vs. short, male vs. female.
However, none of these tactics were concerns to slaveholders in the early 1700s in the West Indies or colonial America. No credible historian has indicated that any of the items on the Lynch list were a part of a divide and rule strategy in the early 18th century. These are current 20th century divisions and concerns. Here are the Lynch speech tactics versus the real divide and rule tactics that were actually used in the early 18th century:
DIVIDE & RULE TACTICS
LYNCH SPEECH vs. HISTORICAL FACTS
Age Ethnic origin & language
Color (light vs. dark skin) African born vs. American born
Intelligence Occupation (house vs. field slave)
Fine hair vs. coarse hair Reward system for good behavior
Tall vs. short Class status
Male vs. female Outlawed social gatherings
It is certain that Willie Lynch did not use his divide and rule tactics on his modest plantation in the West Indies.
20th CENTURY TERMS IN
There are a number of terms in the alleged 1712 Lynch speech that are undoubtedly anachronisms (i.e. words that are out of their proper historical time period). Here are a few of the words in the speech that were not used until the 20th century:
Lynch speech: In my bag here, I have a fool proof method for controlling your Black slaves.
Anachronisms: Fool proof and Black with an upper-case B to refer to people of African descent are of 20th century origin. Capitalizing Black did not become a standard from of writing until the late 1960s.
Lynch speech: The Black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self re-fueling and self generating for hundreds of years.
Anachronism: Re-fueling is a 20th century term which refers to transportation.
OTHER STRANGE FEATURES
- William Lynch is invited from the West Indies (with no specific country indicated) to give only a short eight-paragraph speech. The cost of such a trip would have been considerable, and for the invited speaker to give only general remarks would have been highly unlikely.
- Lynch never thanked the specific host of his speech, he only thanked the gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia, for bringing me here. Here, he is rude and shows a lack of etiquette. Also, no specific location for the speech was stated, only that he was speaking on the bank [sic] of the James River.
Lynch claims that on his journey to give the speech he saw a dead slave hanging from a tree. This is highly unlikely because lynching African Americans from trees did not become common until the late 19th century.
- Lynch claims that his method of control will work for
at least 300 hundred years [sic].
First, it has gone unnoticed that the modern writer of the speech
wrote three hundred twice (300 hundred years), which makes no grammatical
sense. It should be 300 years or
three hundred years. Second, the
arbitrary choice of 300 years is interesting because it happens to
conveniently bring us to the present time.
- Lynch claims that his method of control will work throughout the South. This statement clearly shows the modern writers historical ignorance. In 1712, there was no region in the current-day U.S. identified as the South. The geographical region of the South did not become distinct until a century after the alleged speech. Before the American Revolutionary War vs. Britain (1775-1783) the 13 original U.S. colonies were all slaveholding regions, and most of these colonies were in what later became the North, not the South. In fact, the region with the second largest slave population during the time of the alleged William Lynch speech was the northern city of New York, where there were a significant number of slave revolts including the rebellion in 1712
Lynch fails to give an outline of action for control as he promised in his speech. He only gives a simple little list of differences among Black slaves.
Lynch lists his differences by alphabetical order, he states: On top of my list is Age, but it is there only because it starts with an A. Yet, after the first two differences (age and color), Lynchs list is anything but alphabetical.
Lynch spells color in the American form instead of the British form (colour). We are led to believe that Lynch was a British slaveowner in the West Indies, yet he does not write in British style.
Lastly, the name Willie Lynch is interesting, as it may be a simple play on words: Will Lynch, or Will he Lynch. This may be a modern psychological game being played on unsuspecting believers?
WHO WROTE THE LYNCH SPEECH?
It is clear that the Willie Lynch Speech is a late 20th century invention because of the numerous reasons outlined in this essay. I would advance that the likely candidate for such a superficial speech is an African American male in the 20s-30s age range, who probably minored in Black Studies in college. He had a limited knowledge of 18th century America, but unfortunately he fooled many uncritical Black people.
Some people argue that it doesnt matter if the speech is fact or fiction, because white people did use tactics to divide us. Of course tactics were used but what advocates of this argument dont understand is that African people will not solve our problems and address the real issues confronting us by adopting half-baked urban myths. If there are people who know that the Lynch speech is fictional, yet continue to promote it in order to wake us up, then we should be very suspicious of these people, who lack integrity and will openly violate trust and willingly lie to our community.
Even if the Willie Lynch mythology were true, the speech is focused on what white slaveholders were doing, and there is no plan, program, or any agenda items for Black people to implement. It is ludicrous to give god-like powers to one white man who allegedly gave a single speech almost 300 years ago, and claim that this is the main reason why Black people have problems among ourselves today! Unfortunately, too often Black people would rather believe a simple and convenient myth, rather than spend the time studying and understanding a situation. Too many of our people want a one-page, simplified Ripleys Believe It or Not explanation of what happened.
WILLIE LYNCH DISTRACTION
While we are distracted by the Willie Lynch urban mythology, the real issues go ignored. There are a number of authentic first-hand written accounts by enslaved Africans, who wrote specifically about the slave conditions and the slavemasters system of control. For example, writers such as Olaudah Equiano, Mahommah Baquaqua, and Frederick Douglass wrote penetrating accounts about the tactics of slave control.
Frederick Douglass, for instance, wrote in his autobiography, Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, that one of the most diabolical tactics of the American slaveholders was to force the slave workers during their six days off for the Christmas holiday to drink themselves into a drunken stupor and forget about the pain of slavery. Douglass wrote, It was deemed a disgrace not to get drunk at Christmas; and he was regarded as lazy indeed, who had not provided himself with the necessary means, during the year, to get whiskey enough to last him through Christmas. From what I know of the effects of these holidays upon the slave, I believe them to be the most effective means in the hands of the slaveholder in keeping down the spirit of insurrection. Were the slaveholders at once to abandon this practice, I have not the slightest doubt it would lead to an immediate insurrection among the slaves . The holidays are part and parcel of the gross fraud, wrong, and inhumanity of slavery."
