Black People : The Space Traders

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Derrick Bell is a compelling voice on issues of race and class in this society. Throughout his 40-year career as a lawyer, activist, teacher, and writer, he has provoked his critics and challenged his readers with his uncompromising candor and original progressive views. Bell was the first tenured black professor at the Harvard Law School, a position he gained in 1971, and relinquished in 1992, when he refused to return from a two-year, unpaid leave of absence he took to protest the absence of women of color on the faculty. He is currently a visiting professor at the NYU Law School.
    He has published several books and articles and is best known for his series of allegorical stories featuring his fictional heroine, Geneva Crenshaw. In "Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism," "Space Traders" was filmed as an episode of the HBO film trilogy, "Cosmic Slop" directed by Reginald Hudlin, which was broadcast only once. Subsequently, every major video retail chain refused to distribute this program.
    Excerpt of Space Traders:


    "The Space Traders" by Derrick Bell​
    1 January. The first surprise was not their arrival. The radio messages had begun weeks before, announcing that one thousand ships from a star far out in space would land on 1 January 2000, in harbors along the Atlantic coast from Cape Cod to North Carolina. Well before dawn on that day, millions of people across North America had wakened early to witness the moment the ships entered Earth's atmosphere. However expected, to the watchers, children of the electronic age, the spaceships' approach was as awesome as had been that earlier one of three ships, one October over five hundred years before, to the Indians of the island of Santo Domingo in the Caribbean.
    No, the first surprise was the ships themselves. The people who lined the beaches of New Jersey where the first ships were scheduled to arrive, saw not anything NASA might have dreamed up, but huge vessels, the size of aircraft carriers, which the old men in the crowd recognized as being pretty much like the box-shaped landing craft that carried Allied troops to the Normandy beachheads during the Second World War.
    As the sun rose on that cold bright morning, the people on the shore, including an anxious delegation of government officials and media reporters, witnessed a fantastic display of eerie lights and strange sound-evidently the visitors' salute to their American hosts. Almost unnoticed during the spectacle, the bow of the leading ship slowly lowered. A sizable party of the visitors-the first beings from outer space anyone on Earth had ever seen-emerged and began moving majestically across the water toward the shore. The shock of seeing these beings, regal in appearance and bearing, literally walking on the waves was more thrilling than frightening. At least, no one panicked.
    Then came the second surprise. The leaders of this vast armada could speak English. Moreover, they spoke in the familiar comforting tones of former President Reagan, having dubbed his recorded voice into a computerized language-translation system. After the initial greetings, the leader of the U.S. delegation opened his mouth to read his welcoming speech-only the first several speeches scheduled to be given on this historic occasion by the leaders of both political parties and other eminent citizens, including-of course-stars of the entertainment and sports worlds. But before he could begin, the principal spokesperson for the space people (and it wasn't possible to know whether it was a man or woman or something else entirely) raised a hand and spoke crisply, and to the point.
    And this point constituted the third surprise. Those mammoth vessels carried within their holds treasure of which the United States was in most desperate need: gold, to bail out the almost bankrupt federal, state, and local governments; special chemicals capable of unpolluting the environment, which was becoming daily more toxic, and restoring it to the pristine state it had been before Western explorers set foot on it; and a totally safe nuclear engine and fuel, to relieve the nation's allbut-depleted supply of fossil fuel. In return, the visitors wanted only one thing-and that was to take back to their home star all the African Americans who lived in the United States.
     
  2. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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  3. Metaverse

    Metaverse Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Very intelligent and brilliant work by Pro. Bell. I've heard that Obama was his student at Harvard Law, hopefully something was extracted from this Professor's Genius.

    [​IMG]

    When intelligent Black writers start dealing with sci-fiction- if the story speaks about the relationship between Blacks and Whites, from there we "guide" their thoughts, because most Whites think from the perspective of "future" reality. Whereas most Black speak from the perspective of the past. That in itself might be disturbing to Whites in power, especially with a well-thought out tale like "The Space Traders."

    Pro. Bell chose the perfect platform to address real-life race relations and even environmental conditions to White & Black minds. It is an interesting question. Would they trade Blacks to Aliens for gold, free energy and a cleaner less toxic world?

    Professor Golightly (The Brotha at the table):

    "It is a mark of just how far out of the mainstream black people are that this proposition is given any serious consideration. Were the Space Traders attracted by and asking to trade any other group-white women with red hair and green eyes, for example-a horrified public would order the visitors off the planet without a moment's hesitation. The revulsion would not be less because the number of persons with those physical characteristics are surely fewer than the twenty million black citizens you are ready to condemn to intergalactic exile."

    The interesting point in this story is that the Aliens go to the Government asking for Blacks. Not to the NAACP. Not to Jesse Jackson. But the Government, suggesting of course that Blacks are viewed as a burden of the nation and still owned by America.

    The story makes it clear that we were being traded as slaves. Some thousands lost their lives trying to avoid being "rounded up" by police and military forces. In the end we are stripped half naked and shackled walking unto these ships. And just as the Government got rid of us to trade for materials, historians also claim Africans rounded up "key Africans" to trade with Whites for gold and weapons.

    And why would any Alien race want melaninated Humanoids? Because we can work for long hours under the Sun without dying. We generate energy from the Sun directly thru the skin. We can guide the Sun's energy through our hands so we are the best farmers. If Aliens did indeed want Blacks, the reasons would be no different from our present Oppressors. And yet, some might still see a positive side in the story. Pro. Bell leaves that as a mystery.
     
  4. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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