Friday, April 9, 2010

Brave New World

Yesterday I wrote about our problem as a nation talking about racism; slavery. A friend asked me to follow up that discussion, sharing what I believe we should learn from slavery. My affection for this friend alone compels my words now, for it is not a pleasant treasure for which I am about to dig.

The legacy of our nations most egregious offense against humanity breathes its oily breath into sleeping babes cradles, scented with Colt 45 and cheap cognac. The legacy of slavery screams from blood soaked prison cells, and the hopeless wails of caged birds in hell. The heart of the legacy of slavery beats in each man and woman on Earth, as we are all beneficiaries of the blood and sweat shed by countless unfortunate souls. It feeds like bacteria on our dustborn flesh. It's footsteps languish, lingering in our blood.

It is visible as though no time has passed since the abolition of slavery in the fear of Black men walking down the street. It can be seen in every clinched purse, shifted gaze, rejected employment application, and the general distrust of our nation's first Black president.

Yes, the ripples continue to ebb and flow.

My friend asked me what lesson I thought there was to be learned from slavery. The best answer I can come up with is that even from the worst of conditions the greatest and most beautiful things may spring forth. I am proud to say I live in America. I feel blessed to be living in an era where the culture of African descendants has permeated dominant culture. I am proud to be fulfilling the dreams of my predecessors.

Certainly, my words here do not complete this discussion but it is all I can muster at this time. Besides, this is not a discussion that can be completed by a lone blogger and not in a single sitting. The continuation of this discussion I leave to you.


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