Also, many nineteenth century Black writers discussed the specific tactics of the white slaveowners and how they used Christianity to teach the enslaved Africans how to be docile and accept their slave status. The problem with African American and Black British revelry during the Christmas holidays and the blind acceptance of the masters version of Christianity are no doubt major issues among Black people today. It is certain that both of these problems were initiated and perpetuated during slavery, and they require our immediate attention.
Many people who embrace the Willie Lynch myth have not studied the period of slavery, and have not read the major works or first-hand documents on this issue of African American slavery. Further, as indicated above, the Lynch hoax is so widespread that this fictional speech is amazingly used as required reading by some college instructors. While we are being misled by this fantasy, the real historical data is being ignored. For example, Kenneth Stampp in his important work on slavery in the American South, The Peculiar Institution (1956), uses the historical records to outline the 5 rules for making a slave:
1.Maintain strict discipline.
belief of personal inferiority.
awe of masters power ( instill fear).
masters standards of good conduct.
5.Develop a habit of perfect dependence.
Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
Who can imagine what could be the feelings of a father and
mother, when looking upon their infant child whipped and tortured with
impunity, and placed in a situation where they could afford it no protection.
But we were all claimed and held as property; the father and the mother were
slaves! . . I was compelled to stand and see my wife shamefully scourged and
abused by her master: and the manner in which this was done, was so violently
and inhumanely committed upon the person of a female, that I despair in finding
decent language to describe the bloody act of cruelty. My happiness or pleasure
was then all blasted; for it was sometimes a pleasure to be with my family even
in slavery. I loved them as my wife and child. Little Francis was a pretty
child she was quiet, playful, bright and interesting But I could never look
upon the dear child without being filled with sorrow and fearful apprehensions
of being separated by slave holders, because she was a slave, regarded as
property. And unfortunately for me, I am the father of a slave. . . It calls
fresh to my mind the separation of husband and wife of stripping, tying up and
flogging; of tearing children from their parents, and selling them on the
auction block. It calls to mind female virtue, virtue trampled underfoot . . .
But oh! When I remember that my daughter, my only child, is still there,
destined to share the fate of all these calamities, it is too much to bear. . .
If ever there was any one act of my life while a slave, that I have to lament
over, it is that of being a father and a husband of slaves. Henry Bibb,
Dr. Joy Degruy Leary:
What are the impacts of generations of slavery and oppression on a people? In order to begin to understand the magnitude of this legacy on contemporary African Americans, it is important to examine the diagnostic characteristics of trauma. What are the effects of trauma on human beings? What does trauma look like? How does the trauma manifest itself?
If I shoot someone, says an attendee at one of my lectures, most would agree that the victim of the shooting would be severely traumatized. A gentleman seated a few rows away from the victim might be somewhat less traumatized. Someone walking in the hall that heard the shot could possibly be traumatized. Some family members of the victim informed about the shooting may be intensely traumatized, while others very little. There might even be a woman seated next to the victim who may not experience any symptoms of trauma whatsoever. This is because human beings react to events differently.
With the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11 2001, many Americans, once again, became familiar with the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Lots of citizens were reported to be suffering from the disorder as a result of witnessing the destruction of those buildings and the deaths of those trapped inside. At the same time, while most individuals who repeatedly witnessed the news coverage of the towers toppling did not seem to suffer any enduring mental or emotional damage, some did. People do indeed respond to trauma differently.
With what is known about trauma, is it probable that significant numbers of African slaves experienced a sufficient amount of trauma to warrant a diagnosis of PTSD? Since there are no living African American slaves today I will have to hypothesize using current diagnostic criteria.
The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, Revised, describes features of disorders, reports the conditions which may give rise to them and lists each disorders symptoms. These all help clinicians with making accurate diagnoses. However, it is not necessary for an individual to show evidence of all of the listed symptoms to warrant being diagnosed with a specific illness.
The following are a list of some of the conditions which give rise to mental and/or emotional traumas that justify the diagnosis of PTSD:
* A serious threat or harm to one life or physical integrity.
* A threat or harm to ones children, spouse or close relative.
* Sudden destruction of one home or community.
* Seeing another person injured or killed as result of accident or physical violence.
* Learning about a serious threat to a relative or a close friend being kidnapped, tortured or killed.
* Stressor is experienced with intense fear, terror and helplessness Stressor and disorder is considered to be more serious and will last longer when the stressor is of human design.
It is important to note that the manual states that any one of the above stressors is enough to cause PTSD. So what about African slaves many slaves did not experience just one of the above stressors; rather, many experienced all of them! And the great preponderance of slaves were subjected to these traumatic experiences over and over again! Taking into consideration the fact that slaves brought to the Americas from Africa were exposed to a lifetime of traumas, even with the fact that not everyone is traumatized by traumatic events, anyone with limited astuteness could surmise that a considerable number of African slaves are likely to have suffered from PTSD.
Today, those who are diagnosed with PTSD exhibit symptoms that may require clinical treatment inclusive of drug therapy. Some of the symptoms of PTSD include:
* Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
* Physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues.
* Marked diminished interest or participation in significant activities.
* Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others.
* Restricted range of affect.
* Sense of foreshortened future (in other words, does not expect to have a career, marriage, children or normal life span.)
* Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
* Irritability or outbursts of anger.
* Difficulty concentrating.
Remember, these are just some of the symptoms that an individual may exhibit having had direct or indirect exposure to a single traumatic event. What about those who experienced a lifetime of slavery? What symptoms do you think they must have exhibited? Today people can get treatment for PTSD. I dont remember reading about any counseling centers that were set up for freed slaves after the Civil War. The effects of the traumas were never addressed, nor did the traumas cease. African Americans have continued to experience traumas similar to those of our slave past.
Once again, even more impactful than the physical assault on their bodies was the daily assault on their psyches. Since the capture and transport of the first African slaves, those brought to these shores had
to deal with systematic efforts to destroy the bonds of relationships that held them together, as well as continuing efforts to have them believe themselves to be less than human.
The maintenance of healthy and secure relationships is among the most important values within the African culture. So what do you think would happen if those relationships were destroyed and never allowed to fully take root again? If you were going to devise a uniquely cruel system of punishment, you could never have devised something more devastating and insidious than American chattel slavery because it absolutely, categorically destroyed existing relationships and undermined a peoples ability to form healthy new ones.
