African American History Culture : UNBREAKABLE

Discussion in 'African American History Culture' started by Aluku, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Aluku

    Aluku Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    May 9, 2012
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    I remember hearing Mr Fountain Hughes' audio a few years ago, and it struck me how you could hear the pride and dignity this man had even though he grew up in the time of slavery.

    While many movies in Hollywood portrayed slaves as accepting their lot, the truth is very different.
    In order to understand why all slaves didn't escape or rebel outright has a lot do with their religion.

    This part of the story has been largely lost in many countries so let me explain it briefly:

    The Africans who were brought to the new world had a religion where ancestor "worship" played a central part. The believe is that those who went before and are in close contact with the high god and can therefore plead on their behalf. The place where they were buried thus became a shrine and an important area for the community. In short they became "bound" to this holy place and sometimes even defended it against the marroons.

    This is similar to the asian system of ancestor worship where people make trips to graves and offer prayer burn incense, to intervene on their behalf.

    A real benefit of this system was and is that the elders are always treated with respect because they are needed to intervene on the behalf of his/her descendants.

    Moreover what is known from actual court document is how the slaves endured their punishment. They did not give their master the pleasure to see them crying, screaming or even suffering pain!

    Here is one such account from an actual court record:

    “Two negroes hanged,” John Gabriel Stedman wrote in his Suriname journal for March 9, 1776, and then two days later, among his purchases of“soap, wine, tobacco, [and] rum” and his dinners with an elderly widow, he records, “A negro’s foot cut off.”1 Stedman expanded on these events in the later Narrative of his years as a Dutch–Scottish soldier fighting against the Suriname Maroons: And now, this being the period of the [court] sessions, another Negro’s leg was cut off for sculking from a task to which he was unable, while two more were condemned to be hang’d for running away altogether. The heroic behavior of one of these men deserves particularly to be quotted, he beg’d only to be heard for a few moments, which, being granted, he proceeded thus––

    “I was born in Africa, where defending my prince during an engagement, I was made a captive, and sold for a slave by my own countrimen. One of your countrimen, who is now to be my judge, became then my purchaser, in whose service I was treated so cruelly by his overseer that I deserted and joined the rebels in the woods . . .”

    To which his former master, who as he observed was now one of his judges, made the following laconick reply, “Rascal, that is not what we want to know. But the torture this moment shall make you confess crimes as black as yourself, as well as those of your hateful accomplices.” To which the Negroe, who now swel’d in every vain with rage [replied, holding up his hands], “Massera, the verry tigers have trembled for these hands . . .and dare you think to threaten me with your wretched instrument? No, despise the greatest tortures you can now invent, as much as I do the pitiful wrech who is going to inflict them.” Saying which, he threw himself down on the rack, where amidst the most excruci ating tortures he remained with a smile and without they were able to make him utter a syllable. Nor did he ever speak again till he ended his unhappy days at the gallows.2

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  2. baller

    baller Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jan 28, 2001
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    the near north
    yes, they held an unbreakable spirit...and a pride in their heritage we can only hope to attain.

    Thank you.