Perhaps of greatest impact though, were the daily efforts of the slave owners and others in authority to break the slaves will. Free will is at the core of being human. Can you imagine what it must be like to have your will assaulted on a daily basis? You live in a society that constantly reminds you that you are no different from livestock and in some cases less valuable. When you attempt to express yourself, you are beaten down. When you attempt to protect your loved ones, you are beaten down. You are beaten until you call the cruelest and most vile man you know Master. And God forbid you attempt to be educated or think for yourself
As a result of centuries of slavery and oppression, most white Americans in their thoughts as well as actions believe themselves superior to blacks. Of greater import, too many African Americans unconsciously share this belief. This is not surprising, for as I have outlined in Chapter Two, centuries of repetition and justification have gone into establishing such understanding. It is from the impacts of past assaults that we must heal, and it is from the threats of continuing assaults that we must learn to defend ourselves, our families and our communities.
PASSING DOWN THE EFFECTS OF TRAUMA:
Upon hearing the term Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome some of my readers might think to themselves, How could African Americans today possibly be affected by events that occurred so long ago? After all, African Americans are free now! In fact, they have been free for a long time!
I have often heard European Americans irately say, You know what, I didnt own slaves, okay? And Im tired of feeling guilty about what happened over a hundred years ago, so get over it. My response to them is that I am not a slave now nor have I ever been a slave, and as far as I know, nobody I have known personally was a slave. The fact is, I dont have any experience of being a slave. However, 246 years of protracted slavery guaranteed the prosperity and privilege of the souths white progeny while correspondingly relegating its black progeny to a legacy of debt and suffering. It doesnt really matter today if either of us, black or white, directly experienced or participated in slavery. What does matter is that African Americans have experienced a legacy of trauma.
What is this legacy? How is it transmitted? The legacy of trauma is reflected in many of our behaviors and our beliefs; behaviors and beliefs that at one time were necessary to adopt in order to survive, yet today serve to undermine our ability to be successful. Remember the stories I told in the introduction? These are examples of behaviors that have been passed down through generations. Beliefs can be somewhat harder to see, yet they are there nonetheless. I have a friend who has been working with teens for the past 14 years in both the African American community and in the affluent white suburbs. One day we were discussing the differences in his experiences and he told me, Joy, there is one major difference between the two groups that I have noticed. Both groups of teens I have worked with are very capable, both groups are made up of basically good kids, and both groups have aspirations for their futures. The biggest difference I have seen is that in their hearts and minds the kids from affluent families assume they will be successful; the black kids from less affluence do not make this assumption. When I later reflected on his observations I knew that in far too many instances he was right. This is reflective of debilitating beliefs and assumptions that are also part of the legacy of trauma.
The question remains, how are such effects of trauma transmitted through generations? The answer is quite straightforward. How do we learn to raise our children? Almost entirely through our own experience of being raised. Most of us raise our children based upon how we ourselves were raised. Of course there are things our parents did that we decide well do differently, but for the most part parenting is one of a myriad of skills that is passed down generation to generation. What do you think gets passed down through generations if what was experienced were lifetimes of abuse at the hands of slave masters and other authorities? What do you think the result would be if generation after generation of young men were not allowed the power and authority to parent their own children? What do you think the result would be if education was prohibited for generations? What do you think the result would be if the primary skills that mothers teach their children are those associated with adapting to a lifetime of torture?
Today we know that if a child has an abusive parent, the likelihood that he or she will grow to be abusive is greater than if that child came from a safe and supportive home. We know that if a child comes from a violent home, there is a greater likelihood the child will grow to be violent. We know that if a child comes from a home in which one or both parents went to college, there is a greater likelihood that child will go to college. We know that our children receive most of their attitudes, life skills and approaches to life from their parents. We also know that most of these are learned by the time they are five or six years old. What training did children in bondage receive?
James P. Corner writes: The slave family existed only to serve the master and in order to survive physically, psychologically and socially the slave family had to develop a system which made survival possible under degrading conditions. The slave society prepared the young to accept exploitation and abuse, to ignore the absence of dignity and respect for themselves as blacks. The social, emotional and psychological price of this adjustment is well known.
In most families the dominant male is the father. Who was the dominant male in a slaves life? The master was figuratively, if not literally, the father. It was the master who more often than not became the imprint for male parental behavior . . . and this imprint was passed down through the generations. At its foundation, this imprint was dominated by the necessity to control others through violence and aggression,
While some of what we learn we learn through direct instruction, the bulk of our learning takes place vicariously, by watching others. The individuals and families that survived the slave experience reared their children while simultaneously struggling with their own psychological injuries. They often exhibited the typical symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The children lived and learned the behaviors and attitudes of their often injured and struggling parents. Today, we are those children.
In addition to the family, the legacy of trauma is also passed down through the community. During slavery, the black community was a suppressed and marginalized group. Today, the African American community is made up of individuals and families who collectively share differential anxiety and adaptive survival behaviors passed down from prior generations of African Americans, many of whom likely suffered from PTSD. The community serves to reinforce both the positive and negative behaviors through the socialization process. For example, in the 1940s, families frequently suppressed any signs of aggression in their children, particularly their male children. It was an acceptable and expected practice in African American communities to severely beat unruly boys so they would never make the mistake of standing their ground with a white person in authority.
While the direct relationship between the slave experience of African Americans and the current major social problems facing them is difficult to empirically substantiate, we know from research conducted on other groups who experienced oppression and trauma that survivor syndrome is pervasive in the development of the second and third generations. The characteristics of the survivor syndrome include stress, self-doubt, problems with aggression, and a number of psychological and interpersonal relationship problems with family members and others.
Yael Danieli, in the International Handbook of Multi Legacies of Trauma, explains: The intergenerational perspective reveals the impact of trauma, its contagion, and repeated patterns within the family. It may help explain certain behavior patterns, symptoms, roles, and values adopted by family members, family sources of vulnerability as well as resilience and strength, and job choices (following in the footsteps of a relative, a namesake) through the generations. Viewed from a family systems perspective, what happened in one generation will affect what happens in the older or younger generation, though the actual behavior may take a variety of forms. Within an intergenerational context, the trauma and its impact may be passed down as the family legacy even to children born after the trauma.
This, then, is how the legacy of trauma has been transmitted. Given our history, should we be surprised that issues of abuse, ineffectual Syndrome parenting, violence and educational disillusionment, to name a few, continue to plague African American communities today? Many of these dysfunctional adaptations can be linked to the crimes visited upon our ancestors.
Since 1980 the number of incarcerated men and women in the United States has increased between 4 and 500%. In 2004 alone the Federal prison population grew 7.2%. As of June, 2003 the Federal Bureau of Justice reported there were 2,078,570 prisoners being held in federal or state prisons and local jails. Half were African American. While African Americans make up 12% of the general population, we continue to account for half of the prison population. According to the Bureau, stark differences in incarceration rates prevail: 1 in 21 black men were in prison as were I in 56 men of Hispanic origin, while only I in 147 white men were behind bars.
If incarceration rates continue their trends, 1 in 4 young black males born today will serve time in prison during his lifetime, meaning he will be convicted and sentenced to more than one year of incarceration . . . The per capita incarceration rate among blacks is 7 times that of whites. . . African American males serve longer sentences, have higher arrests and conviction rates, face higher bail amounts, and are more often the victims of police use of deadly force than white citizens. . . Nationally, for every one black man who graduates from college, 100 are arrested.
The powers that be would have us believe that blacks are seven times more likely to commit crimes than whites. Obviously, we still have a long way to go to be treated equally in the eyes of the law.
Coupled with such severe over-representation of African American males in the prison system has been the growth of the system itself. Since 1980 prisons have once again become big business. More and more prisons are being built with private dollars, and with the privatizing of construction and management has come increased use of prison labor in the market place.
Today, prisoners are making jeans, sweatshirts, toys and circuit boards. They make car parts, pack golf balls and do telemarketing. They even take airline reservations, and all for major corporations as well as the federal government. For their labor inmates typically receive as little as 30 to 95 cents an hour. Not only do these companies get labor for well below minimum wage, they get it without having to pay for unemployment insurance, healthcare, vacations or pensions. In 2000 80,000 inmates held such jobs. Twenty-one thousand of these prisoners worked for the federal government, up 14% from 1998. And their numbers continue to rise.
Sound familiar? Its a kind of convict leasing, though somewhat kinder and gentler from systems past. While some argue that this may not be all bad, since prisoners are being productive and getting paid, still one has to wonder when half the prison workforce is black.
Visions For Black Men
Na'im Akbar: From Maleness To Manhood
The full title for this section should be: From Maleness to Manhood: The Transformation of the African-American Consciousness, or For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Homicide When Manhood Was Enough. We presume as a given that America has been, still is, and very probably will be for a long time to come, a striving, sturdy racist society. We are aware that from the White House to the unemployment lines there is clear evidence that racism is still the American way. We are aware of the continuing atrocities in South Africa
Our ancient scholars of classical African civilization identified the nature of the human being as one in a continuous state of change or evolution. The transformation is not unlike what is seen happening in nature all of the time. A high pressure area transforms into a thunderstorm. A wind moving at a certain velocity which gains more velocity from a cool breeze will lead to another kind of thunderstorm. We know that a worm that crawls on the ground in the form of a grass-eating caterpillar very soon wraps itself into a cocoon and trans forms, emerging from a distasteful state as a slimy, hairy worm to become a creature capable of flying with celestial beauty. Transformation is a process which characterizes the entirety of the universe around us and it is an implicit part of the human possibility. The only difference is that the caterpillar will either have to become a butterfly or die. One of the things about the larva of the bee is that it either has to become a bee or it will die. One of the interesting things about the human being is that he can stay a worm forever and appear to be a thriving form of life. We never have to become human butterflies to appear alive in this world. One of the things that is unique about the human being is that he has an option that either he will be or not be. If he chooses not to be he can die proudly as a slimy, hairy worm.
The point of our discussion is that we need to understand that we all have the potential to be butterflies. Knowledge is the key to getting where we need to go. The human being is actually transformed by what he knows, not passively by just the potential. The human being is transformed by where his mind goes, not where his body goes. The human being is transformed by his thinking and not by his eating. The human being is transformed in a very special and unique way. This message of transformation is essential for the development of self-determination. In other words, we can see an analogue in the fact that the caterpillar, while in the worm state, is subject to a wide range of dangers: a big foot smashing it, contaminated leaves poisoning it, winds that may blow it off the tree, spider webs that might entrap it and a variety of other destructive forces. When the worm becomes a butterfly, then flies above the same foot that tried to stomp it, he uses the winds that used to toss him around as a vehicle for travel. The very tree that fed him in his undeveloped form, he now flies over as he feeds from the heights of the heavens.
This picture of the butterfly can tell us whats possible for us as human beings. The butterfly has much greater control over his survival than does the caterpillar, who is highly vulnerable. He can make many more choices about himself than the caterpillar can. Though the butterfly is still subject to dangers, it is much better equipped to protect itself. The allegory that when we become men, we are in a much stronger state of self-determination than we ever were as boys. In this discussion we will talk about the transformation of the human being as a prototype of the transformation of African consciousness, moving from the level of maleness to boyness to manness.
WHAT IS A MALE:
What are the characteristics of a male? A male is a biological entity whose essence is described by no more or no less than his biology. One need not look beyond the observable anatomical characteristics, primarily the genitals, to determine that be is a male. This fact of maleness is usually established at birth with seldom any controversy. Maleness is a predetermined fact of the biological life which is in no way subject to choice. Now we are aware that Western scientists are trying to re-engineer that process to make gender a choice of the parents. Also, each individual could retain the option to change if he or she so chooses. We know that such innovation is afoot, but for today maleness can be taken as a predetermined matter of fact.
Maleness is also a mentality that operates with the same principles as the biology. It is a mentality dictated by appetite and physical determinants. This mentality is one guided by instincts, urges, desires or feelings. The male mentality, just like the body, is driven by the relief of tension, the relief of urges. When it is time to use the bathroom, he doesnt say, Mamma, may I? He wets on Mamma if shes in the way. When he gets hungry he does not have a concept that somehow says to him, I am going to eat soon, so I will be patient and wait. His response is, I want to eat right now! Neither is he very selective about whether its done at two in the morning or at noon. Those details have little to do with the compelling appetite that does not have much consideration for a concept of later. The male mentality is dictated by appetite: I want it when I want it! Nothing is to interfere with that urgent demand.
It is also driven by passion. Passion is an intense desire for pleasure. There is no such thing as Im going to be strong and not cry about this thing that is hurting me, or, Im going to share this thing willingly because Mamma is saying share it at this time. There is a greed that is driven out of passion, a passion to receive pleasure. Whatever it is that gives pleasure, the male wants all of it, all of the time. Another characteristic of this biological mentality of maleness is its dependency. The male mentality is restricted in its ability to take initiative and it is compelled to lay in wait for someone else to take care of its needs. When someone comes along and sticks a nipple in his mouth, he is then capable of calming down for a moment. The male is not capable of cleaning himself up, but must wait for someone to come along and take care of that business for him.
Though he is driven by hunger and greed and an ever- increasing desire for more and more, he is incapable of doing anything to accomplish these things for himself. He is, in this mentality, a whining, crying, hungry, and dependent little leech. Despite the strong descriptive language, this illustration of the male mentality is not intended to be negative because, as is the case with an infant, so long as it is appropriate to its stage of development, it is acceptable and functional. In the same sense, the earliest state of manhood evolution is appropriately passive, dependent, passion driven, and insatiable in its desire. In its time, this mentality is not only appropriate, but instructive. For it is in this stage that the male learns his need to interact with others and the need to sometimes rely on others and to have the humility to accept dependence. In its place, the male mentality is of great benefit in forming the real man. Out of time, it becomes distasteful, destructive, and deformed.
What is the nature of an entire group whose minds are stuck in the male stage? Such people have a primary concern of being taken care of. Their cry is: Feed me, cover my head with a roof, satisfy my biological needs. The emphasis is on Give it to me. The nature of this mind is one that has to beg. It is a hungry mind that is constantly wanting more and is constantly getting it by asking for a handout. They respond with panic when their caretakers withdraw their resources. They can only scream and cry in despair because they are incapable of generating any kind of activity that could begin to provide for themselves. Youve taken my job; youve taken my food; youve taken my stamps; youve closed down my school. Give it back. .. . Gimme. . . gimme. This mind operates on a level of instinct and impulse. It strikes out in fear and considers the consequences later.
When this mind sees something that arouses its interest, it has to pursue it by beginning to beg, and it doesnt matter who the attractive person might be. It could be someone elses mate, or even inappropriate members of ones own family. Desire is in control and nothing else. With this mind on the level of just a male, there is no kind of choice about whether this is a discriminating thing to do. There is not the ability to choose whether or not I want to look at you when its over. There is no ability to alter my desire because, maybe you smell bad. There is no capacity to respond to provisos or qualifications of any kind. There is no ability for this mentality to understand that certain persons or situations may be detrimental to it. It doesnt matter that I might get shot if I make a pass at you. I never consider, with this mentality, that your husband may be coming around the corner. No, I am driven by passion so I reach out and feel you on the behind simply because the passion is driving my actions. I am just a male. The male defines who he is by the power of his anatomical protrusion and then further defines the value of what he is by the volume, the depth, the length, and the activity of that anatomical protrusion. As a male, one is essentially no more than a dangling piece of flesh located about three inches below the navel.
These observations are hopefully disturbing to our many chronologically mature brothers who can find images of themselves characterized in these descriptions of the male mentality. Our implication is quite clear: If these qualities represent your predominant mode of interaction, you are almost quite literally stuck in your worm stage of development. When we see ourselves only as males, then we operate only as flesh. Sisters must understand, if they use their female as the bait for males, then they will end up with only malesnot men. If you permit the worm to be a worm, then you end up only with a worm. You must demand something more if you want something more.
The level of the male is also the level of the slave. The mind, the mentality of the male is the mentality of the slave. Look at the slave: hes dependent, hes passive, hes totally waiting for his biological needs to be taken care of by someone else. Look at the male and compare him with the slave who delights in being used as a stud and gains his personal value by his ability to be a stud. Please understand that the people who developed and implemented the slave-making process understood some of the basic laws of human nature, and they understood that they could impede the transforming process. They locked the slaves into maleness so that they would stay dependent, non-rebellious and essentially passive in vital areas of human existence. This protected the master and restrained the slave. This male mentality predominates in people who are not willing to take the prerogatives and responsibilities of real manhood.
COMING INTO BOYHOOD:
The next stage in the transformation from the biologically bound definition of male is the development of the boy. What is it that moves us from the male to becoming a boy? The movement is determined by the development of discipline. Discipline transforms passion into a fuel reserve for self-determined action. The thing that begins to control the dependent, passive, passion-driven creature into a creature of greater deliberation and higher expression is the introduction of discipline.
Initially, discipline comes from the outside with someone saying, No, no, dont do that, and then eventually from the inside when you begin to say to yourself, This, I am not going to do. The male gradually becomes a boy through this process. The growth of the capacity to decide to wait and control the demanding urges within you sets the stage for a new level of transformation. When the person is able to say to his maleness, Wait and be still, then he has come to a new level of human power and effectiveness. Once the mind has become disciplined, the boy is in a position to grow into reasoning. As the boy becomes rational he begins to toy with ideas because he should begin to acquire some information about the order of things. He begins to understand that delay is possible because certain things are clearly predictable; the world operates in an orderly and predictable fashion. Things that have happened can and do happen again. As he learns a greater appreciation for this order, he is also enhanced in his ability to further discipline himself. Stillness is a prerequisite. It is the external discipline that compels you to sit it out and wait and see what happens. Then the acquisition of knowledge expands the capacity to wait.
This new-found rationality is not yet mature reasoning though. Our developing being is still just a boy and boys are still under the primary influence of the male mentality. Though there has been the development of some reasoning and some knowledge, these new resources are only additional armaments in the arsenal of taking care of the males demands. So, he has begun moving on the path to becoming rational but only in the sense of being slick. The boy does not yet have respect for the order of things, but he sees that respecting order serves his purposes. This interest in order is only for the purpose of getting what he wants. So, this little boy is nice and reasonable so long as Mommy or Daddy is about, but as soon as they turn their backs, he sticks his hand in the cookie jarcontrolled by the persisting influence of the male. So the discipline becomes an instrument of manipulation rather than genuine self-navigation, simply because of the fact that his mind is not yet a developed mind; it is just in the early stages of what we call slick rationale. The objective of what he knows of reason and order is only to get what he wants with minimal repercussions of deprivation or hurt.
The boy is also beginning to develop some degree of sentiment. He doesnt want to hurt people who have been nice to him. He begins to have some feelings for people around him, but his preoccupation is still one of primarily looking out for himself. So what does the boy do? The boy gets involved in games. He likes to play games. He plays games with other people and he plays games with himself. He likes toys, not real things that begin to move the world, but just make- believe power, symbolic authority. He likes to play but he does not like to engage in the productive activity of work. He likes to do things that dont have very much impact on the world. He likes to tell jokes and be rhetorical, but not really to redefine the world. He likes to pretend to be deeply involved when he is only playing. The boys characteristics get manifested in a later stage as he prides himself in being a player or playboy. Boys have a game for everybody because they are not in the real Play just yet. They are simply rehearsing their parts. The boy operates at the level of a gang mentality (again, a play organization with no genuine power or resourcesjust a game) and he likes to hang with the gang. He doesnt particularly care about the gang either, he just wants someone to play with. Its not that hes really even committed to the gangeven though he may sometimes have to die for itits just that the gang is fun, and fun is still what he wants.
Now lets look at this same boyish mentality manifest in a more adult body. These are the brothers who always have a game, a scheme for getting-over on someone. They are primarily preoccupied with their toys; they like to drive the flashiest sports cars (even if they are impractical two-seaters, when they have a family of five); their cars and their homes are equipped with the latest stereophonic (quadraphonic or even septaphonic) sound system even when the childrens school supplies are put on hold. Their priorities are seriously misdirected, as boys choose play things or play clothes rather than obtaining pressing necessities. The flashy car is just like the little boy on his tricycle who says, Little girl, want to ride on my bike? You often see these adult boys leaning all the way to the opposite window in their cars with hats dropped over their noses, dark glasses (even at midnight), and a designer sweater that matches the car. Soon we arrive at his pad, and thats what it is-a launching pad with colored lights hanging down from the ceiling. You go into the bathroom and a blue light comes up out of the toilet, and it goes on and on from the ridiculous to the absurd. These assumed luxuries are not in and of themselves objectionable. The objection is that these men are often twenty-five, thirty-five, fifty-five, even sixty-five years old, with the priorities and interests of school boys. They are experts at spending, but only earn with minimal initiative. They are more interested in impressing the gang than anything else. Their wardrobes are chosen in preference to the dressing of their minds or even their own futures. They have no major interest in anything beyond themselves.
An example of a boy who is arrested in his development is one who has paid more for his stereo system than he has paid for the books on his shelf. A boy is the adult who has more colored lights and party space than he has study space or work space in his home. You are a boy when you pay more for your liquor than for your food. When your view of women is exclu sively of someone to satisfy your various needs, then you are a boy. When you are preoccupied with someone to get-back-at, get-over-on, or get-from, then you are a boy. When the primary use of your reason is for the purpose of scheming or lying then you are fixated in the boyish mentality.
There is nothing wrong with a game as a means of disengaging or recreation, but when the game becomes a substitute for your lifes plan, then you are still a boy. When other people are laying plans to rule the world and you are playing a card game, then your boyishness is an illness. When other people are writing books and youre shooting pool, then the game is a weapon against your progress and our progress. When you are interested in the football scores and other people are counting the advertising profits from the football game, then you have a boys interest. When you spend six hours on the basketball court and thirty minutes in the library, then the game has become an excuse for suicide. We have a community full of boys masquerading as men and, as a consequence, the community is lacking in effective leadership to change the condition of African-American people. Until we stop playing games and start dealing with the imperatives of a mans world, we will remain in real trouble.
Many of the problems that we face in our communities can be understood as a manifestation of this epidemic of boys who should be men. The black-on-black homicide rates and gang killings are clearly examples of boys playing with life. The neglect of children by their fathers leading to the plague of man-absence in our communities is because the boys are off playing rather than taking care of their responsibilities. The drug epidemic in our communities is the boyish yearning for a dream world rather than facing the serious matters of reality. It is not accidental that one of the supreme insults form our oppressors has been to call us boys. That insult has even more meaning when you realize that the conditions of this society have conspired to put us in the position of boys while creating images and circumstances which reward us for our boyish conduct rather than cultivating the development of black men. To be called a boy by a white man is the ultimate statement of victory over our minds. An even worse insult though is for that label to be correct, and our conduct serving to confirm our preoccupation with boyish things rather than the objectives of men.
Even though we can show considerable evidence to suggest that our retarded growth as boys has been scheduled and planned by the history and systems of our oppression in the West, the fact is that, ultimately, we must take responsibility for our own development. We have a choice to give up our boyish conduct and adopt the path to manhood. We must first recognize our confusion about the definition of manhood and understand that what we are calling man is either simply males or boys at play.
Those who have arrived at a boyish mentality are, at least, emancipated to some extent. They are in a position to make some decisions for themselves. They dont have to go to the bathroom on themselves and then have someone change their diapers. They are beyond the male in that they are not totally subject to the immediate demands of the flesh. When you find many of our adults who are complete babies in taking responsibility for themselves and are unable to regulate any of their conduct, then you are looking at males who have not even arrived at boyhood. Our ancestors were very clear on the need to describe what true manhood was and to provide systematic ways to cultivate the growth of males into boyhood and ultimately into manhood. They had clear definitions of Men and did not permit the confusion of fads and fashions to obscure these definitions.
Emancipated minds are ones that have been able to leave the plantation of maleness, but have not achieved true man hood. They are not unlike those historical ancestors who achieved emancipation, but not liberation, and found them selves returning to the plantation for their former masters to take care of them. So what does this mean in contemporary terms? This means that many of our brilliant and well degreed brothers with training from Americas finest institu tions of higher learning are incapable of thinking or operating beyond the perimeter of the plantation. They are locked into a plantation mind. If you come to them and suggest that we might consider some alternative ways of looking at things, they fall back on looking to the traditional experts to legit imize the new thinking. They cannot think in terms other than the terms of European-American experts. If you intro duce a new concept, they want to know where it came from. If you tell them that it came from your insides, from the legiti mate reality of your own experience (that you actually share with them), then they are skeptical. Where do you think the Europeans got their concepts from, if not from their experi encesor at least applied concepts from other people to their experiences. The non-liberated (simply emancipated) mind prefers the European-American reality to the African-Ameri can reality. We dont trust the reality and the legitimacy of our own experiences because we got emancipated, not liberated, and we are still not men.
The emancipated boys are still basically materialists. These boys define their power by the amount of materials they are able to acquire. They have credit cards with every major department store and bank. They find themselves manipulat ed by the constant change of fashions. In fact the fashion industry is perpetuated by keeping boys changing their wardrobes because they think they are free when they are manipulated by the ever-changing winds of the fashion and advertising world.
There are real restrictions on the boy. He is a servant, even though he may not be a slave as a male clearly is. There is a difference in the slave and the servant. The servant is one who gets some compensation for his efforts and who is not working totally against his will. Both the servant and the slave do not belong to themselves because they are owned by the influence of someone else. The boy is economically a servant; he owns nothing of genuine significance which can change the course of social events. Boys seldom consider developing independent resources or even spending those resources with each other, because the boys mind makes him take it all home to Daddy. Boys have to take it back to where it came from because they are incapable of controlling it themselves, In this boyish man, with the male influence, we are constantly depending on someone elses information for our own advancement.
TRANSFORMATION FROM BOY TO MAN:
How do we get from being a boy to becoming a man? The thing that moves us from the male to the boy is discipline that frees the boy from being the slave of his male. Learning to exercise control over ones self is transformation energy. The force that transforms the person from being a boy to becoming a man is knowledge. The boy takes his budding rationality and uses it to expand his consciousness. In fact, it is critical that he should be guided in the use of his yet immature reasoning, so that it doesnt get entrapped in the form of the boyishness which we have discussed above. This is why good teachers, fathers, brothers, and uncles are so important. They are the instruments of guidance which help the boys move towards manhood. So many of our young men get arrested in the boyhood stage of development because they are improperly guided and end up being led away to prison or carried away to the cemetery. Consciousness is a natural possibility or potential, but it must be tended and guided in order for it to develop properly.
What is consciousness? Consciousness is awareness. What is awareness? Awareness is the ability to see accurately what is. Being able to see accurately means that one must be properly oriented in space, time, and person, which means that the prerequisite for consciousness is to have some accurate image of ones self and the world in which one finds himself. What is the procedure for gaining this kind of information? The most effective way to gain proper orientation is to be thrown into the center of the arena of life. Learning about ones self comes from the confrontation of problems and the development of solutions for those problems. As you face real problems, you are forced to either sink or swim. If you sink then you fail to make the transformation or you must be rescued by someone who can swim. If you swim, then the first lesson is passed.
This simply means that the process of educating our boys requires that we require of them to tackle real life problems and watch them find solutions. They should have early work responsibilities, management responsibilities, and social responsibilities. These responsibilities force the muscles of growth to develop. As the boy begins to take on these responsibilities, he begins to discover the fullness of his potential and can then move to ever-increasing higher horizons. If his energies are only directed towards fun and games, jokes and play, then he continues to recycle in that dimension and there is no growth possible.
In order to discover the potential of your bigger self, you must jump into the water of husbandhood (not just engage in shacking because it is a game and fails to take full responsibilities for your actions). One can learn only if he takes full responsibility and deals with the consequences of his actions. Shacking offers a trap door. Though marriage is escapable, one does not escape without learning a thorough lesson in decisions, actions, and consequences. So learning occurs even in a failed marriage. Shacking lets you play the husband game without being a real husband, and this is the way of the boys.
A man must understand that his decisions are binding and there is real import to real decisions. Marriage is such an important lesson in manhood development. It is no wonder that every society requires some form of it. You will never learn the role of husbanding until you decide to be a husbandnot a roommate, a husband. You have got to know what it means to be with this person (for better or worse) and not be able to get away on just a whim. You have got to experience the kind of instructional pressure that comes from being bound with a person socially, legally, spiritually, and psychologically. The legal paper is not the key to helping you grow. into a man, the key is learning the meaning and responsibility.
that goes with commitment. It is the commitment that begins to cultivate you. It begins to bring down the rain to the soil and requires things of you to handle the droughts. Because you have decided to be a real husband, you can begin to grow as a man and this causes the consciousness to expand. You begin to discover muscles you didnt know you had. You begin to understand that you can share yourself and not only be concerned about yourself. You begin to understand that your concern about people can be bigger than the concern about your own needs. When you are able to spread your sentiments to include more than just yourself, then you are growing into manhood.
After you have put yourself fully into being a husband, then you will want to throw yourself into something else. This new level of activity is fathering. Now your manhood has a real challenge to stimulate its growth. You must face a full day of work and then, at two in the morning, a baby yells out and awakens the entire house. Despite the fact that you ache with exhaustion you begin to understand that you are a father now. When the doctor announces that the little one has an ear infection, you understand that you have another set of ears, and tbe pain in the little ears becomes your pain. The developing man who is now a father learns that he must keep milk in the refrigerator as well as gas in the car. Putting food in the babys stomach shows that not only can you move today but also tomorrow you have a responsibility much larger than the limitation of this moment. it is through that experience with fatherhood that you come to know not only an expanded sense of mortal time, but you can begin to know big time. You can glimpse immortality as you look into tomorrows eyesthe eyes of your young offspring. You can peep into tomorrow, today, through those little eyes that you have fathered. You will be able to transcend the limitations of this state by being able to expand yourself in time. As a father, you can make a contribution to a time not yet born. Thats what fathering does for you.
So the reality of these living experiences expands your consciousness. Though we have used the strong examples of family life which are rather universal in their occurrence, the same consequence merges from any application of ones self to real-life problems. As you apply yourself to addressing these problems, then you are really growing into a man. Once you understand responsibility, learn to think bigger than just yourself, and learn to control and change influences for the benefit of a self thats bigger than your individual anatomy, then you have outgrown boyhood. Preparation for manhood prepares us for leadership. You are prepared to lead a big community when you learn to lead a little community. You have got to learn to lead your personal community. You must first be a king in your personal kingdom. If you cant rule the kingdom on your feet, you cant lead a bigger kingdom.
It is important to understand that, as African men, we have been taken out of our own minds and put into this insane mind, which is the mind of either a boy or just a male. The mind of a real man begins to breed a kind of consciousness that propels people into a higher realization of who they are. When we come into being who we really are, then we can relate to men as fellow-men. We dont have to deal with the kind of madness that separates people anymore. Men can begin to relate to women with an appreciation for their womanhood. Men who have come into a consciousness of who they are in terms of their true identity, in terms of their true capacities for knowledge and consciousness, are able to move and to change the world. Men who know themselves in their true identity will not bring about the kind of fatal divisions and distinctions that have managed to destroy us as a people. Just imagine where we would be if DuBois and Garvey could have gotten together. Just imagine where we might be DuBois and Booker T. could have gotten together.
Just suppose Elijah Muhammad and Martin Luther King, Jr. could have gotten beyond those surface differences that separated them and united their skills for the salvation of our people. What if Elijah and Martin could have sat down together and Elijah would have said, Lets do something for ourselves, and King would have replied, We shall overcome! If they could have held hands and taken off they could have really changed Chicago, changed Atlanta and changed America. Our communities are weaker today because these great and powerful minds could not come together. How powerful we would be now if Jesse Jackson and Farrakhan could have stayed together after they came together. Our leaders must come together. It can only be done when those people who take on the responsibility of leadership have initially taken on the mentality of a man which does not get blinded by deceptive divisiveness.
Each leader must take responsibility for his own growth and we must require such growth as a prerequisite for leadership. Leaders must understand that their man consciousness sees the problem as bigger than their male or boy consciousness. Leaders must understand that their commitment is not just to a small me, but to a much bigger us. We must struggle to find a point of communality despite the contrived differences which appeal to our boy rather than to our man. We must confront ourselves and try to. move beyond our boyishness and maleness and come into our mannishness.
Men naturally develop a strong community interest because they understand that community is family. When there is no community interest, then there are ghettoes of decay. Landlords may not paint the walls, but men will clean the sidewalks and prevent the children from writing on the walls. Community interest will permit us to transform what ever we have into what we want. This is the mind of a man. This mind is one of transformation and responsibility. We must begin to generate the consciousness of responsibility so that nobody in the community is without awareness of the problem or without a commitment to its solution. We should have a sense of responsibility for every child, every adult, every man and woman. Then there would be no rape, molestation, child abuse or murder. Men can change communities if they change themselves. This cannot be done unless we come into a true man consciousness and put our male and boy behind us. Men can develop independent schools. Men can develop independent thought. Men can develop proper security and control for their communities. Men will learn the difference between love and romance and teach even the romantics the difference.
The man consciousness grows into a God-consciousness. The God-consciousness expands to its fullest capacity in projecting the highest aspirations for the human being. This God- consciousness is not about religion in the popular sense, because it is non-denominational and non-sectarian. God-consciousness has little to do with going to church, to the mosque or to the synagogue. Those visits may make us feel God, but they dont grow us into creatures made in the image of God as we have been taught. This kind of consciousness that grows from being a man helps us to understand that the Creator laid out a plan in the structure of the universe. This order moves the earth at its consistent speed and posture through out time, never losing momentum or velocity. This plan maintains the perfect order and form of the seasons; it changes the winds, directs the tides, schedules the eruption of volcanoes, shakes the earth at the point of its geological flaws, and causes all forms of life to transform and to grow. This infinite plan also includes man. The Creative Force that can program such phenomena with such precision can also design your mind so that it must return to order. There is then no doubt that we can achieve what is defined in our potential. Whatever you can understand, you can be; whatever you project, you can become. The sabotage of our manhood did not destroy the plan, nor our capability to retrieve it. It simply requires us to take the responsibility to let be what was to be from the beginning.
We were a people who gave the world the hymn of human liberation, not just a freedom song. Liberation is something that must happen to the soul of the human being, not just to our minds or bodies. Our ancient ancestors understood the beauty of a liberated soul, which is why we could sing like nobody else the songs of human possibility. This faith in the human potential fueled us in our development of human civilization, human religions, and concepts of human growth. This indigenous faith in humanity and knowledge of God gives the power to take even alien concepts of religion and convert them to our own. Europeans came with Christianity and we constructed a theology that now has them trying to be born again. When they talk about being born again, they are saying, I want to be like the children of Africa. Though we were imprisoned by Christianity in many ways, we transformed it and made it do for us what it was not intended to do. The Arabs came with Islam. We took it and built Timbuktu. Males are only capable of sight-seeing. As reality moves by, they observe it from a distance with a hand extended, hoping for a handout. Boys have dreams. They dream, they think, they wonder, they build unreal worlds in their minds. Only men have visions and visions become the instrument of human collective societal transformation. If you want to be who you are, then be a man and the world will be transformed by you.
The Process By Which Captives Were Obtained On African Soil Was Not Trade At All. It Was Through Warfare, Trickery, Banditry And Kidnapping. When One Tries To Measure The Effect Of European Slave Trading On The African Continent, It Is Very Essential To Realise That One Is Measuring The Effect Of Social Violence Rather Than Trade In Any Normal Sense Of The Word. Walter Rodney
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